5 Reasons Why Miami Heat Will 3-Peat
5 Reasons Why the Miami Heat Will 3-Peat Next Season
Another NBA season has come to an end. With that end, we have crowned a new champion. I guess our champions are not necessarily new considering this is their second championship in two years, but the Miami Heat have definitely reinvented themselves as champions.
In the 2011-12 season, the Heat breezed their way to the Finals with their only true test coming in the form of their rival Boston Celtics when they came back from a 3-2 series deficit to outlast their opponents in seven games. From that point forward, the Heat went on an 8-2 run to finish out their championship season, beating both the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, respectively.
This season brought forth a new course of obstacles for them to overcome, as they were faced with two very worthy adversaries in the form of the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs. Each team took the Heat to the brink of elimination and truly tested their championship demeanor. In the end, Miami prevailed over both of their opponents in spectacular fashion, most exemplified by Ray Allen's game-tying three-pointer which sent the game to overtime in Game 6 of the Finals, which Miami won.
When it's all said and done, it doesn't matter how you get there or what you had to do to win, all that matters is that little ring around your finger. And this is why the Heat will be hoisting up the trophy for a third consecutive season next June.
As the saying goes, defense wins championships. And for the Heat, that saying could not be more true. Miami was second in the NBA in point differential at +7.9, third in opponents field goal percentage at 44 percent, third in steals with 8.7 and fourth in opponents per game at 95.0. Truly, these statistics speak for themselves. With Erik Spoelstra continuing to teach and harp on the importance of defense, you will see the Heat destroy their opponents on the defensive end in 2014.
The Heat have been thriving from the three-point line and that is a key reason behind their illustrious success of the past few years. Miami is second in the league in three-point percentage at 39.6 percent. The nearly nine made three's a game these shooters account for make up 35 percent of the Heat's average points per game at 102.9, which is fifth in the league. With LeBron James, Ray Allen and Shane Battier all shooting over 40 percent from three last season, the Heat are guaranteed to be raining three's from beyond the arch in the 2014 NBA season.
#3-The Role Players
We all know about the "Big Three" of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, but we forget about the role players who are equally as important. Norris Cole, the back-up point guard for the Heat, is a key example of one of these players. In Game's 2 and 3 of last season's playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, Cole came off the bench to drop 18 points in two consecutive games and help the Heat jump out to a 2-1 series lead over the Bulls. Shane Battier is another key example, as he came off the bench in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to hit five big three's and help lead the Heat to their second consecutive championship. And who can forget about Ray Allen who came on in Game 6 of the Finals and hit arguably the biggest three of his career to save the Heat's season and allow a Game 7 back in Miami.
#2-Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh
Now some may argue that both of these players have failed to live up to their expectations of greatness in the most recent playoffs. However, they are sill NBA all-stars who are a forced to be reckoned with on the court. Although Dwayne Wade's numbers have declined from his career average, he still averaged 21.2 points, 5.1 assists, and five rebounds a game last season. Not to mention his 32-point performance in Game 4 of the Finals and a spectacular double-double in Game 7 with 23 points and 10 rebounds to help Miami to win its second title in two years and his third title in eight years. Chris Bosh notched a double-double in four of the seven Finals games, dominating the boards and becoming a force on the defensive end with one or more blocks in every single game of the series. If these two can keep up their efforts throughout the 2014 season, Miami will be bringing home the NBA Trophy for a third consecutive time next season.
Truly, all of the Heat's destiny rests in the hands of King James. Winning his fourth regular season NBA MVP and a second consecutive NBA Finals MVP to go along with two championships, it would seems as though the only place for LeBron to go from here is down, right? Wrong. I think James has not yet reached his peak and he will continue to lead his team to glory as they covet a third consecutive championship next season. Although there was a slight drop in his assist and rebound career percentages last season, his points are up, as well as his three-point and free throw percentage. And he said himself, his free throw percentage is the next facet of his game that he's looking to improve. This megastar athlete is on the climb towards the height of his career, and in the next few years when he reaches that climax I would suggest to all his opponents to get out of the way before they get crushed by his greatness.