For those that like to overreact to the first couple days of the season, there sure is a lot to get worked up about. The Los Angeles Lakers, who were supposed to go 82-0, are sitting at 0-2 and their big rival in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder, lost their opener in dramatic fashion.
Over in the East, the Miami Heat easily dispatched the Boston Celtics, who are supposed to be their biggest roadblock to repeating as conference champs.
Basing an opinion off the information given, it looks like we will see LeBron James and company hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy once again this season.
While it does not exactly work like that, and the season is not decided in the first couple of days, the Heat have a lot to be optimistic about.
The Lakers have months to figure out how to use their talent in the best way, make use of the Princeton offense and try to win in spite of a bad coach. But maybe they won’t.
The Thunder lost one game against a tough opponent on the road. They are still figuring things out post-Harden and working towards returning to form. But maybe they won’t.
The Celtics could improve over the course of the season and be ready to challenge the Heat in a rematch of last year’s gritty Eastern Conference Finals. But maybe they won’t.
Another contender, like the Pacers or the Nets or the Hawks or the Bulls could rise up and shock everyone and win it all this year. But maybe they won’t.
Given the choice, I would have to bet on all these things not happening. I will admit that I was quick to hop on the Lakers train when they rounded up Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. But after watching them play their first two games, a lot is going to have to change for that team to be ready to play for a championship.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and their band of role players that seems to keep getting better only stand in their own way from being repeat champs, and maybe even the beginning of a dynasty. Unless one of Miami’s big three gets injured, there is virtually no way the Heat do not come out of the East.
Moving onto the Finals, there could potentially be a team that gets hot at the right time and plays well enough to give the Heat a run, but ultimately I think their talent wins out just like it did last season.
This year could bring LeBron’s second ring out of not three, not four, not five… etc.
The Heat look good. They look ready to do this thing several more times and cement their place in history. It is up to the rest of the NBA to figure out a way to stop them.