- 09/17/2010, 05:41PM ET
Hyped78 said 09/17, 05:41 PM
A lot of people are getting into the Miami Heat bandwagon for next season.
"They will be NBA champions"
"They will dominate for a decade"
"They will win more than 72 games"
While I like their chances for winning titles, I am picking the LA Lakers as the favorite, the #1 team to win it all next year, achieving the 3-peat.
Reasons are simple.
Best coach in the league is back for another run.
Kobe Bryant is there (to me he is still the number 1 player in the league right now).
Pau Gasol has proven that he can be a dominant big man on a championship team.
Andrew Bynum will only get better, as a 22-year-old with a wide margin for progression.
Lamar Odom is a versatile weapon who has just won the World Championships with Team USA.
Ron Artest has shown that he can keep his act together. And he's still one of the best defenders in the league.
Last year they had a problem at the PG position, with Derek Fisher aging and other options proving to be... well, unproven.
They went out and acquired Steve Blake, a good enough player to give them confidence at PG.
Lakers are still the team to beat.
Accept this TD if you think another team will win it.
Mr. Jolly said 09/18, 02:51 PM
I'm taking the Heat.
Let's skip talking about how good Lebron, D-Wade, & Bosh are and address the criticisms going into the season.
They'll have 82 games to find a rhythm.
The same experts that question whether Lebron and D-Wade can share the ball are the same that knock Lebron for being too pass-friendly and afraid to take the last shot.
Wade has shown the ability to play with superstars in the past and Lebron's willingness to go play in Miami, alone, should tell you he's open to not being the lone-gun.
* Eric Spoelstra
Obvioulsy, he isn't the coach that Jackson is, but he doesn't need to be in a 7-game final with the Lakers.
He'll have 2 of the 3 best guys on the court at tip-off.
The best coach doesn't always win.
Nobody was on the Doc Rivers train prior to the 3-headed monster.
Plus, Spoelstra's strength is defense and there isn't any reason to think that Miami won't have one of the NBA's better defenses.
The Heat don't need a gallery of excellent role players. They'll just need capable players.
Ilgauskas, Chalmers, Haslem, Miller, Randolph, Magloire, etc.. aren't the Dream Team, but they'll do enough.
Hyped78 said 09/18, 04:53 PM
You went with what we can call the current "trendy" pick.
I talked a little bit about the Heat in my 1st argument but you brought up the issue of "chemistry" before I did.
And do you know why you did that? Because it's a real issue when it comes to the Heat.
It might work out or not, we don't know yet. But it's certainly a question mark.
The Lakers had some questions to answer before too.
Would Kobe be able to win titles without Shaq?
Would Artest be able to behave properly?
Would Gasol fit?
Concerning the Lakers we already know the answers to these and other questions, with the answer being "yes" to all the given examples.
And here's the difference. We don't know the answer to the Heat chemistry issue yet.
Spoelstra is still largely unproven, let's be honest.
You gave the example of Doc Rivers.
I'll give another example in Mike Brown. Don't you think he's one of the reasons why the Cavaliers never made it all the way?
And coach vs coach I'll take Phil Jackson any day.
The quest for the 3-peat.
Zen Master's likely last season at the helm.
Kobe wanting to defeat the Heat's trio.
The talent is there. And so is the motivation.
Mr. Jolly said 09/19, 02:24 PM
You say trendy, I say Vegas favorite.
I knew you would bring up the silly chemistry issue, so I dealt with it.
Brown never had D-Wade and Bosh to go with Lebron.
It will be interesting when the legendary Zen Master meets up with the Heat, because the Heat look a lot like a team that Jackson usually coaches.
All-world talent will usually make a coach look real good.
Except this time, Jackson doesn't get the best toys.
There is definitely an uncertainty with the Heat, but it looks much more exciting from my point of view.
NEVER in the modern NBA have 2 of the 3 best players in the league, while still being young, joined forces.
D-Wade and Lebron (both demand double-team) will be a match up nightmare for anybody they play against.
A team will have to limit the capabilities of these 2 players for 4 nights out of 7 to win a series.
Not to mention the fact that they'll get as much, if not more, of the officials' love that the Lakers tend to enjoy as they fall over each other getting to the line.
We saw the 3-headed monster win for Boston their first year together.
This monster is, as Daft Punk would put it:
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Hyped78 said 09/20, 06:06 AM
Calling the chemistry issue "silly" is a bit far-fetched, considering just about everyone is talking about that.
The expectations are huge.
Anything below complete domination will get Spoelstra fired quickly.
Plus the Heat have a problem at the PG spot, which is quite simply the position that runs the offense.
The choice is between Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo, not exactly tremendous PGs.
The situation in that position is so sketchy that even Spoelstra has hinted that LeBron will have point guard duties. Really?
Top to bottom I don't think the Heat are a better TEAM than the Lakers right now.
LeBron, Wade and Bosh on one side, Bryant, Artest and Gasol on the other.
And then what?
The Heat have Udonis Haslem, Magloire, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Chalmers, Arroyo (who always plays better for Puerto Rico than for his NBA teams) and Ilgauskas (clearly past his prime).
The Lakers have a battle-tested championship supporting cast in Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum (Bynum and Gasol are an inside combo the Heat cannot match), Derek Fisher, Vujacic, Luke Walton, and now also Steve Blake.
Plus the experience edge and the best coach.
Thanks for the TD!
Mr. Jolly said 09/20, 09:21 AM
The 82 game season is a great advantage to the Heat.
It's a long season to figure things out.
I'm gonna use common sense and figure that 3 superstars who dreamed up this scenario in advance to free agency will actually know how to co-exist.
For somebody supporting a coach who has had the luxury of going Jordan-Shaq-Bryant, you seem to feel that Eric won't be able to get out of his own way.
It's not like Jackson had multiple rings on his fingers prior to beating Riley and Lakers once upon a time.
Let's say your doom scenario works out and Spoelstra turns into the Chernobyl of coaches.
It's not like HOF'r Pat Riley won't step up and take over, this time finally having superior talent in the starting 5 over Jackson.
As for assumptions, I'm glad that we've already decided that it's a given that Blake will allow Laker fans to forget all about Fisher.
It must be easier to bring the ball down the court when you're wearing purple.
This Lakers team damn-near lost to an old Boston team lacking a front court presence.
Mainly because they got to the charity stripe constantly, a Heat advantage that you didn't question.
And did you really talk up Luke Walton?
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