In June, the Miami Heat won their second straight NBA title in dramatic fashion … a Game 7. If wasn’t for LeBron James‘ headband coming off and Ray Allen hitting a clutch 3-pointer in the waning moments of the fourth quarter of Game 6, the San Antonio Spurs would be NBA champions. But that didn’t happen and the Heat are looking for a three-peat, but can it happen? I say no and there are five reasons why the Heat will not three peat as NBA champions.
You might not think that the Heat are old but they are. LeBron James is 28 years old and has just completed his 10th NBA season plus add on three Olympic appearances in 2004, 2008, and 2012. That is a lot of wear and tear on the body. Dwyane Wade, LeBron’s Robin is 31 years old and has been injury-prone the past few seasons. But somehow he still finds ways to get up for games. Lastly, Chris Bosh, who is also 29 years old is the last member of the big three and hasn’t caught the injury bug like Wade, but is still productive in spurts. This is just one aspect that can hurt the big three down the road.
The second reason is the bench. You might say to yourself that the Miami Heat has the worst bench in the NBA and that could be true. When the Heat made their finals run this past season, their only key bench contributors were Chris Andersen, who in the playoffs averaged 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15 minutes per game, solid numbers from a big man that the Heat desperately needed.
The only other key contributor was Ray Allen, who was huge in helping the Heat win a NBA title. Long story short, Allen found his stroke again in the NBA Finals. In the NBA Finals alone, Allen averaged 10.6 points per game, but other then that the bench was weak. This will be a continuing problem for the Heat as they amnestied forward Mike Miller and still have benchwarmers such as James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Juwan Howard and Jarvis Varnado. This problem will be a consistent one and the Heat will never be considered a great all-around team without a good bench.
3. Eastern Conference Getting Better
The third reason is that the Eastern conference has gotten better at the top half of the conference. The Chicago Bulls will be getting back a healthy Derrick Rose, who has said he is ready to go. The New York Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony, so they are always a threat. The Brooklyn Nets will be better as they overhauled their roster by acquiring the likes of Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, making them an automatic contender in the East.
Lastly, the Indiana Pacers have gotten better, the team who took the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers added key players in free agency such as Chris Copeland and C.J. Watson. Also re-signing their own in David West and getting back a healthy Danny Granger can’t hurt either. All these teams can make a run at the Heat.
4. Western Conference Is No Slouch Either
Just like the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference is strong too. If the Heat make it to the Finals again, they could possibly compete against the Houston Rockets, who added Dwight Howard in free agency. The Memphis Grizzlies are a tough defensive-minded team that has two good big men in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. The San Antonio Spurs will always pose a threat to the Heat as long as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are there.
Then in the Northwest Division, you have to remember that the Oklahoma City Thunder are still contenders, even though they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. The Thunder will be ready to contend with a healthy Russell Westbrook and a hungry Kevin Durant. Finally, the Pacific Division got stronger with the Golden State Warriors adding Andre Iguodala and the Los Angeles Clippers getting a top notch coach in Doc Rivers. All of these teams could take the crown and dethrone the Heat.
The fifth and final reason is time. Time is running out on the core of the Miami Heat, which is the big three. How long can LeBron James play at a high level? How long will Dwyane Wade‘s body hold up? Will the big three be broken up? After the 2013-14 season, the big three all have player options and with that being said, Father Time is not on their side and it will be interesting to see if they can three-peat, If not, expect them to be broken up.