Will the Miami Heat Repeat as NBA Champs?

Will the Miami Heat Repeat as NBA Champs?
Point: The Miami Heat are going to be NBA Champions again. Counter-Point: The Miami Heat will find it difficult to repeat their NBA success.
Let that impressive ring ceremony on Opening Night, followed by an impressive victory over the Boston Celtics, prepare you for what’s to come ahead: the Miami Heat are the reigning champions, and are looking most likely to defend their title once again this season.

Repeating as champions is difficult, but the 2012-13 Miami Heat seem to have all the ingredients needed for such a run:

- LeBron James is in the type of individual form only enjoyed by Michael Jordan 20 years ago. He’s the reigning MVP, Finals MVP, and Olympic gold medal winner. At 28, he is only now entering the prime of his career. With an ever-expanding skill-set – particularly an improving post game – expect James to be even better this year.

- Miami’s second and third best players – Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – were inconsistent and hampered with injuries in the previous playoffs, and Miami still won a championship. A healthy Wade and Bosh will instantly make the champions better.

- Miami made the right offseason acquisitions, signing sharp-shooters Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the mix. This move spreads the floor for the Big Three and makes them even tougher to defend.

- With Derrick Rose injured, the Celtics older and slightly weaker, and no other major threat in the East, expect them to breeze to the NBA Finals again this year.

- While their main Western rivals – Lakers and Thunder – made major changes, Miami kept their core intact to improve on last season’s championship chemistry. This togetherness will go a long way in ensuring that the Thunder or even the super-boosted Lakers will struggle to stop them from winning again.

And all these ingredients will add up to make sure that the Heat are raising yet another banner this time next year!

- Karan Madhok
As my counterpart said, the Miami Heat appear to have all the ingredients to repeat, but the season is still very young and things can change all too suddenly in the NBA:

- Never mind the opening win against Boston, the Heat will face a formidable threat from the Celtics in the 2013 playoffs. Ray Allen has left Boston, but the acquisitions of Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa, Jason Terry and a healthy Jeff Green gives the Celtics a deeper, stronger roster than last year.

- The Western Conference now has a super team of its own with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash having joined Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace in Los Angeles. The Lakers, along with the young, athletic OKC Thunder will make it difficult for Miami to repeat in a potential NBA Finals matchup.

- Yes, Derrick Rose is injured. But there is a good chance that he may be available to the Bulls in the 2013 postseason. If that happens, Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Richard Hamilton and Co. can unsettle the Heat from their throne in the East.

- The Heat are a championship-worthy side, but they still lack a strong center and a quality point guard. They may have won the 2012 championship despite those glaring weaknesses, but a fully fit Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls or Los Angeles Lakers outfit are all better equipped to exploit those limitations.

- In the last 20 years, only two NBA coaches, Phil Jackson and Rudy Tomjanovich, have helped their respective teams to back-to-back titles. What are the odds of Erik Spoelstra emulating those two men when the likes of Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, Doc Rivers and Rick Carlisle weren’t able to do so?

That's why it'll be someone else besides the Miami Heat that wins it all this year.
- Akshay Manwani