Los Angeles Lakers: Why They May Not Be Favorites to Win NBA Title

“Chemistry is something that you don’t just throw in a frying pan and mix it up with another something and throw something on top of that and then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put it in a microwave, heat it up, give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? If y’all don’t know what I’m talking about then you can’t cook and this doesn’t concern you.”

This gem of a quote can be attributed to part time basketball player, and full time wordsmith, Kevin Garnett. While Garnett is clearly more well-suited for hooping than public speaking or catering your next dinner party, he did touch on a fairly under-rated aspect of any sport.

Well-renowned stat geeks such as John Hollinger have come up with valuable formulas to statistically quantify a player’s efficiency (PER), true shooting percentage (TS%) and estimated wins added (EWA), amongst others. While these metrics are heavily utilized by teams such as the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets, there is a certain aspect of basketball that simply calls for the eye test. The very same one that KG was referring to: chemistry. 

The Chicago Bulls, owners of the league’s best record for the past two regular seasons, prided themselves for being such a close-knit group. Prior to the dismantling of Chicago’s vaunted ‘Bench Mob,’ everyone, players included, raved about their cohesiveness.

The recently departed Kyle Korver told ESPN 1000, “We’ve got great chemistry. I think the longer you can keep any team together the better shot you have of actually winning that golden trophy.”

While some may attribute the lion’s share of their success to defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau, part of that credit belongs to the core group of players that bought in to each other, playing according to their strengths and weaknesses. 

While chemistry doe...

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