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NBA Playoffs Preview: Can Anyone Stop the Heat?

HardenwebThe Miami Heat appear to be the next great NBA dynasty. The NBA is a league where dynasties happen quite often. Basketball is a game where the best players on the team tend to have the greatest influence. In baseball, your great hitter is only going to bat once every nine times for your team. Your ace starting pitcher only pitches in one game out of every five.

In football, your star running back only plays in half of the plays and he can only carry the ball every third play. But in basketball, a star such as Lebron James can play nearly every minute of every game. He can dominate on offense and also be a force on defense. If there is nobody who can stop him, then the opposition must double team him, which of course leaves an NBA caliber player with nobody guarding him.

This is why you have dynasties such as the 1960s Boston Celtics, the 1980s Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the 1990s Chicago Bulls, the early 200s Lakers and Now it appears, the Heat of the 2010s. There are no players as good as Lebron James, and with a very good supporting cast, the Heat is nearly unbeatable. They have won the Eastern Conference two years in a row and appear to be a lock for a third straight trip to the NBA Finals. They will be trying for their second championship in a row once they get there.

The only question to be answered in this year’s NBA playoffs, which begin today, is can anyone stop them? Here are the only candidates.

The Oklahoma City Thunder with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They were again the top team in the West. Durant and Westbrook are an outstanding one-two punch, each capable of putting up 30 or more in the same game. The Thunder lost to the Heat in five games in last year’s Finals though and that was with James Harden. We would give them about a 20% chance against Miami.

The New York Knicks have scoring champion Carmelo Anthony along with a supporting cast of Amare Stoudamire, Jason Kidd, and J. R. Smith. They have been very good coming down the stretch. The Knicks have the best shot at beating the Heat if they face them in the Eastern Conference Finals. We would give them about a 30% chance.

Other than these two teams? Forget it. The Denver Nuggets or San Antonio Spurs may have about a 15% chance. The Los Angeles Clippers or Memphis Grizzlies maybe a 10% chance. Nobody else even wins one game against this juggernaut.

So the answer to the original question is…No. Bet on the Heat to win it all again.

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