NBA Finals 2011: Miami Heat Blow Best Chance at Title, Will Be Tougher Next Year

Steven ElonichCorrespondent IJune 14, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat stands on the court with his head down in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. 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 Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

As all of you now know, the Dallas Mavericks are kings of the NBA in 2011. Miami faltered and couldn't come up in the clutch like they had done so many times previously in the playoffs.

So will Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh be back for a second go-around in the 2012 Finals? Don't be so sure.

The "Big Three" have had an extremely good season, despite the ending disappointment. Their star power carried them through a dominant showing in the East before being stopped by Mark Cuban's Mavericks. So why wouldn't they do it again?

The East is going to be bigger, better and stronger. The Celtics will add a few more pieces to remake them into a contender at least one more time, but that should be the least of Miami's worries. Look for a huge market to bring in a huge player. Welcome, New York.

The Knicks will be back in title contention in 2012. Throw an All-Star caliber point guard in Chris Paul or Deron Williams next to Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, and the offensive firepower is astounding.

A game between Miami and New York has the potential to be a scoring fest, as they would expose each other's weaknesses. The Knicks would be strong at point guard and center, while Miami would have the advantage at shooting guard and the forwards.

The only thing holding New York back is their defense, the thing the Chicago Bulls specialize in.

Chicago shocked the NBA by gaining the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs before being outdone in the clutch by Miami's fourth quarter heroics in four straight games.

The defense in that series was spectacular, but Miami shut down MVP Derrick Rose, and Chicago had nobody else to turn to.

Carlos Boozer failed to step up and earn his role as the highest payed player on the team. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Keith Bogans and the bench were inconsistent offensively, and that led to the Bulls demise.

Chicago will obviously be targeting a shooting guard that will average over four points such as that of Keith Bogans. There are countless options for Chicago at the 2-spot, and the Windy City is eagerly waiting to see who their next acquisition will be.

There are even rumors circulating about a potential Dwight Howard trade as he is friends with Rose. That would create a huge and long rivalry between the Heat and Bulls.

And this is just the East. Who is to say that Dallas won't repeat against Miami or another powerhouse from the West will break South Beach's heart again?

The road is only going to get tougher for Miami. It's going to be difficult for them to improve if the potential NBA lockout occurs, lowering the salary cap space Miami will have available as well.

If LeBron James and Co. want to win, it's going to take a whole lot more than they gave this season.