It's never too early to begin talking about the NBA championship.
Not even before the preseason has even started. Because this is the NBA, there are only so many teams that have an actual chance at winning a title. The parity caused by the Boston Celtics creating a 'Big Three' in 2008, which has led to the creation of 'Big Three's' throughout the league, has created a significant divide in between the elite and the rest.
When there's a team as dominant as the Miami Heat, it only makes the options that much more thin. The Heat aren't just supporting healthier versions of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller, but also two premier three-point shooters in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, as well as the possible addition of a shooting big man in Josh Harrellson.
Even if Lewis and Harrellson don't pan out, isn't Ray Allen on the Miami Heat enough of a successful offseason?
Nevertheless, the Heat will still have significant challenges, especially out West. With Derrick Rose out of commission until spring and Dwight Howard now out West, the Heat's road out of the East has only become easier. However, there is one thorn in their side that may just end up playing the Heat for a fourth consecutive time in the playoffs.
We take a look at five championship contenders and how the Heat contain an advantage over each of them.