There will be plenty of things that you have never seen before taking place this fall. LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Heat jerseys, 3 Top 10 players in the NBA on the same team, and LeBron wearing the #6. Which tributes to the six reasons on what will stop him from getting his first ring
Now, yes the Heat now have a much bigger, younger, and better Three Headed Monster. But with upcoming of Rajon Rondo, and the latest signing of former NBA All-Star Jermaine O'Neal, the Celtics are now the Big 5. Add on the fact that the Celtics have something that the Heat do not. A bench. The Celtics arguably have the best bench in the NBA. Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Tony Allen, and Glen "Big Baby" Davis all return to Boston for another 'hurrah' at the NBA Finals. While I think the Celtics will win between 45-48 games this year and be the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference again, they are still a team built for success down the road in the postseason. Defense, Defense, Defense.
This will be a great rivarly to watch this year. The Magic are a poor, poor, 3rd world country's version of the Miami Heat, but they still have the decency to be a top team in the East. They have some shooters that could match up 'okay' with the Heat, but oh wait, the Magic have something very valuable that the Heat do not. A big time center. Bosh, nor James, can slow down Dwight Howard down in the paint, and if Bosh gets hurt or in foul trouble against the Magic....look out! The only thing that will change my thinking about the Heat and the Magic would be if the Heat sign a defensive minded free agent (Marcus Camby, Ben Wallace) after this article is written. If that happens, the Magic have no chance.
Now, like the Celtics, the Bulls have a smaller and less notable Big 3. But Joakim Noah has said he's ready to take the Heat head on. Carlos Boozer will also help down low in the paint and Derrick Rose will create some plays off the dribble going against Mario Chalmers. Also, like the Celtics, (but not to as high of a degree), the Bulls have a bench that will help them later on in the postseason. Plus the Bulls can sign another decent free agent. They need a shooting guard. Manu Ginobili? Stephen Jackson? Tracy McGrady? Either way, I see them being the 3 seed in the East. They could cause fits for numerous Eastern Conference teams, let alone the Heat.
That's right. Danny Gilbert is a man on a mission now. Danny pushed, LeBron shoved, and now Gilbert has brought out the flamethrower, calling James a 'quitter'. He has now vowed to Cleveland fans that the Cleveland front office is more motivated and inspirted since LeBron left and they're willing to do anything to make sure his dream of being a champion is unfulfilled. The Cavs have money now, as well. Here's something to daydream about (Because it's not very realistic): What if the Cavs pick up Manu Ginobili or Tracy McGrady at shooting guard and Stephen Jackson at small forward? You now have Mo Williams, Manu, S-Jack, Antwan Jamison, and Big Z. That's enough to get you into the Eastern Conference Playoffs, a place where it's high at the top, but low at the bottom. Imagine if the Cavs, SOMEHOW make it in as an 8 seed. You know what Big Danny and the Cleveland Faithful are thinking now. Heat vs. Cavs in the first round. Homecourt advantage would be a serious understatement. Just what if.......and I'll leave you at that.
Last time I checked, my beloved Lakers were still at the top of the mountain. They match up somewhat decent with the Heat. Kobe vs. Wade. Toss up. Artest vs. LeBron. LeBron, although Artest could slow him down a bit. Gasol vs. Bosh. Toss up again, although I think Gasol is a player because I'm a Laker fan. Half of this next statement is half analysis, half of my heart pumping purple and gold blood. The Lakers are going to threepeat. Phil Jackson is back, alongside Derek Fisher and Ron Artest. The Lakers also picked up free agent point guard Steve Blake, a former Clipper who put up a triple double on the Lakers last season. The rich get richer. But we won't know how the Lakers and Heat match up until Christmas Day on ABC.
Another Western Conference force to be reckoned with is the upcoming OKC Thunder. Kevin Durant is well on his way to becoming an MVP, and Russell Westbrook is an upcoming point guard in the league. Not to mention the Thunder drafted a great pick up in Cole Aldrich for post defensive purposes. I'd say the Thunder could finish as high as getting a 3 seed in the Western Conference and they'll be the toughest team for the Lakers to face this upcoming season.
They are the Three Headed Monster the NBA has never seen before. Nothing compares to this. Not KG, Pierce, and Allen. Not Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman. These are three Top 10 Players in the NBA. A Finals MVP, a 2-time MVP, and Toronto's all time leading scorer and rebounder. But that does not promise you a championship. Championships are won with role players and benches. Not with star studded lineups (see 2004 LA Lakers). As of right now, the Heat have no one that can stop Dwight Howard and no one that can slow down Derrick Rose or Rajon Rondo. You think LeBron will take over covering the point? Look at what Rondo did to him this year in the Conference Semis. Another thing that will change dramatically is that neither of these three will be able to play at the superstar level that they once played before. LeBron won't have to rebound as much, Bosh won't have to shoot as much, and Wade will have to dish the rock more. They're all great friends, but down the line there's bound to be a problem where one guy isn't getting as many touches as he wants.
The Heat are beating theirselves with no bench, as well. Mike Miller was a plus, but they need some help down in the paint. Chris Bosh's scrawny frame isn't going to get it done against Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, or Amare Stoudemire. Now, if they sign a Marcus Camby or a Ben Wallace after this is written, then they are my favorite to win the NBA Title. But until then I don't see them even getting to the Finals. Yes, I see them with 70-75 wins, but no trophy at the end.......of this season at least.
My predictions for the upcoming season are the following:
1. The Miami Heat will win 70-75 games in the regular season. They will (obviously) be the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but will be beaten by the #4 seed Boston Celtics. The Celtics have too much depth and enough talent to slow down the Super 3. If anyone is going to beat the Heat in the East, it's going to be the Celtics.
2. We will be seeing another Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals, and Phil Jackson will walk away with his fourth three-peat. Kobe will have his 6th ring and will spend the next couple of years fighting off the Thunder in his own Conference, and the Heat in the East.
The Heat sign Marcus Camby or Ben Wallace to play D on Dwight Howard. This was a big factor for LeBron going into free agency, but playing with Wade and Bosh was too much to pass up. But if the Heat sign a defensive center, then I'd give them the edge to play in the NBA Finals.