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Win Or Bust: Will The Miami Heat Seal Their Legacy With A Three-peat?

Posted on January 17, 2014 by Kimberly Baker
Will Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade be able to lead the Miami Heat to a third straight title?

Will Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade be able to lead the Miami Heat to a third straight title?

The Miami Heat are in a position to prove the world that they are one of the all-time greatest teams in NBA history. By pulling off a three-peat, they will join the ranks of the Minneapolis Lakers of the 1950s, the Boston Celtics of 1960’s, the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the 2000’s.

While many NBA betting odds makers believe that the Heat are poised to win this year because of their accomplishments in the last two seasons, it should be remembered that winning three straight championships is not easy. Just ask Hakeem Olajuwon, Isaiah Thomas, and Magic Johnson, among others. They won back to back championships only to fail in their quest to win the third one.

Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler couldn't bring the Rockets a third straight title.

Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler couldn’t bring the Rockets a third straight title.

The question still stands: Will Miami’s big three of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh go all the way or will they falter like many who had gone before them. Let’s take a look at a couple of factors and find out if it’s gonna be win or bust for the Miami Heat.

The Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are built to beat the Miami Heat. They almost did it last year, but their young guns were not yet ready for game 7. This year is very different. Paul George has drastically improved and has become a dependable wing defender that can cancel out James and Wade on the outside. He has also become the team’s go-to-guy who can slash the defense or shoot the mid-range or three-point shots.

Lance Stephenson’s emergence gives Indiana a reliable scorer that can put up points in during pressure situations and a pesky defender that can frustrate James and Wade. In addition, Danny Granger’s return and the addition of Luis Scola will definitely pose serious problems for the defending champs.

Dwyane Wade’s Health

Miami’s play Wade, rest Wade strategy won’t work in the post-season because it’s a whole different ball game during the playoffs. It’s more physical, more grueling, and go-to guys are on attack mode most of the time. Take note that Wade’s game is based on athleticism and it will be difficult for him to contribute in offense and defense with one healthy knee.

Also, Miami’s success (as we have seen in the past) relies on its big three. As long as they are all inside the hard court, their chances of winning skyrocket. Simply put, the team needs a healthy Wade if they want to make it all the way.

The Heat’s Interior Defense

Roy Hibbert has been a tough player for the Heat to neutralize.

Roy Hibbert has been a tough player for the Heat to neutralize.

So far this season, Miami’s interior defense still hasn’t improved. Bosh is exceptional when it comes to guarding the pick-and-roll, but he still doesn’t have the skills to protect the rim. Last year, Tim Duncan and Roy Hibbert took him to school, prompting Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra to rely Chris Anderson.

However, the Birdman is now 35 and has lost some of his defensive prowess and ability to retrieve rebounds. Greg Oden recently played his first regular season game since 2009, but it is not yet known how long he’ll stay healthy. Udonis Haslem is another center who could man the paint, but he only stands 6’8.

Unless the Heat sign another reliable big man, it’ll be “post-up party” for Duncan, Hibbert, et al.

Summing up

Winning multiple championships—that’s what—Lebron James wanted to do that’s why he took his talents to South Beach. While “The King” is an exceptionally skilled player, there are so many flaws that make them beatable. In addition, many teams have become stronger and the Miami Heat hasn’t improved in any way. So, sorry to burst your bubble, Heat fans. A three-peat will just have to wait.

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