The Los Angeles Lakers started this season with one win in their first five games, prompting them to fire head coach Mike Brown. But in all likelihood they would have figured out a way to turn things around and even improve on last year’s record. As one might imagine, that’s usually what happens when an NBA team adds a multi-time All-Star player to its starting lineup during the offseason — especially when said All-Star is still in his prime.
Adding Steve Nash and Dwight Howard (above) to the starting five almost assures the Lakers of an improvement. The infographic below demonstrates what you might logically expect: Teams usually get better when they add star players in their prime to their starting lineups. When those stars are fading? The results, naturally, aren’t as impressive.
Check it out:
Of the past 13 NBA teams to acquire at least one player for their starting lineup with more than one All-Star Game on his resume, 10 have produced the same or a better winning percentage the following season.
To clarify, all of the players included in this data had been to an All-Star Game more than once in their careers before changing teams and all of them were regular starters for their new teams.
Obviously, many of the players in the data pool above were no longer All-Stars when they signed with their new teams. And of course, other factors played a role as well.
Still, in addition to boosting regular-season success, the acquisition of star-caliber players has positive consequences for the postseason. Here’s a look at how the top six teams in the infographic above went on to fare in the playoffs the first season with their new starters:
• 2007-08 Celtics — won the NBA title after not making the playoffs the year before
• 2010-11 Bulls — lost in the Eastern Conference finals after losing in first round the year before
• 2011-12 Clippers — lost in the Western Conference semifinals after not making the playoffs the year before
• 2010-11 Knicks — lost in the first round after not making the playoffs the year before
• 2007-08 Magic — lost in the East semifinals after getting swept in the first round the year before
• 2010-11 Heat — lost in the NBA Finals after losing in the first round the year before
Infographic by SportsData LLC -- click here to see it in a larger format.