By Brent Guffy
The Miami Heat have become the annual favorite to win the NBA Title ever since acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a roster that already featured star shooting guard Dwyane Wade.
This season marks the fourth year of the “Big Three” experiment. They haven’t been too shabby, winning two of the last three NBA titles. But there is a team lying in the wake that could dethrone the Miami Heat, and that team is the Indiana Pacers. Although this is the case, I believe this Miami Heat team is built to, not only win the Eastern Conference Finals, but the NBA Title for a third straight year.
It has been argued that this Indiana team is in better shape to win the title based on size alone. The Pacers recently added disgruntled Center Andrew Bynum to go along with Roy Hibbert. I don’t believe this is as big of an issue as people would think that it is when it comes to the Heat. What they lack in size, they make up for in quickness.
With speedy guards Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, the Heat can get into the fast break with ease, and let us not forget they currently have the most versatile, athletic, and court savvy player in the league in LeBron James. Plus, the Heat also picked up center Greg Oden, who has been out of the league since 2010.
This is a big pick up, not because he will play big minutes, because he won’t, but because down the stretch of a game he will be placed in the game as a big body to defend the basket. This puts the Heat and Pacers almost on the same level.
Another argument that has been made was the fact that the Pacers took the Heat to seven games in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.
To me, this just proves more so that the Heat can win it again this year. It showed in the Finals last season when it looked as if all hope was lost and the San Antonio Spurs were going to walk out of American Airways Arena with their fifth title and Tim Duncan could ride off into the sunset. That did not happen. The Heat clawed their way back, with the help from the most decorated three point shooter in NBA history in Ray Allen. This showed me to never count out the Miami Heat in any contest.
People look at the some of the losses the Heat have suffered this season at the hands of the Wizards, Sixers, and even the Celtics. These losses mean absolutely nothing. They have shown that regular season losses mean absolutely nothing, and that they are focused on the bigger picture which is getting to and winning the NBA Finals.
All in all, this year is the year the Miami Heat take down the Indiana Pacers. I do feel as though this could change after this season, depending on what LeBron James decides to do this offseason, but that is a whole other story.