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NBA Teams Capable of Dethroning The Heat

NBA Teams Capable of Dethroning The Heat

Jul 21, 2013

The Miami Heat are back-to-back NBA champions, and with LeBron James at the helm, they’ll be in the mix for another title next season. Though it’s hard to find a team capable of actually beating the Heat in a 7-game series, these are a few teams that have the right pieces and match-up well enough to give the Heat a run for their money.

OKC Thunder

Of all teams, the Thunder have the best chance to take down the Heat. If not for an unfortunate season-ending injury to Russell Westbrook, they might have been in the finals last year. With a healthy lineup, expect this high-scoring Thunder team to be a serious contender once again. They have arguably the 2nd-best player in the NBA, Kevin Durant, and a top-5 PG in Westbrook. Though they’ve lost Kevin Martin, Durant and Westbrook are more than capable of picking up the scoring slack.

Why they can beat the Heat:

The Heat are capable of beating pretty much any type of team (defensive-minded teams, offensive-oriented teams, etc.) because they can out-talent them. With the Thunder, the talent level is quite comparable, giving them a great chance of beating the champs.

Cleveland Cavaliers

This is a tricky pick, but I have full confidence in this young bunch to compete in the East this year. With the addition of Bynum and the expected improvement of all the young players, this Cavs team could easily surprise a lot of people this year. With star PG Kyrie Irving leading the way, this group of young guys has a chance to make a deep playoff run.

Why they can beat the Heat:

The Cavaliers create matchup problems for Miami. Andrew Bynum creates the biggest mismatch, as the Heat have struggled containing taller bigmen in the past. The Heat would also have to shuffle their defensive lineup to contain Irving, just as they did against the Spurs in the finals to stop Tony Parker.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers had a disappointing season finish, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Grizzlies. However, the additions of Darren Collison and JJ Reddick provide the Clippers with a powerful new punch. Reddick gives the Clippers a shooter for Griffin to kick out to or Paul to find while slashing, while Collison allows them to give Paul much needed rest.

Why they can beat the Heat:

The Clippers have plenty of star power in Griffin and Paul, and DeAndre Jordan offers the Clippers interior domination over the Heat the same way Duncan and Hibbert did last year.

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets could end up being the most dangerous team to The Heat if their new pieces gel quickly. The Nets starting lineup, on paper, might be the most talented in the NBA. The Nets will be playing a starting squad of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez.

Why they can beat the Heat:

KG and Pierce nearly took down the Heat 2 years go in the Eastern Conference Finals, and now they’ll have another chance on an even more talented roster.


Left off the list:

Chicago Bulls/Indiana Pacers

The Heat have shown time and time again that they completely own both the Bulls and the Pacers in the playoffs. They’ve beaten the Bulls 3 straight years and the Pacers 2. It would be silly to pretend either has a chance to beat the Heat this time around.


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