The Miami Heat finished this past season with some noise, rewarding LeBron James with his first NBA Title ring as well as Dwyane Wade with his second. The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, fell to the spry and youth of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
With many already choosing these two teams to meet in the 2013 NBA Finals, the question is: which team can overcome the other in a 7-game series?
LeBron James proved that he is capable of successfully leading a team through the playoffs in 2012. In the up and coming season in 2013, the "Big 3" will be playing with another Hall of Fame caliber player in Ray Allen. Allen is the all-time leader in career 3-point shots made and rejected a two-year, $12 million offer in the offseason from the Boston Celtics to join the Miami Heat for two years, $6.3 million. Allen not only adds depth to the Heat's roster but, he also gives opposing defenses another player to fret about, which, in turn, will give LeBron James and Dwyane Wade more open looks.
The Los Angeles Lakers were without a doubt the most aggressive team this offseason. The Lakers were able to acquire multiple big name players like Steve Nash, Antwan Jamison, as well as the best center in the league, Dwight Howard. Without question, the Lakers have the talent and ability to win a championship in 2013, but do they have what it takes to dethrone the Miami Heat in a seven-game series?
Many would argue yes but here's why the Heat could repeat in 2013.
One advantage that the Heat have over the Lakers is youth. With Kobe Bryant turning 34, Steve Nash turning 39, and Antwan Jamison at 36 years of age, you must factor in the possibility of an injury or perhaps some decline in skill or ability.
In the first season that the "Big Three" were together in Miami, it took nearly an entire season for the team to build an adequate level of chemistry. We all know the Lakers are conceivably the most talented team in the NBA but will they have enough time to build chemistry and play well together?
The chances of the Lakers and Heat meeting in the 2013 NBA Finals is likely and if the Lakers can stay healthy and play well together, they will take home the 2013 NBA Title. In any other scenario, the Miami Heat will repeat and take home their second ring in as many years.