Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
LeBron predicted multiple championships for Miami. This morning, how many do you see out of this group?
Steve Aschburner: I’m thinking Miami will win one more championship as currently constructed. Biggest reason: Dwyane Wade’s mileage – he has looked worn down through this postseason and, even if much of it is attributable to a specific sore knee, those sorts of aches and pains will only increase in coming seasons. He’ll need to have his minutes budgeted and the Heat’s payroll won’t allow for much more help around him and the other two stars. Second-biggest reason: Oklahoma City isn’t done as a Finals threat, other franchises have talent and ambition, too, and the sheer odds in a 30-team league against a dynastic run are too great to predict three-peats and beyond.
Fran Blinebury: 1-2-3-4-5? It would be as silly and presumptuous as us to pick as number now as it was for LeBron to start counting them off that night back in July 2010. Could the Heat win a handful? Yes. But it takes good health, good fortune and some hellaciously good play to win again and again. All we can say for sure is that the Heat — assuming the Big Three stay healthy — should be in the championship picture every year for the foreseeable future.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Multiple is still realistic. It’s hard to say whether that means two or three, but these Heat do not have the one-and-done look. They have youth, a couple special talents, a front office that does not settle, and the right look to attract free agents for less money than they may get elsewhere. Players want a shot at a championship. Players like the idea of living in Miami. The Heat will be around a while.
Shaun Powell: They could win a total of two IF Dwyane Wade stays healthy. That’s a big if. And the second one better happen next year. LeBron can opt out in 2014 and return to Cleveland. Which is what I think he’ll do if he wins at least one title in Miami.
John Schuhmann: I see two. I definitely think they can come back and win next year, but I don’t know about Dwyane Wade’s ability to remain healthy and explosive beyond the next year or two. I definitely question their ability to put a stronger supporting cast around the big three under the new luxury tax rules that going into effect in 2013. And of course, the Thunder will likely be back with the same type of experience and hunger that the Heat have this year. As we’ve seen in this series, OKC already has the talent to win a championship.
Sekou Smith: They better get this one first, as Shane Battier reminded us all Wednesday at the media gathering following the Heat’s practice. A team that looked primed for multiple championship runs looks considerably different to me right now. Dwyane Wade isn’t getting any younger. And the Thunder, in spite of their recent stumbles in this series, appear to be primed for a return trip or two, or three, so it’s hard to envision the Heat winning anywhere near the number of titles they imagined they would when the laser-light show kicked off. If they win this first one, I could see maybe one more from this group, but no more.