If you've watched more than 4 minutes of Sportscenter in the last three days or so, you probably know that NBA training camps are starting up. And, of course, by the NBA I mean the Miami Heat Show. ESPN loves their sports icons (see Brett Favre, Tiger Woods), and they're chomping at the bit to hype up the "New Big Three" in Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. This excitement is understandable to some extent; the NBA has not seen a team with three of the 15 best players in the league (and two of the top 4) in the lineup since, well, ever. Actually, that's probably not the case at all, it's just that we now have the ability to cover the team from every angle possible, so this means that they're the greatest assembly of players since the Dream Team. Pundits are predicting the new-look-Heat to roll through the league and adorn their fingers with a little bling-bling at least 3 times in the next 5 years, and maybe set a new regular-season win record in the process (that would involve a 73-9 record or better).
Hold your horses, there, Jethro. I have a couple issues with the prospect of this team being all that and a bag of chips.
1. In order to go 73-9, they would likely have to roll out a few 10+ game win streaks, which I guess is possible, but it also involves going something like 14-5 against quality teams (Magic, Bulls, Celtics, Thunder, Mavericks, Lakers, Spurs) and 59-4 against everyone else. It's just not probable.
2. The decision-making processes per possession for the three stars now become infinitely more complicated. In Cleveland, Lebron would just jack up a three or drive the lane and try to get a layup or draw a foul. Now he has to worry about both Bosh and Wade getting their requisite number of looks, while also maintaining his superstar scorer status. How do you choose who to pass to, if they're both open? There's not too many mouths to feed, it's just that they're big mouths.
3. These are three big stars that are used to playing 40+ minutes per game, but because they really were the only stars on their respective teams, GMs had the flexibility to put up a bench that could spell the star without the world ending. With all of the Heat's cap money being funneled into the pockets of James, Wade, and Bosh, how's the bench going to look? You think the coach is gonna like what he sees when some minimum-salary guy replaces Dwyane Wade and can't even walk straight? All the Heat have are these three guys, and that's going to make them hit the bench very infrequently. Injuries, fatigue, it's all in the cards.
4. After "The Decision" and the Heat welcome shenanigans, EVERYONE HATES MIAMI. They haven't played a single game together, and yet they're going to have a bigger target on their back than the two-time reigning champs, the Lakers. I don't think that these three guys can keep up the intensity required to battle night-in and night-out with teams that just want to shove the ball down their throats.
5. The 76ers are going to steamroll them in their second game of the year, and their hopes and dreams will be shattered. Write it down.