NBA Betting: Can the Miami Heat win in 2014?

Joe Catalano

Friday, June 21, 2013 3:39 PM GMT

Friday, Jun. 21, 2013 3:39 PM GMT

After a heroic effort by both teams, the Miami Heat have outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 4 games to 3 in the 2013 NBA Finals.

Which begs the question: “Can the Miami Heat 3-Peat?”

Best Player on the Planet

Since their defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, Lebron James has really matured as a person and become a much more intelligent basketball player. This has made quite a difference, as the Heat have now managed to win back-to-back NBA Titles.

The Heat have managed to win despite the inconsistent play of an often injured Dwayne Wade and a soft center in Chris Bosh.

Miami has made adjustments and the acquisitions of Ray Allen and “Birdman” Chris Anderson have payed huge dividends. Anderson has provided the physicality that Bosh could not. I actually thought that the Birdman was a more important player on court than Chris Bosh during the NBA Finals.

The Shot

His skills have eroded a bit, but without Ray Allen’s 3-pointer from the corner in game 6, Miami would have lost the series.

Allen said that he had taken that shot 1000 times and knew it was in when it left his hands. He was right.

Both of these players will be kept around next season along with defensive specialist, Shane Battier, who was the difference in Game 7. Battier unleashed the beast as he went a sizzling 6 for 8 from 3-point range and made some shots at crucial times during the game.

Even though all 3 role players are advanced in age, expect them to be around for another chance at the championship.

In fact, why would they leave? Just look at Juwan Howard, a member of “The Fab 5” and a glorified cheerleader that never leaves the bench. Howard is 40 years old, well past his prime, and looking to collect on the labors of the phenomenon known as LBJ.

Check back often for more NBA predictions and coverage!

What Needs To Be Done?

People have questioned the return of Chris Bosh, but he’ll be back. Dwayne Wade hasn’t been the player of old; he needs to get healthy and might have to defer a bit more when things aren’t working.

Miami must also get a legitimate scorer and big man, either through the draft or a trade. Lebron James is in his prime, but it’s tough to be a one-man show at times.

Intelligent defenses such as the veteran Spurs double and triple team LBJ and you can tell that this series was the toughest one that he has ever had to endure. So, there’s work for him to do in the off-season.

Don’t forget about OKC

With the Russell Westbrook injury that the Oklahoma City Thunder had to endure, Miami had a much easier road to the championship. A healthy Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could give the Heat problems as the Thunder are a younger and possibly more talented team than the Heat at this point.

Russell Westbrook coming back will be a major concern. People tend to forget about that, but you might see these two teams in the finals next year, and who will guard Westbrook? Will Miami force James to guard Westbrook the way that he guarded the much shorter Tony Parker?

A Final Thought

Lebron James could back up his words of “the Decision” with several titles, but he’s going to need help either through trades or the draft. Chris Bosh must soul search as he’s not nearly the player that he was with Toronto. Dwayne Wade must heal his body and his game. It won’t be as easy as people think with a young and talented Thunder team in Miami’s rear view mirror.

Does Miami have enough mojo left to win another title? Share your thoughts on our message boards!

comment here