As they stand today, both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat have a legitimate shot to win their respective conference and meet for an epic NBA Championship series.
The Los Angeles Lakers stayed put for the most part. They addressed a pressing need at point guard by signing Steve Blake and re-signing Fisher. They also managed to keep Shannon Brown. As for the rest of the roster, no changes were made. None were needed.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, experienced the arrival of two more superstars to pair with Dwyane Wade. Against many odds, they managed to put together a respectable team of their own.
Although they still have some holes in their roster, it's looking good.
If both teams were to go through a regular season as is and meet in the NBA Finals, there are plenty of match-ups that can clearly define who would have the upper hand.
Here is a breakdown of how these two formidable teams match up against each other.
The Lakers have former MVP Kobe Bryant pairing with Fisher in their starting back-court. They have athletic energy player Shannon Brown and Steve Blake, who will probably play more minutes than Fisher himself.
The Miami Heat have Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers. The Heat will surely make another acquisition for their back-court.
It is hard to imagine it will be as good as the Lakers.
Although Chalmers has upside, and Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant can cancel each other out most nights, the Lakers surely have the upper hand in their back-court with their experience and their depth.
The nod here goes for the Lakers.
Two names: LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
That is all that needs to be said here.
Off the bench they will have the services of Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, and recently re-signed James Jones, an under rated acquisition. Miller is a proven play maker and shooter. Jones can also spread the floor. Haslem can do the dirty work.
The Lakers have the services of All-Star Pau Gasol and former defensive player of the year Ron Artest. Although both players are proven stars in the league, they face better competition in Bosh and James.
The Lakers bench consists of Lamar Odom and probably second round pick Derrick Caracter. Odom is an impact proven player off the bench and Caracter could prove to be a draft steal.
Even though both teams are among the best at the forward positions, the nod goes to Miami.
To be fair, there really is not a way to top a LeBron-Bosh combination in the entire league.
As of today, the Miami Heat do not have a legitimate starting center.
Ilgauskas is a nice addition, but certainly not a starter caliber player at this point in his career.
Recently re-signed Joel Anthony is a solid big man that can rebound and play defense, but is also suited for a reserve role.
On the other hand, the Lakers have Andrew Bynum.
When healthy, Bynum is among the best in the league at his position. The clue in that statement is of course, when healthy.
Even without Bynum, Pau Gasol is versatile enough to slide to the center position while Odom takes care of power forward duties.
The Miami Heat have a pressing need to add another player to their front court, specifically an impact player at the center position.
This is an unanimous nod to the Lakers here.
The Miami Heat have the best forward combination in the league. Their contributions will overwhelm plenty of teams next season.
The Lakers can count on more talent and more impact players at every other position on the floor.
The Lakers have a more favorable roster to win a seven game series against the Heat.
The Miami Heat are not done building their team. New additions can better their chances to match up against the defending champs.
As of today, the battle of the titans would be won by the mighty Lakers.