People are gonna put Miami as the instant favorite considering the brightness of three ‘young’ all stars. Some people may compare the 2010 Miami to the 2007 Celtics when Ray Allen, KG, and Paul Pierce were first put together to form the ‘big three’ who eventually won the champion in their first season together. However, I don’t think that’s gonna happen to Miami. Yes, they will win a champion or more, but not this year. The difference are (i) the ‘bench’, (ii) mentality the second.
Celtics 2007 has a decent bench besides the big three. PJ Brown, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkin, James Posey, Tony Allen are all fine role players at the time. The rest of Miami 2010 is still pending to be filled. However, the team has only jump change of $ to spend to do that. With that, they will most likely fill the team with players of D-league quality. Surely, there may be surprise, but that’s just a best wish. They can only hope to find players who would only wish to strike for the chance of getting a ring but playing at minimum money. This kind of players do exists, but will be far and between these days. For any unknown to be good enough to be ‘surprise’, that may take more than a year to work within the team and whether Pat Riley can pull any rabbit out of his Armani hat in next year or two. Regarding ‘mentality’, the big three of Celtics 2007 are veterans that were beaten up in the lead for decade without getting a ring. They had already passed the stage of chasing their individual glories. So, they could work together to make sacrifice for the team to win. I doubt that will happen to Miami this year. Not with D.Wade already got a ring and LBJ’s attitude towards the game as a team spot. Even the sharing with spotlight would be an issue. The new young big three may be good friends off the court, but would they get along on it is gonna be very interesting to watch. Off course, I could be wrong, but…unless the disclosed contract of those 3 players will show that they get less money than it was predicted, i.e. a sign that they don’t mind to leave some money on the table for Pat Riley to fill the rest of the team with decent players, I would say that Miami is not gonna be as good as what they look. The end of the day is that basketball is a game of 5 players on the court, and a champion team is never composed of a 3 headed dragon.
In view of the rest of the league, the Knicks got one star, Bulls got one, Clippers and the Nets got none. Lakers remain the team to beat in the league. Celtics’ core will come back for their last dance (with Doc River as the coach). Cavaliers, Jazz will be in misery for years to come. I would rank the top teams in the league in next year as follow: Lakers > Celtics > Bulls > Miami > Magic > Suns > Spurs/Mavericks. Let see if I’m right about that…..:)