NBA: Will Heat eventually win?
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was classy in victory after his Mavericks beat the Heat for the NBA title. Carlisle said the Heat’s time would come.
He’s probably right. A team with a trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh will be hard-pressed to not win a championship or three, especially with someone as sharp as Pat Riley presiding over the proceedings.
But it’s not for sure. Nothing is certain in the NBA, except that the Lakers will eventually return to the top despite periodic stumbles. Championships are too difficult to win. They’re never won by happenstance. Never won with a hot streak. The baseball playoffs are a crapshoot. The NFL tournament can be won by a hot team; the Arizona Cardinals came within five points of winning Super Bowl 43.
But the NBA is won with no such shortcuts. No such coin flips. You’ve got to be great. Which is why so few franchises have won over the years. Nine baseball franchises have won the last 10 World Series. Ten NFL franchises have won the last 13 Super Bowls. But just eight basketball franchises have won the last 28 NBA Finals.
So pencil in the Heat at your own risk. In fact, here are seven developments that could keep Miami from ever winning the NBA with its current cast of stars:
1. Laker revival. I am on record; Blake Griffin will be a Laker in a couple of years. Others are convinced Dwight Howard is headed for LA. Heck, wouldn’t stun me if they both ended up in Laker gold. History tells us the Lakers won’t stay down for long. If Miami doesn’t win during this current Laker malaise, it will get much tougher.
2. Maverick continuation. NBA champions usually remain contenders upon arrival at the elite level. Miami 2006 was a notable exception. But if Mark Cuban keeps his core together — J.J. Barea, Tyson Chandler — to stick with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, why couldn’t the Mavs make another title run next season?
3. Dwyane Wade’s health. Wade plays daredevil basketball and stays banged up, to some degree. Bad luck and injuries can hit any team; if it hits Wade anytime in the next few years, Miami’s season is likely doomed.
4. Thunder ascension. Everyone’s been saying for 13 months that the Thunder is the team of the future. What if it’s true? Bad news for Miami.
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