A. There are more specific reasons below, but first the main one.
The Lakers are better.
It doesnt matter if the Lakers or the Heat have more allstars or superstars who can score. The things that matter when comparing teams are 1.Defense 2. Rebounding 3. Mismatches 4. Bench amalgamation of the first three categories.
They can out-score them, out-defend them, out-rebound them, out-finesse them, out-tough them, out-shoot them, out-big them, out-bench them, out-coach them, and out-clutch them.
The Lakers are better.
In every category.
B. Did you wonder why the Cavaliers couldnt win the past two years even though they won the most games and were the best team through the regular season? Making it simple and straightforward. Let's highlight the particular players on each of the championship winning teams in the Double Zeros.
2000. Shaquille O'Neal 2001. Shaquille O'Neal 2002. Shaquille O'Neal 2003. Tim Duncan and David Robinson 2004. Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace 2005. Tim Duncan 2006. Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning 2007. Tim Duncan 2008. Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins 2009. Andrew Bynum 2010. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol *
All these players provided an all-world defensive presence in the paint for the team.
This cannot be glossed over. The Miami Heat do not have one.
Not only that, they do not have any lock-down perimeter defenders. 24 of 30 teams will penetrate and get to the rim easily. Who'll stop Derrick Rose? Rondo? Any of the many good to great point guards? No chance?
C. Also, Chris Bosh secretly is the most overrated player in the NBA. Watch him play. Ask yourself, when was the last time, you heard or saw Chris Bosh go up against another power forward and play a big game. Do you remember a play? At the Olympics, the Allstar Game?
The way he got his numbers was volume scoring against undersized players at the PF position.**
At 6'10, he's averaged 1 block a game, and has averaged double digit rebounds per game a grand total of 3 times in his seven year career. Not to mention, he cant defend his shadow.
Good thing, you added the "arguably" when saying "best trio ever", Dwayne.
D. The lack of inside presence pretty much removes the chances of Miami winning a title this coming year. Their chances after next year is somewhat up in the air, because of the hard salary cap, the owners are proposing in the next CBA. So no midlevel exceptions. So they are going to be stuck without a defensive interior for the rest of the half decade But there is a chance solely because of LeBron's ability.
All the above reasons can be trumped. By LeBron. By the ceiling of his talent. Even though he has won MVPs the past two years, some basketball voices have argued he has never been used the right way. Buzz Bissinger wrote a book on LeBron's early years and mentioned on a podcast with Bill Simmons that his high school coaches still thought his talents were a lot closer to Magic Johnson than the Michael Jordan role he was stuck with and that to unlock his potential he needed to play point guard. Most scouting reports mostly mentioned the "once in a generation passing ability he has" not his scoring ability.***
Maybe that's why he is with the Heat. Maybe he knows that to unlock his potential he needed to play on a team that understands that he is Magic 2.0, not Michael 2.0.
The Kobe vs LeBron argument is never done justice by not mentioning that Kobe is by far the better one on one player. In one on one play, Kobe is far and away better than LeBron in terms of almost everything tangible, ability to create space, intelligence, post play, jump shot. LeBron only has the edge in size, strength and speed and relies completely on them in one on one situations. Not to mention one on one defense.
I would argue, LeBron isn't even in the top 10 in terms of one on one play****. If you watch Cavaliers games, you will notice that every LeBron drive into the paint is aided by a high screen or a pick.
But the other side of the argument is that in terms of integrative team play, there are very few players in history who raised the level of their team better than LeBron did the past three years.
Therein lies the variable about future seasons. Is he going to get better? At scoring? As a defender? As a shooter? Just how good is LeBron going to be?*****
If that answer is anything less than Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, the Heat aren't winning a title in the next five years.
*Pau improved greatly as a defensive presence from '09 to '10, and was the main reason KG was shut down in the finals.
**He had a 40 point performance against Orlando... Because Rashard Lewis was guarding him through the game. The Raptors sent the 7 footer Bargnani against the big guy on each opponent. Against the Lakers and Magic, he had 5, 7 rebound games.
***The Nbadraft.net scouting profile on Lebron from 2003 when he was coming out.
****Best one on one perimeter players in terms of ability, not stats. Main criteria: How many screen and rolls do they need to get into the paint or get space from their defender to score or pass? How good are they doing their thing really one on one without help?
1. Kobe 2. Carmelo 3. Chris Paul 4. Dwayne Wade 5. Durant 6. Derrick Rose 7. Tyreke Evans 8. Monta Ellis 9. Dirk 10. Brandon Jennings 11. Lebron
*****Everybody's been asking this for seven years. It's still kind of a perplexing question.
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