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NBA Finals 2012: Why LeBron and Miami Heat Won't Be Title Favorites Next Year

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NBA Finals 2012: Why LeBron and Miami Heat Won't Be Title Favorites Next Year
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the Miami Heat only a win away from winning their second championship in franchise history, it's already a good time to look forward to next season.

The promises from LeBron James for multiple championships could be a reality, but LBJ and the Heat will find out quickly that repeating will be awfully difficult and Miami won't be the favorites to win the 2013 NBA championship.

There's no doubting that the Heat will be a top contender for next year's title, but they have a lot going against them heading into next season.

For one, in the past 10 years there has been only one repeat champion, the Los Angeles Lakers accomplished the feat by winning the 2009 and 2010 crowns.

Then there is the makeup of the team.

Dwyane Wade will turn 31 in January of next season and his body has been taking a beating. Wade missed 17 regular season games in 2012 with a variety of different injuries and has been shooting the ball very poorly as of late.

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If Wade's body continues to betray him and he loses even the slightest bit of explosiveness, he's not a good enough shooter to be that difference maker as the No. 2 scoring option in the Miami offense.

Next, it's very unlikely that this team improves much during the offseason.

Miami is already way over the salary cap for next season, with over $78 million already on the books for next season.

Depth has always been a question for the Heat. Can the likes of Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and company really be counted on next season?

Then there's LeBron.

He's on a postseason run right now like we've never seen before. Can he do the same thing next season? With this roster he will have to and that's a lot to ask even LBJ to do in back-to-back postseasons.

Finally you look at the teams in the Eastern Conference that could be better next season, including the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks. With the right additions you can possibly throw the Boston Celtics in the mix as well. The Chicago Bulls could also be a threat if Derrick Rose can return healthy by playoff time.

But the Oklahoma City Thunder got a taste of what the NBA Finals are all about this season.

They will be back and know what they need to do to win, similar to the way LeBron and company learned from their 2011 failures.

Anytime you have LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh together you are title favorites, but 2013 very well could be a different story for the Heat as there's a lot saying that they might not be favorites to potentially repeat as NBA champions.

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