Last season, LeBron James finally won his first NBA title. This elusive first championship eluded LeBron for years with the Cleveland Cavaliers and came to fruition with the Miami Heat winning it all at the expense of the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder.
After LeBron signed with the Heat to join forces with fellow superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the consensus around the NBA was that Miami would be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come. So far, LeBron and company have made two straight NBA Finals appearances and may continue that trend if teams in the Eastern Conference fail to provide a challenge.
There’s no question that the Heat have been the most talented and dominant team over the last two years, but with the Los Angeles Lakers reloading with the likes of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard the plot begins to thicken with many different opinions about the balance of power in the league heading into next season.
Despite the Lakers vastly improving their roster both in the starting lineup and with the second unit, Lakers legend James Worthy still believes the Heat are the team to beat next season as he told Mark Medina of the L.A. Times in an interview recently:
“I would have to say Miami still has a little edge simply because they won last year. It will be so much easier for them to win again because they know how to do it. With them adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, they have tremendous scorers and three-point shooters off the bench. Then they also have the greatest player in the game with LeBron James. I give them the edge because they’re defending champions.”
Even with all the improvements the Lakers’ front office has made around Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, it’s hard to argue that the Heat aren’t still the team to beat. The new-look Lakers have yet to play a single minute on the floor together and may not have Howard back for a significant amount of time.
This revamped roster is incredibly talented on paper and resembles a squad that could only be created on a fantasy basketball team, but regardless of all the big names, it still remains to be seen how these players will come together on the floor and how long it will take to create some team chemistry.
The sky is the limit for the reloaded Lakers heading into next season as this team has the right pieces in place to do some amazing things in the months to come, but as a right now the Heat have yet to be knocked off the pedestal and are without a doubt the team to beat.
In case you missed it – Lakers Locker Room Talk chats about Lakers/Clippers and the battle for L.A.
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