Mario Chalmers Expects The East To Be Way Tougher Next Season
The Miami Heat are entering the 2013-14 NBA season hoping to win a third straight championship. While many including myself still have the Heat as the favorites (largely in part because of LeBron James), Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers doesn’t think it’s going to be an easy task since teams like the Pacers, Bulls, and Nets are going to be much improved. Chalmers told the Associated Press:
“The East is going to be a beast this year,” Chalmers said. “It’s going to be tough competition every night. Brooklyn’s making moves, Indiana just got Luis Scola, Derrick Rose coming back to the Bulls, it’s going to be a tough Eastern Conference this year. At the same time, we’ll still do what we do to try to get that third championship that we want.”
What Chalmers did not say, was that the Miami Heat greatly benefited from playing in a conference that was garbage last season (for the exception of the Pacers). The Bulls didn’t have Derrick Rose, the Knicks (as they forever will be) were greatly inflated and not all that good, the Nets were softer than a frosty at Wendy’s, and their first round opponent Milwaukee Bucks weren’t even a serious opponent. I don’t want to take anything away from the Heat, but they didn’t have much in their way in the East last season. As for this upcoming season, Chalmers is right that it’s going to be way tougher. But rather than calling it “beast”, I might say that it will actually be respectable and pose a noble challenge to the Heat. Let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that the East is suddenly going to be as tough as the West. It might be more fair to say it is finally starting to catch up.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord