The talent on this team cannot be debated, but sometimes it seems as if an off switch is clicked and they don’t play with any heart or effort, as if they know they are better than the other team, so they don’t have to try. When this team does try, they are very difficult to slow down. When they decided to press in a game (very rarely done in the NBA) they went on a 10-0 run and completely turned the game around. This team is the favorite to repeat as the NBA champions, and it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to stop them. I believe that there are only two teams that can stop the powerhouse that is the Miami Heat.
- The New York Knicks have defeated the Heat three times this season and twice have been by over 20 points. Carmelo Anthony is perhaps the best scorer in the league, but the key in the Knicks-Heat series will have to be his ability to defend LeBron. J.R. Smith will have to guard Dwyane Wade and be able to score on him. Tyson Chandler is the reason why the Mavericks beat the Heat in the finals, so he must be a factor in order to propel the Knicks over the Heat. Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd can’t commit unforced errors. They can not allow Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen to beat them from the outside. Amare Stoudemire must give the Knicks something on both ends of the court. Sharpshooter Steve Novak will give them a threat from the outside. The Knicks’ bench must come up with buckets, and they must provide stops while they are on the court. This team was built to beat the Heat, so they have a chance to beat the defending champions.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder have improved since last year. Especially Serge Ibaka has improved, and he will have to make life tough for the Heat. He will be guarding Chris Bosh, but he will have to make sure LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can not get any wide open layups or dunks. Kevin Durant will have to match the pace of LeBron James, and try to control him. Russell Westbrook has to be their team’s leading scorer. Though Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade are good defenders, they can’t slow down Russell. The bench has to outplay the Heat’s bench. Kevin Martin has to show that he is a valid replacement for the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden. Thabo Sefolosha has to keep Dwayne Wade in check and Kendrick Perkins has to control the paint and the boards. If these things occur, the Thunder will give the Heat a run for their money.
The Heat seem destined for a repeat as the NBA champions, but if they don’t give their maximum effort, and make the shots they should under pressure, then anything can happen. With LeBron in the prime of his career, Dwyane getting buckets, and Bosh in the paint, this team is a juggernaut, but sometimes even juggernauts are defeated. As LeBron promised the Miami fan base, this team will win not 1, not 2, not 3,….. numerous championships by the time this big three is done.
Info Credit: ESPN