Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chemistry Takes Time

Good morning.  Believe me when I tell you that this entry is not being typed by a scientist - don't let the title mislead you.  There are times when I compose this blog for you that the ideas come easily to me.  At this point, 'Bikini Hill' is on a sort of autopilot on Mondays and Fridays, because I know that I will always being doing a ramble or making predictions on those days.  There was nothing that I felt compelled to write about leading up to this post, so I was skimming the news and sports stories out there, keeping my eye out for topics to share with you.  One of the popular stories out there with the upcoming NBA season preparing to get underway on Christmas Day deals with the Los Angeles Clippers.  Now that the Clippers have acquired Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups to go along with Blake Griffin, a lot of people seem to have exceedingly high expectations for the team this season.  The Clippers finished last season with a 32-50 record, which was the 3rd worst record in the Western Conference, and left them a full 14 games out of the final playoff spot.  As I did my '2011-12 NBA Regular Season Predictions' entry for this blog, I debated with myself over projecting them to finish with a winning record this season (I predicted that they will finish with a 35-31 record this season, giving them a playoff spot as the 7th seed in the West).  Yesterday I heard a t.v. analyst putting the Clippers in this season's Western Conference Finals.  I am not saying that this can't happen, but let me mention a few examples here of other teams who were supposed to be the next big thing in recent memory.  As recently as September, everyone just LOVED the Philadelphia Eagles, and had them CRUSHING the NFC...  Those same Eagles are now just barely clinging to playoff life, needing multiple things to break their way to finish the NFC East in a three-way tie with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at 8-8, which is the only way that they can reach the playoffs.  I will admit that I expected Philadelphia to perform better than they have this season, but a lot of that was based on their success in recent seasons, and was not attributed solely to their new additions.  Not trying to pick on the city of 'Brotherly Love', but the Philadelphia Phillies are another team that added some talented players, and were unable to live up to some very big expectations.  After free-agency, the Phillies had a starting pitching rotation that looked dominant on paper.  I will grant you that in the case of the Phillies, the team did win 102 games in the regular season and was knocked out of the playoffs after losing a 1-0 game to the St. Louis Cardinals, but for all of the hype that was generated surrounding the team, they did not even reach the National League Championship Series.  The Miami Heat have to be the most infamous victims of the hype-machine in recent memory.  In the case of the Heat, they added LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a roster that already included Dwyane Wade.  This prompted former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, while working as an analyst for ABC and ESPN last season, to predict that the Heat would eclipse the 72-10 single-season wins record that Michael Jordan's Bulls achieved in the 1995-1996 season.  Not only did the Heat not come close to winning 72 games, but they failed to win the championship also.  Building chemistry takes time, but now the Clippers are being touted as the next superteam.  Let these guys introduce themselves to each other first maybe...  Not only do I think that the aforementioned Miami trio is better than this Clippers trio, but I also believe that the Western Conference is stronger than the Eastern Conference.  I think that this year's Clippers squad is more talented than last year's group without a doubt, but I think that it would be wise to remember the overhyped teams of the recent past before engraving their names on anything...  I will be back tomorrow with my weekly NFL predictions (which will be good for a chuckle if I run anything like I have been for the last two weeks)...  Have a great day and I'll see you then.

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