With Lebron James “taking [his] talents to South Beach [Miami Heat]” as of last night, teams which were previously contending for him are now scouring the league looking for players to round out their rosters. So what about Miami? Can a team with the talent of James, Wade, and Bosh pose a legitimate threat to established playoff teams like the Lakers or Celtics? At this point, I think there are arguments for both sides.
First, the Heat don’t have a supporting cast for “the big three.” Pat Riley and company still have a lot of work to do in the off season, but they definitely made a great first move by acquiring James and Bosh. They don’t have a “dominant big man” in the post, but with those three, could such a player actually interfere with the driving lanes on the offensive end? On the other hand, without a good center, they’ll be vulnerable against players like Dwight Howard and Yao Ming.
Next, I think it’s a bit ludicrous for Cavalier’s majority owner Dan Gilbert to claim his team, without their star player… a player who the entire team was centered around, will win a championship before King James and company in Miami. He says we can take that claim “to the bank.” I expect Miami to go deep in the playoffs (assuming the star players remain healthy), but I doubt the big three will win a championship in their first year together. Anytime you throw so much talent on the court, it takes time for the team to gel, players to understand their roles, etc.
However, once the team does get established, they’ll undoubtedly be a dominant force in the eastern conference. In fact, the eastern conference has picked up a lot of talent this offseason with players like Amare Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer making the switch.
It’ll be interesting to see what the NBA looks like next year with all these free agents moving around. Of course, it doesn’t really matter since the Rockets will win the championship. 😉