NBA Showdown, Nuggets vs. Heat: Role Players vs. Superstars

Byron on SportsCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2011

DENVER, CO - MARCH 02:  D.J. Augustin #14 of the Charlotte Bobcats looks to pass the ball against Nene #31, Arron Afflalo #6 and Kenyon Martin #4 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Bobcats 120-80.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The matchup of the Denver Nuggets vs. the Miami Heat is role players vs. superstars. Who will prevail?

These two teams constitute polar opposites in the NBA. The Nuggets have been very successful since the trade of Carmelo Anthony. In fact, the Nuggets are playing better basketball without their superstar and appear to be the short-term winners of the trade.

Some of this may be due to the schedule the Nuggets have had to play, but a great deal of it seems to be directly related to depth. Every night, the entire team comes out to play and works to achieve a common goal.

Although players on the team may have limitations or limited upside, the team has the ability to be somewhat unpredictable. Before the game starts, there is little certainty as to who will be the leading scorer, take the most shots, or control the offense.

At the same time, there is a certainty that the team will come to compete with at least eight players.

Is the Heat core any better than the core of the Nuggets? Most of us are inclined to say yes, but we still have to acknowledge that the Nuggets have more flexibility going forward and could become one of the best teams in the league with the addition of a single player or continued team cohesion.

The outcome of the game is not certain, and it is only a single game, but if the Nuggets win, the Heat supporters might have honestly ask themselves: “Did we put too many eggs in too few baskets?”

The are very few teams that “want” to see LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in the playoffs over a seven-game series. However, most of the elite teams feel confident that they can dispatch the Heat.

Regular season success is only one factor in evaluating a potential matchup, but those who recall the devastating first-round series loss the Golden State Warriors inflicted on the Dallas mavericks in 2007, also remember that Golden State owned Dallas in the regular season as well. Every elite team except the Lakers, has good reason to feel confident against the Miami Heat.

So, tonight we will find out if the superstars of South Beach can defeat Kenyon Martin, Nene Hilario, Wilson Chandler, Ty Lawson, Al Harrington, Aaron Afflalo, Chris Anderson, J.R. Smith and company as they bring their body and neck tattoos from the Colorado plateau.