At 66-16 on the season, nobody has seemingly been able to step up and stop the Miami Heat from asserting themselves as the favorite to win back-to-back NBA championships. A 27-game winning streak that flirted with league history was the highlight point of the team’s regular season, as LeBron James is once again leading the way with an MVP-caliber season.
The Heat have earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and will square off against the No. 8 Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round of the NBA playoffs. Now while many NBA fans — outside of those who root for the Heat — will be hoping for a monumental upset, but it’s going to take something completely unexpected for the Bucks to survive Miami.
During the regular season, the Bucks were able to defeat Miami on one occasion, but the Heat won the other three. In that loss, Miami virtually got no production outside of their Big Three, which does give Milwaukee some confidence heading into this match-up. However, this is playoff time and like we saw a season ago, Miami has proven that they have the ability to rise to the occasion.
James has his NBA championship ring, so much of the hoopla surrounding his criticism before last season has been thrown out the window, but understand his legacy certainly needs more than one. Could this be the year that James gets his second ring? Possibly, but the challenges in earning that are only going to be getting harder after this round with Milwaukee.
Miami should roll in the opening round, but we will see how things get started in Game 1 on Sunday evening, when things tip-off at 7:00pm (EST).
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS