LeBron set to lead the way for the champions again.
The Miami Heat are hoping to join an illustrious group of teams to achieve a ‘three-peat’ this season, can the defending champions deliver again?
With a 66-16 record in the regular season last year, the Heat not only finished atop the Eastern Conference but they also boasted the best record in the entire NBA.
Despite a gruelling series against the Indiana Pacers in which they ultimately prevailed to secure the championship in the East. they played their part in arguably one of the most memorable NBA Finals in history.
Denying the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 with late heroics from Ray Allen, Miami completed the turnaround in Game 7 at the AA Arena which sparked scenes of celebration for a second year running on South Beach.
However, some experts suggest that both physically and emotionally, it may be a step too far for them to achieve the ‘three-peat’.
Nevertheless, they remain the favourites to do so and having held on to their ‘Big Three’ and having continued to build their roster it is difficult to see a way past them.
While they have possibly taken risks in Michael Beasley and Greg Oden, the franchise front office have done well to this point, and clearly see them fitting in. However, with Mike Miller joining the Memphis Grizzlies they have lost some shooting from beyond the arc, albeit not a consistent source given his injury problems.
There is also perhaps an additional incentive for the players too considering that this may be the final year this group are together. With James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all set to become free-agents next summer, this could well be the last season they have on the same team.
Arguably, their most difficult competition will arrive in the Eastern Conference, with both the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls undoubtedly confident in their ability to stop them.
While the San Antonio Spurs will also be eager to bounce back from the heartbreak of last season, there are several candidates who will be gunning for Miami’s crown. However, with James focused on continuing to establish his name in the history books, it remains to be seen whether the Heat can be stopped over a seven-game series.
Miami Heat: 1st
Front court: 9
Back court: 9