The Fool-Proof Reasons the Miami Heat Will Win it All
It's obvious the Miami Heat aren’t messing around. After a first round that featured so many upsets, the Heat have shown they are here to play. After opening up the second round with a convincing win over the Nets on Tuesday night,107-86, Miami seems poised to the Finals for a 4th consecutive year and take home the crown for the 3rd season in a row. Here’s why:
1) The rest factor
Last year, the Heat finished off their playoff run with two 7-game series along with a grueling 5-game series in the semi’s versus the Bulls. However, prior to that they swept the Bucks in 4, giving them 10 days off to prepare for those tough opponents. It seems the Heat recognize that the first round is just to get their legs loose and take care of business early as this year they quickly showed the exit sign to the Bobcats. They’re even resting their playoffs despite it being the playoffs (evident with the aging Shane Battier who played 2 minutes the entire first round and is now starting during the 2nd round). Dwyane Wade also only averaged 31 minutes per game thus far in the postseason, down 8 minutes from his career playoff average. The Heat's rest was clear on Tuesday night when they blew Brooklyn out of the gym. It’s very realistic Miami could take down the Nets fairly quickly because the Heat having more rest on the oldest team in league history.
2) The East is theirs to lose
Initially, the Indiana Pacers were seen to be a strong blockade for the Heat to get to the Finals, with Stars Paul George and Roy Hibbert coming out of the gates firing back in November. However, the well documented slide of the Pacers had them a Game 6 foul call away from being just the 3rd number one seed ever to lose to an 8 seed in a 7 game series as they barely staved off elimination from a much depleted Hawks team. Now the Pacers, who have been rumored to have a very dysfunctional locker room at this time, are in a dog fight with the Washington Wizards to even get to the conference finals. I repeat the WASHINGTON WIZARDS whose two best players are 20 and 23 years old, respectively, and hadn’t won a second round game since 1983 before their dominant game 1 performance on the road in Indy. If the Pacers do find a way to the conference finals, the Heat will have already won the mental battle with their confidence. In any scenario, the Heat should only lose 2 or 3 games before reaching the finals, that much seems certain.
3) LeBron is looking to maintain order
With Kevin Durant winning MVP this week, it symbolized the first time someone really “dethroned” King James in his prime (2011-present). LeBron basically was the MVP the past four seasons (2011 was a voter fatigue year in favor of Derrick Rose but LeBron was still superior) so with the young kid Durant coming in and taking away his “MVP” status, it had to have struck LeBron as a personal offense. He needs to prove to the rest of the world that Durant might be the MVP, but he’s still the best player in the game and winning the thing that really matter: championships. With that said, look for James to slowly pick up his dominance as the competition increases, and playing with far more effort than the auto-pilot luxury he has had this far in the post season. LeBron is still the best player in the game, and if he has to go through Durant or Tim Duncan again to prove it then so be it.
Of course, a lot can change between now and June; injuries, upsets, heck even scandals involving owners. It will obviously not shake up so picture perfect for the Heat to claim the 3peat but it certainly has all the initial tell-tale signs for another great Miami run and yet again an exciting brand of basketball for the weeks to come.