The opening act of the 2012-13 NBA season came on Tuesday night, and the Miami Heat were the big winners of the bunch when they took down the hated Boston Celtics in a game that was never really all that competitive. Miami is the favorite to win the Eastern Conference this year by a country mile, and for good reason. If Tuesday was any indication, the Heat are the team that you want to make your NBA picks on to win it all for the second straight season.
Depth might be less of an issue now than it has been in recent years for the Heat. Sure, G Dwyane Wade, F LeBron James, and C Chris Bosh are all going to get their points, rebounds, and minutes, but in the end, this isn’t a team that is solely build around three players any longer.With additions like Ray Allen, the Heat may be even more dangerous than they were in their title-winning season last year.
G Ray Allen played 31 minutes on the first night of the season against his former team, and he was tied for second in scoring with 19 points. F Rashard Lewis is a man who really knows how to just flat out score, and he was good for 10 points as well. These two men are going to be crucial veterans to the scoring effort this year.
G Mario Chalmers is really going to be a facilitator this year more than anything else. Expect him to be amongst the league leaders in assists this year, especially after playing 37 minutes and dishing out 11 dimes on Tuesday night.
Cagey veterans F Shane Battier, F Mike Miller, and F Udonis Haslem finish this roster off, with G Norris Cole playing a role in some games as well. There literally isn’t a player on this team this year that wouldn’t have a role of at least a comparable nature on any other team in the league, and that’s what truly could separate the Heat from the rest of the Eastern Conference.