Road to 3-Peat: Top 5 Spoilers

No. 3 The Miami Heat

“I always refer to when Wilt Chamberlain was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and that put [Elgin] Baylor, [Jerry] West and Chamberlain together — three of the top scorers in NBA history — and they never won a championship together the four years they were together.”

-Phil Jackson on the Miami Heat’s mega free-agent acquisitions

Here’s what we know about the Miami Heat.

LeBron James is still LeBron James. Dwayne Wade is a flashy scorer who gets in-and-out of lanes almost as often as he puts up game-winning shots. Chris Bosh is an inside presence, but mostly a face-up shooter who can drive the ball a little bit.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James reacts during a break in play against the Detroit Pistons in their NBA preseason basketball game in Miami, Florida October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Here’s what we know about the Lakers.

Ron Artest lives for the opportunity to defend guys like James. Kobe Bryant’s defense will hamper whatever easy offense Wade has in mind. Pau Gasol can dance circles around Bosh, reminding him that yes, he is still in fact the best power forward in the league.

So then why are they on the list? We know how each player is going to be individually, but until we see how all three play alongside one another with their role and bench players, the Heat remain a mystery.

Assume the bulk of the Heat’s offense will be based on pick-and-rolls and the abilities of James and Wade to read the defense and create plays on the fly. The Lakers will need to limit the number of turnovers they have against the Heat to prevent them from driving the basketball in the open floor. The Lakers are probably one of the better defensive teams in transition, but if the break involves James, we’re talking about trying to defend a freight-train on the fast-break.

Next: The perennial knees and other nagging injuries

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