Realistically, there are only three teams who are built to beat the Miami Heat right now. The rest of the league will just be happy with a deep playoff run. There are some notable mentions (Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets) that could possibly take the Heat to a game 6 or 7, but still won’t be able to beat them.
So, who are these three teams ready to take the throne from the Heat?
Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are built to beat the Heat. The Heat struggles with size and point guards. Though the Pacers don’t have a huge threat as far as point guard, they possess a tremendous amount of size at all positions. Roy Hibbert proved to be a lot to handle for the Heat. If Hibbert worked on passing out of traps this offseason, the Heat is in trouble. Don’t forget the return of Danny Granger. The Pacers could have used his outside threat last year in the playoffs. Indiana’s bench was a major letdown, as well, in that series. Problem fixed, maybe? The addition of Chris Copeland, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson is far better than what they had last year. I didn’t even mention the other two players the Heat had major trouble with – David West and Paul George. If this team stays healthy, the Heat is in trouble.
San Antonio Spurs: The only problem with the Spurs team is age, but, then again, that’s what everyone has been saying for the last five years. As long as they have Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, this team is well-equipped to handle the Heat. Let’s not forget that they were one rebound or one free throw shy of beating the Heat in six games last year in the NBA Finals. Look for Manu Ginobili to come back trying to prove some doubters wrong. If this team stays healthy, they’ll be in the Finals again. The Heat do not do well with tough point guards. Had it not been for a Parker injury, it may have been the Spurs holding up another trophy last year.
Brooklyn Nets: This team may sound surprising, but just look at the roster. They have an all-star point guard in Deron Williams, and tons of size in the front court with Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. On the perimeter, they have shooting with Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. I understand they are getting old, and they haven’t played together, but, again, look at that roster. If this team doesn’t break down with injuries, the Heat has problems. Another huge transaction was the acquisition of Andrei Kirilenko – a tough defender and great rebounder. This team has a lot of confident players.