Miami Heat Preview: Will LeBron James Finally Win an Elusive Championship?

Ryan BothmannSenior Analyst IIDecember 24, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat stands for the performance of the National Anthem 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

"We didn't come together to make the playoffs or come together to win a playoff series, we came together to win the NBA finals and that's what it's about."

LeBron James will begin his ninth season in the NBA when his Miami Heat tip things off against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Christmas. So far though, James remains without a title.

LeBron took his talents to South Beach in 2010 because he felt it was his best chance to win the elusive title he wants so badly. The elusive title he could not win in Cleveland. The elusive title that he is still chasing.

Will 2012 finally be the year for LeBron James?

The Miami Heat are favored by many predictions to win the NBA Finals this year. James along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will lead the attack for the Heat. The Big Three averaged 66 points per game last year and helped lead the Heat to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami went on to the NBA Finals last year, but ultimately fell short to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.

Miami is back and ready to defend their Eastern Conference Title though, and also hopes to win the NBA Finals this year as well. Will they be able to win it all in 2012?

The key to the Heat is LeBron James.

James is the best player in the NBA and needs to show that once again this season. I do not expect the Heat to get off to a slow start like they did last year. In fact, I expect the Heat to put together one of the most dominating seasons in the history of the NBA.

The record for best winning percentage in NBA history will be in jeopardy this season. For Miami to break the record though, they would have to go 59-7 during the regular season. A highly improbable task, but not at all impossible.

With the new Miami regime already having a year under its belt, I expect the team to be much more prepared this season.

I expect LeBron to have an MVP-caliber season and Dwayne Wade to put up huge numbers as well.

I also expect Chris Bosh to have an outstanding year. Bosh really picked up his play at the end of the season and showed that he is capable of being one of the best big men in the league.

Another thing to keep in mind this season is that the NBA schedule is a lot different this year. With the compressed time frame to hold regular season games, teams will have a lot less off days and will be playing a lot more games on back-to-back nights. The schedule will definitely test every team in the league, but I expect Miami to benefit the most from it because of their talent level.

Ultimately, I think this will be a championship season for the Miami Heat.

The loss to Dallas in the Finals last year showed them that they can not just expect to show up each year and win the championship. They need to come in each night with a killer instinct and not mess around with teams. I also do not think that there is any team in the league who can beat Miami in a seven game series come playoff time.

I like the Miami Heat to set an NBA record for winning percentage by going 60-6 during the regular season, and I expect them to win the NBA Finals in six games over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LeBron James, you are finally going to get that championship.