Well, the inevitable happened. The Miami Heat won an NBA Championship. Anybody who didn’t think they were going win one needs to “snap back to reality” and face the music. The Heat have won a title, and now the question is how many titles will they win?
Miami Heat fans will tell you it’s going to be multiple-titles in a row, and that a dynasty has been born of the likes we haven’t seen since the Jordan era. People who aren’t Miami Heat fans aren’t quick to agree with the Heat fans, but deep down in their gut feel like they can’t refute the dynasty claim either.
After all, the Miami Heat management has already shifted from victory mode to title defense mode by adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. There is no doubt that the Heat are stacking up for serious run at repeating, and there doesn’t seem much in the way of stopping them. Sure there is the chance that the Heat don’t have the same fuel or desire to win a championship as before, but Pat Riley is going to get it through their skulls that he is the man in charge, and that he wants a dynasty. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh seem to worship at the feet of Pat Riley like he’s some sort of an emperor. If Pat Riley says he’s hungry for a 2nd straight title, then they will be as well.
But before crowing the Heat as 2013 champs, there are a few things that need to be made clear. First of all, let’s not forget that this past season was a lockout season. A lot of things went there way due to the lockout-compressed season such as Derrick Rose getting hurt, Ray Allen being a bit more banged up, and also Dwight Howard going down. Now to be fair, they did have the Chris Bosh injury saga, but over all, I’d say the lockout-compressed season did the Miami Heat more good than bad. Young teams like the Sixers, Pacers, and even Thunder didn’t have a full training camp to get better, and older veteran teams like the Spurs and Celtics didn’t get the kind of rest that they would have wanted.
Secondly, while the Heat have added Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen, it should be noted that other teams have also gotten better. The Celtics have replaced Ray Allen with Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, and also been ensured that Jeff Green and Avery Bradley will be healthy in 2013. Plus, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kevin Garnett are all coming back in 2013 to make one more run at it in Boston. The Lakers have also added Steve Nash; the Nets have revamped their whole team for the better, and young teams like the Thunder, Pacers, and Sixers all have one more year of playoff experience under their belt. There is no question that the Heat are going to have their work cut out for them again in 2013.
Lastly, repeating in any sport is a tough thing to do. Once you win a title there is a much bigger target on your back than before. Thanks to all their premature celebrating, the Heat already placed a big fat target on their backs. But now that they’ve won, that target has increased tenfold. Teams will take them even more seriously than before, and also no longer bank on LeBron James taking the 4th quarter off. Every team in the NBA now knows that the Heat are for real, and as a result, the intensity of their opponents is going to ratchet itself up.
The Miami Heat are still the favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2013 due to their big three trio as well as their improvements to their bench. The talent that they have can only be matched by a couple of teams. But if they don’t bring their “A-game” every night and never switch their mentality from title victory mode to title defense mode, then they will definitely fall short of repeating in 2013.