Saw this on Insider. Interesting e-mail to Greg Anthony:
James P. Catello from Vermont writes, Thanks for your intelligent insights and analysis. I can't get enough. But there is one major issue that everyone either shies away from or simply doesn't know how to address. As a psychologist and a sports handicapper, I emphasize issues like character, intelligence, leadership abilities, emotional strength, etc. more than match-up issues. I was easily on target predicting the recent relapses of the Timberwolves and the Nuggets -- both due to emotional exhaustion. No individual or team can sustain that much emotional energy night after night for months. Emotional energy has more of an impact on performance than anything else. KG's passion may be enough to revive the Wolves, but everyone on the Nuggets is emotionally flat. Have you thought about these issues? I'm eager to read your thoughts about issues like emotional energy, intelligence and leadership and their influence in determining playoff teams. Thanks again.
GA: Great question, Jim. First, emotional energy does get you only so far, and you're right that leadership and intelligence are also extremely important in a team's overall success. But when dealing with the human psyche, I'm always amazed at the heights that greatness can achieve. Think about the Bulls' amazing 72-10 record -- that obviously was not done on emotional energy alone. Also remember, in a team game with as much energy as these guys use, experience is an attribute that also teaches you how to harness your emotions and focus on doing what's needed to win. Better teams and players have an advantage. Yes, Minnesota and Denver both struggled of late, but all teams, because of the human element, will have letdowns. The key is how long will they last and what will be the lasting impact? This is where other components come in -- coaching, chemistry, goals, etc. So as you well know, there is no easy answer. Many variables play a role.