The Miami Heat faced questions prior to the season whether they had enough size to defend their NBA championship from last year, and the lack of size was indeed a major concern for the Heat going in to the season. That was before James went into video game mode and become the unstoppable NBA force everyone envisioned he could become. The rest of the Heat are along for the ride, securing Miami again as the favorite to win the NBA Finals.
Not only is LeBron playing out of this world, Dwyane Wade has followed suit and is quietly playing MVP caliber basketball of his own, if that’s even possible. At one point it appeared as if Wade had lost a step but over the last month Wade has hushed the critics, averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals in February on a blistering .532 from the field. Wade is accomplishing all of this while James has averaged 29.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists of his own on .641 from the field. And the result? The Heat have won twelve straight since losing 102-89 to the Indiana Pacers February 1.
There are times when the Heat have looked disinterested in the regular season, and that tends to happen with teams that are head and shoulder ahead of the pack. While Chris Bosh may be experiencing his troubles defending opposing centers, it’s worth nothing that besides Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert, there really aren’t many quality centers in the East. The Heat also play a style of help defense that can mask their deficiencies, so the Heat should be fine.
The only team in the East that can pose a legit threat to the Heat is the Pacers, and they might not have enough yet to challenge Miami in a seven game series. Unless something drastic happens to the Heat’s roster, you might as well pencil them in for their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance and the favorites to raise the O’Brien Trophy in June.