By A. Sherrod Blakely
NEW YORK When the Boston Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to a roster that featured Paul Pierce back in 2007, no one knew for sure how this Big Three unit would mesh.
During the season, they dominated. And while they had their share of ups and downs in the playoffs that season, the end result - Banner 17 - proved that you could indeed mesh three great talents to form one great team.
Well, that blueprint has been copied in Miami and most recently, here in New York.
Let's just say things haven't quite worked out the way most anticipated.
The Miami Heat did not steamroll through the league the way many predicted.
In fact, they have been at their worst against the best teams and are currently third in the East behind Boston and Chicago.
And the New York Knicks have shown little to no improvement in terms of wins and losses, since adding Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey to a team being led by Amar'e Stoudemire.
The Celtics' Big Three have said many times that the way they came together so quickly, doesn't necessarily mean it'll happen like that all the time.
"It's going to be a process for them," said Paul Pierce, speaking about the Knicks. "That's why they're inconsistent. You can't just put a team together and go out there and say, 'Play well,' regardless of the talent. They have to develop chemistry, a feel for one another. Where you like the ball, where you like to get help at defensively. It's a process."
Making that more difficult, Pierce added, has been the fact that the Knicks and their Big Three came together just a few weeks ago.
In 2007, Pierce along with Allen and Garnett had an entire training camp to get familiar with how to play with one another.
"You don't know when that day will come when everything will click and things are running smoothly," Pierce said. "You have to continue to work, practice and eventually the light will turn on eventually."
While Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledges that it does take time, the success of joining three superstars ultimately falls on the players - at least, that's how it worked with his Big Three.
"At the end of the day, they wanted it work," Rivers said of Boston's Big Three. "They wanted it to work. You hear it a lot, but I don't know if everyone means it."