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Miami Heat: Are They a Major Threat To the Los Angeles Lakers?

Mathew DavisContributor IOctober 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives past Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter at Staples Center on January 11, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Heat 108-105. 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 Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Sometimes I'm scared of the Heat. As a Lakers fan, sometimes I find myself sweating profusely just thinking about the potential damage they could inflict on the rest of the league.

I mean, D-Wade and LeBron are probably two of the top three players in the NBA, and Bosh is probably a top 15, maybe top ten player.

When the Lakers dominated in the early part of the decade, they had the two best players in the league but nowhere even near someone like Chris Bosh's status filling the tripod.

And Boston's big three, well they're pretty good, but they probably don't even have one player who would crack the top eight.

One of the things that gives me confidence going into the season, however, is Kobe's incredible growth as a leader and in his understanding of the game.

His sheer aptitude concerning the subtleties and nuances that are often overlooked by many players, is a joy to watch.

On the other side, I think Miami's stars might take a while to fine tune that aspect of their repertoire since there are so many new faces, so I believe the Lakers will have the advantage in that regard.

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Another thing that gives me some hope is I think the Heat will sometimes have a tough time figuring out what to do on offense. LeBron, Bosh and Wade are all used to being the best player on their respective teams.

So they're going in with the mindset that they'll have to defer more often to their teammates, which is going to take time to get used to.

Also, sometimes when you have a lot of talent around you, you're not always sure what to do with it.

Options inflate minds, making them indecisive or tentative and inhibit their decisions. Is that highly probable? Maybe not. But it's a possibility.

Lastly, Kobe's knee was really bothering him last season and for much of the Finals—better during the early part of the playoffs after he got his knee drained, and we all know how well he played after that.

He wasn't able to get much leg into many of his shots, and his field goal percentage and team's efficiency were greatly reduced. I think the surgery he received in the offseason will help bring back the more athletic Kobe that we're used to. 

Maybe these aren't the most stable of foundations for me to base my hopes for a Lakers three-peat, but they're all I have for now. And I'm hanging on to them tightly.

Like I said, the Heat could be scary.

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