In June, no sooner were the Heat defeated by the Mavericks in the NBA finals than the debate ensued about breaking up the Big Three. Amid success in Dwyane Wade's absence in recent days, the volume has intensified on that one.
In L.A., months after being blown out in the second round by the Mavericks, and little more than a season removed from consecutive titles, the Lakers first attempted to rip it apart in a bid for Chris Paul, then sold off Lamar Odom for pennies on the dollar to Dallas.
And now the Celtics, a team that advanced to the 2010 NBA finals and might have made it back in 2011 with an ambulatory center, are threatening a core meltdown.
Uh ... um ... patience, anyone?
What the NBA seemingly needs even more than a few extra days off amid this post-lockout compacted schedule is a round of Ritalin for its front offices, amid the attention deficit to recent success.
Which brings us to Boston and what might happen next for Danny Ainge's teetering ensemble.
First, step back and consider whether we even would be debating the Celtics had Kendrick Perkins not been dealt to the Thunder last season (or at least had Jeff Green not been detected with a season-ending heart condition in the wake of the lockout).
For as ugly as it has gotten for Boston at the start this season, it would not nearly be as ugly if Perkins were there to ease the inside burden on Kevin Garnett, or if Green's versatility was in place to alleviate the scoring load on Paul Pierce or Ray Allen.
With Perkins or Green, we wouldn't be here, at this intersection of allowing it to play out and blowing it apart.
For Ainge, these are the moments he gets paid for, the franchise-altering juncture that will define not only this season, but perhaps the next decade.
Why deal Perkins, when a mega-bucks contract decision would have had to have been made with Green, anyway?
Why lock Doc Rivers into a new, long-term deal if there was even an iota of a thought about rebuilding?
And why continually dangle Rajon Rondo while he remains the lone youthful component that could be utilized as a foundation for rebuilding?
Clearly, there are issues with Rondo, at least from Ainge's perspective. This shortened offseason wasn't the first time the crafty point guard has been dangled. There clearly is a fiery (testy?) personality in place there.
But this whole notion of "blowing it up" is one of the most overstated in sports, particularly in the NBA. This is not the NFL, where revivals are boosted by softened schedules. This is not Major League Baseball, where there are no salary-cap restrictions on free agency, pitching staffs created on whims by the Yankees and Phillies.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
If anyone should appreciate the danger of taking that step back, it is Boston.
The counterargument, the one being mulled these days by Ainge, is that the step back does not have to be one off a cliff, if it is taken with the proper foresight, that the NBA's new collective-bargaining agreement rewards teams who build cap stashes.
On the surface, that appears to be the approach being taken by Mark Cuban in Dallas, who despite winning the 2011 championship allowed Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson to walk in the offseason without compensation.
PBT: Spurs guard Tony Parker repeatedly sliced through the Grizzlies' defense, creating 20 points and nine assists in an easy Game 1 win for San Antonio.
PBT: The Grizzlies haven't faced a team this postseason that can execute its system to the level that the Spurs can. The results were obvious in the series opener.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
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