Yes, the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship for the second year in a row but is it the end for The Big 3? I have reason to believe that the Heat’s star-studded team is now heading towards a brick wall. The Miami Heat won 2 out of the last 3 NBA Finals appearances; with an awful finals performance their first time against the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and turning things around the following season against Oklahoma City in 2012 the Heat shredded the critics by knocking off Durant and the very young and talented Thunder team in the Finals. Last week The Heat came out victorious in a nail-biting Game 7 against arguably one of the best franchise teams in NBA history, the San Antonio Spurs. Congrats to the Miami Heat and the whole organization for winning back to back championships but there is no way the Miami Heat can 3-peat in 2014.
For many reasons on why the Heat will falter next season is simply because there is just too much muscle in the front line of Eastern Conference teams like the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers that have the recipe to take down the Heat in the playoffs.
Not to leave out the New York Knicks led by star Carmelo Anthony that showed tremendous improvement this season and if the Knickerbockers find that chemistry between Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Melo then look out Miami because they’re only a few missing pieces away into becoming a major threat in the Eastern Conference. Let’s not forget the possibility of Dwight Howard coming back to his hometown and teaming up with Josh Smith in Atlanta this off-season too.
What this season showed on why Chicago or Indiana are top contenders on dethroning the Miami Heat is because of the size in their frontline. Chicago bullied Chris Bosh with players like Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah and the Bulls had favorable matchups with Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler against Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem who are closing in on retirement. The Bulls gave Miami a struggle in the regular season and although losing (4-1) in this year’s eastern conference semi-finals; the record does not do the Chicago Bulls justice as they out-hustled and out-rebounded the Heat while missing their young superstar Derrick Rose. With the return of Derrick Rose adding to the mix with his athleticism running the point, the Bulls will prove to be deadly under the command of head coach Tom Thibodeau.
There is no question that the Indiana Pacers are the biggest threat to the Heat with big men like Roy Hibbert and David West dominating the glass and paint against Bosh, James, Anthony and whoever is considered a “big man” in South Beach. For the second year in a row, the Heat somehow were able to defeat the Pacers after facing the brink of elimination. Lacking the size in the front line for Miami, it was LeBron James and Dwayne Wade who were able to carry the team even when struggling to victory. With new stars like Paul George who grew up in the national eye against Miami by knocking down clutch threes and making big plays down the stretch is one reason why the Pacers are the biggest threat. George’s performance against the Heat, challenging James and Wade in the playoffs was the fuel for his growth into a young superstar. Next year, the anticipated return of Danny Granger coming back from season-ending injury will keep the Pacer nation optimistic for the start of the NBA season. Although the Pacer’s bench was exposed during their run in the playoffs, the off-season is upon us and we should see the addition of backup guards and quite possibly the resigning of David West which will nearly put the small market team at the luxury tax. If the Pacers do have a successful off-season, their roster has a legitimate chance to win it all.
Now back to the Miami Heat, the chance to 3-peat with the same 2013 championship roster is very slim. In order to keep the possible dynasty going, the organization will have to make big off-season moves and bring in muscle to their front line because the fact is you can’t have LeBron James doing it all for the team. Dwayne Wade is a Heat icon and trading him at this point will be disrespectful as he was the one who brought Bosh and James to South Beach. LeBron James is the key superstar that the Heat will need along with Wade to have a chance at winning multiple championships in the future. That leaves Chris Bosh, who I believe is the limiting factor to the possible dynasty. He is expendable in order to trade for big men or draft picks and surround LeBron James with a legitimate reason to stay in Miami next summer. The idea of trading Bosh and breaking up the “Big 3” would be for the best to continue the possible dynasty with Wade & James.
Miami can look to the newly renamed New Orleans Pelicans and bring in center Robin Lopez or power forward Ryan Anderson for Chris Bosh. Or look further out west for center DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento. The Heat organization has to look for every option possible to brighten the future for Miami to have a shot at beating teams like Chicago or Indiana in the month of May next year. Can the possible comeback of the seven foot center Greg Oden be the final piece for Miami?
The Heat lack size and if they find a way to bring in the right set of players, LeBron won’t opt out of his contract next year and you can see more of a James and Wade championship duo for years to come.