The Miami Heat were instantly expected to compete for a championship even as the elephant still lingered in the room. How would the three superstars find a way to play together, let alone complement one other?
Not having the luxury of playing with each other for the majority of the preseason, the first 17 games of the season were not kind to James and Co. The team that was supposed to beat the Bulls’ all-time regular season wins record, was just over 500 with nine wins and eight loses. A re-tweaked offensive strategy, players-only meeting and bromance over surviving the hostility of LeBron’s return to Cleveland later, the Heat went on a tear, winning 12-straight games before losing to the Dallas Mavericks by just two points.
The more and more the Heat steam-rolled through the sub-500 teams, combined with the Lakers recent string of lack-luster efforts, the more convinced people were becoming the Heat’s three-man show was prepared to dominate the Lakers come December 25th.
I realize that trying to argue the Lakers as underdogs against any team is like Kim Kardashian attempting to convince the free world that she’s never known a man in the biblical sense, but the way the Lakers have been unable to consistently play at a high level adds a little intrigue to the comparison.