Trios have dominated the league for a long time from the Los Angeles Lakers with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy to the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, to the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. Between those three trios there are 11 championships. After Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman won their third championship together in 1998 we did not see another trio until 2003 when the San Antonio Spurs won their first championship with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker together; with the assistance of David Robinson. The San Antonio Spurs have the winningest trio in the NBA with 3 championships, Tim Duncan as 4 altogether.
In 2007 the Boston Celtics brought aboard Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce to form their “Big Three”. Immediately after coming together Boston’s “Big Three” won a championship and dominated the Eastern Conference for three years. In 2010 the Miami Heat formed a “Big Three” with easily the most star power of any trio in NBA history but what this Miami Heat organization forgot was to surround their trio with role players. The reasons why the Miami Heat go through so many lows is because they rely on their stars too much. If the Boston trio is having an off day they have Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, and Mickael Pietrus to help. When LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh have an off day they cannot rely on Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, or Shane Battier because they are not involved in the offense as much as the Celtics’ role players.
There are a couple of other dominate trios in the NBA who are championship contenders including the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Los Angeles Lakers. After years of being a struggling franchise as the Seattle SuperSonics and moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder struck gold by in 3 consecutive years drafting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. Even though James Harden comes off the bench this trio is capable of combining for 90+ points on any given night. After the departure of Shaquille O’Neal the Los Angeles Lakers went 4 years with a very sub-par roster besides Kobe Bryant. In the midst of the Los Angeles Lakers championship drought they drafted then 17 year old Andrew Bynum as the 10th overall pick. In 2008 the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies for a draft pick. After 4 years together together this trio won 2 championships in three NBA finals appearances.
The Boston Celtic trio has father time knocking at their door with Kevin Garnett being 35 years old, Ray Allen being 36 years old, and Paul Pierce being 34 years old. Also, the Boston Celtics bench has thinned a great deal since 2008. The San Antonio Spurs trio has also aged but the organization has done a great job managing their minutes and surrounding them with young, athletic role players. If I had to choose which trio would win a championship this year I would choose the Los Angeles Lakers, they have two dominating bigs, their depth is decent enough to allow the starters a breather, and on top of that they have the best player in the NBA. If the Los Angeles Lakers do not win it all they will make it hard for whoever beats them.