After winning back-to-back championships and making three straight appearances in the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat are preparing for yet another run. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the supporting cast have a chance to join elite company by becoming just the sixth team in NBA history to win at least three titles in a row.
It certainly will not be easy to achieve that goal—not with so many contenders rising up in the Eastern Conference and around the league.
The Chicago Bulls have returned an old nemesis in Derrick Rose. The Indiana Pacers have another year of experience under their belt, and have made minor adjustments in preparation for another epic clash with Miami. Meanwhile, plenty of other teams have made personnel changes to try to dethrone the Heat as well.
Simply put, the Heat cannot afford to be listless and lazy during the upcoming 2013-14 campaign. They have a target on their back and everyone will be trying to knock them off over the 82-game schedule.
The road back to the NBA Finals only gets harder each year, and that is something that the key players and coaching staff have to realize.
Miami needs home-court advantage in the playoffs—it was instrumental in overcoming both the Pacers and San Antonio Spurs on the way to the most recent championship—and has to battle every night to get there.
The exhibition schedule should allow the star players to shake off the rust and give team brass a last-minute look at the lesser-known talents on the roster.
Let’s take a look at the entire preseason slate for the Heat. Check back later in the month for scores from the games, the latest breaking news concerning the team and much more.