Can the Heat Repeat?

Robert Giamarese, Staff Writer

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a basketball player. You just put a lot of hard work into it and you hope that one day it will pay off for you.” –Lebron James

As the now standing NBA champions, the Miami Heat came back with a vengeance this past season, making their second consecutive finals appearance, this time going all the way and achieving their ultimate goal as NBA champions. This was mostly due to the efforts of their Big Three, that of Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh. Lebron had finally achieved the ring he so desperately craved, and the young Thunder’s dreams were crushed.

But what’s going to happen next?  Certainly the Heat are in no way ready to slow down. Are the Thunder just going to accept their defeat and give up? Do the Bulls have any heart left after the absence of their superstar Derrick Rose? The hype and rumors seem to be pointing to the exact opposite.

The Heat had their time to shine, but they’ll need to work ten times harder if they want another championship. Only five teams in league history have won back to back championships, the last being the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. Do the Heat have what it takes to be the sixth? Without question, but the rest of the league isn’t ready to just sit back and let the Heat roll over them.

The obvious threat here is the new and improved Lakers. Along with superstar Kobe Bryant and power forward Pau Gasol, they’ve acquired three-time MVP Steve Nash, as well as two-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard. This group of veterans has been in the league a lot longer than the young Heat. They may very well go all the way this time around.

However, people must never forget about the Bulls. Having achieved first seed in the East the last two seasons, with and without all-star point guard Derrick Rose, they should have no problem doing it again. A combination of great role players, outstanding defenders, and one of the best coaches in the league, they will no doubt be a threat to anyone in their conference.

It also seems people are quick to debunk the Thunder having any sort of chance. They still have hyper-athletic point guard Russell Westbrook., and three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant, who just got over a loss in the finals. They’ll be anything but defeated. So typical of the Thunder, they’re just going to push themselves twice as far as last season. They’re extremely young and have only grown from this experience. It could still very well be a showcase between them and the Heat once more.

With the next season getting ready to start in little over a month or so, teams are making every preparation possible to ensure their spot in the playoffs this year. Lebron and the Heat know what’s coming, and you know they want that next ring. There’s a lot of talent going into next season, and the title is up for grabs for numerous teams, but only time will tell who can go all the way and to prove to be the best in the world.