occassia's Blog


Dec 05

It might be possible to minimize each individual game loss, but not the recent accumulation of losses. It's a slump, a bad one, maybe an unprecedented one. But let's also consider losses of a different sort which this team began accumulating months and months ago: 

With the departure of KP, a radical reorientation, and the loss of many familiar faces from both management and coaching staff. 

Players lost to injury --a long litany all too familiar to most of us-- but the Saga of Oden perhaps deserves special mention, and even Nate's Achilles blow-out when he had to sub in practice for the fallen ones. 

Players lost to trades, etc. --Sergio, Blakey, Outlaw, Jay-Bay, Martell, Juwan, Frye. And new players added to the roster: Oberto (for about a minute), Camby, Patty, Wesley, AJ, Babbitt.

Monty moved on to bigger and better things, and Maurice Lucas... moved on to the ultimate venue.

Loss is hard. Change is hard. It makes you sick and emotionally vulnerable. Ever hear of the Holmes Rahe stress scale? Even if a change is 100% positive (and most changes are a mixture) it creates stress which eventually takes a toll.

Our team has absorbed a lot of change and a lot of stress of late. Our players amazed everyone last year by "stepping up" over and over again as teammates went down to injury. But there comes a point when your resilience is exhausted --and it doesn't matter how much money you're paid-- you're tapped out. Your strength and confidence will come back, but it requires a renewal of the spirit; it's not a simple matter like flipping a switch.

It's tempting to think that one more change --replacing Nate, reworking the starting line-up, trading for somebody new-- might "fix things up." And it might. Or not. When a team is already struggling with a string of such changes, better proceed with caution, and be sure that change is the right one.

Folks, we're a franchise that's grieving. That's a process, unfortunately, and not an event. As a fan, I don't stop sharing my concerns. I also don't give up, I don't stop offering my support.

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  1. Awesome, This is a great post and well thought out. I am in total agreement with you, we need not change our team, but have confidence in the one we have. Great post!

    by Kraydayz on 12/5/2010 10:42 PM
  2. Thanks, kraydayz! I -have- thought about it a lot, as who hasn't, lately. We human beings really yearn for simple cause-and-effect explanations. We're hardwired for it. (Less charitably, we want someone or something to blame.)

    But as a species we aren't very good at sorting out cause and effect in complex systems --and gawd knows an NBA team is a complex system.

    A significant change -might- be the answer, but it's also likely to produce unintended consequence if not very carefully reasoned out. An experienced NBA coaching staff is maybe more likely to have a handle on that than us Comcast refugees and and nosebleed seatwarmers. ;-)

    by occassia on 12/6/2010 11:36 AM
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