Blogtable: Questioning The Three-Peat

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe 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.


Comeback Star of the Year | Doubts About the Heat | Best, Worst Cases for Lakers


Ex-player and GM and current NBA analyst Steve Kerr has his doubts about the Heat getting out of the East. Do you? If so, what are your doubts?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comVery slight doubts, but they’re still my favorite to win the East. Any reservations I have stem from improvements in Indiana, Chicago and Brooklyn. But I’m not buying the whole “it’s exhausting to keep pushing to titles” stuff as reason enough for Miami to fall short. They have refined and polished their roster and approach each season since the 2010 free-agency bonanza, and have tweaked things just enough to feel fresh (though I’m no Michael Beasley fan). Mostly, I think it’s hard to overestimate LeBron James‘ sheer force of will and talent right now.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comThere’s always doubts: Dwyane Wade‘s health, Greg Oden‘s capability to contribute, an injury to a key player. And obviously, Indiana, Chicago and Brooklyn are primed to pounce. But, the Heat have LeBron James at the height of his power and seeking the first three-peat since the Shaq-Kobe Lakers more than a decade ago and Michael Jordan‘s Bulls twice before that. Once Michael got the Bulls out of the East in 1991, how many times did he fail to do it again? Once, and put a giant, stinking asterisk next to 1995. Am I saying that LeBron in his prime will always find a way to get his team into The Finals? I suppose I am.

Chris Bosh (left) and LeBron James

Chris Bosh (left) and LeBron James celebrate a repeat.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comDoubt is fair because year after year of being the best and having everyone aiming for you adds up. That emotional fatigue can come into play. The health of Dwyane Wade for the long haul is another doubt. But the Heat are also still the team to beat in the East. They will be my pick.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comI have doubts, but less for the Heat than for any other contender. Kerr’s point about the durability of Wade and Bosh is valid, and Ray Allen and Shane Battier are also a year older. But the Pacers will still be somewhat limited offensively, the Knicks have their defensive issues, and durability is also a question in Brooklyn. Chicago is getting Derrick Rose back and Jimmy Butler has a world of potential, but they’re still missing that terrific bench that they had two seasons ago. So while “the field” in the East is stronger, there’s not a single team that I would pick over Miami at this point.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Well, obviously the road for the Heat to get out of the East is more difficult than it was a season ago, when the Heat were within one game of not making it to The Finals. They’ve also lost Mike Miller, who was seemingly held together with athletic tape but turned in several big performances. If anyone, I think Indiana might get in Miami’s way, as they actually have a bench now, although I also think they’re going to be taken much more seriously than they were a season ago. Miami doesn’t have the flexibility to make any huge personnel moves, and who knows what Greg Oden is able to contribute. But Miami does have two things that nobody can take from them: 1) Experience and 2 ) The best player in the world, LeBron James.

Karan Madhok, NBA India: Steve Kerr has cited exhaustion and injury concerns for Wade and Bosh amongst the reasons to be skeptical. Sure, those are legitimate doubts, but is there any contender in the East without serious doubts? None of the contenders — the Bulls (Rose’s form post-injury), Nets (age), Knicks (depth), or Pacers (inexperience) — are not sure-shots to win in the East. And in a conference riddled with questions, the answer will most likely again be the league’s best team that features its best player: the Miami Heat and LeBron James.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: Is doubting the champions the right thing to do? No. Is doubting the team that has won two straight rings the right thing to do? Hell no. I believe that the reigning champion team is always the favorite for the title. In this case my belief is even stronger, as we are talking about the Miami Heat. LeBron’s Miami Heat.

Guillermo Garcia Arroyo, NBA Espana: I agree in terms with Steve Kerr’s opinion. I have a lot of doubts about Miami’s chances of ‘three-peating’. In the last Finals we saw the Spurs, not the most physical team in the League, come within a few seconds of a title. Even in the Eastern Finals we saw how a big man like Roy Hibbert put Miami in a lot of trouble. I think the Pacers, with players like Hibbert, David West or Luis Scola and with one more year of experience are in a good position to defeat the Heat. Miami will need more from Chris Bosh, whose performances weren’t always as good as expected last season. We cannot forget the Chicago Bulls, a team that gave the Heat fits last season even without D-Rose. Also we have Knicks and Nets as outsiders — great teams with great rosters that will require a great effort, physically and mentally, from the Miami Heat. A great effort that I doubt they can keep up after two seasons at the highest level.

32 Comments

  1. Nba says:

    The heat only strengthened their roster, I don’t understand where the doubts of their 3-peat are coming from. Yea Indiana came close last year, but in the end lost; and that’s all anyone will ever remember. Heat didn’t have a center last year to counter act Roy Hibberts domination in the paint, which isn’t going to fly this year if oden is able to produce, which I doubt the heat would sign if they didn’t believe he could. The heat also now have an X factor coming off the bench in Michael Beasley, whom has the potential to take over the game offensively once the bench comes on. All the bulls acquired was d rose, whose coming off a season ending injury. Despite that, their roster hasn’t really improved so I don’t understand the rave about them.

  2. Armando says:

    Of course they can! If they continue to bitch to the refs on every call and flop every 2 minutes like they did to win the last two.

  3. Loren( ZO ) says:

    We shall all see

  4. Frank says:

    Don’t forget about the Knicks they have the second best NBA player Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks still got squad they have 2 players that were defensive players of the year not to long ago metta world peace and Tyson chandler and shumpert and studimire if he comes back heathly they gone be GREAT at the defensive end and the offensive of course scoring title champ melo and sixth man of the year jr smith and getting good every year at 3 points shumpert and studimire again with his and metta toughness they will be a threat and Andrea barragnii that can space out the floor and shoot from mid range and the three Knicks have a good squad still and I think they will be the team for the east they were second best team I’n the east DON’T SLEEP on MELO he coming for that RING Knicks should be right at the top of the convo

  5. tyheer isaac says:

    The miami heat aint worried about no team in the east see before you (Steve kerr) start thinking that miami have something to worriy about watch last season highlights how turned up stand down Steve kerr

  6. joe says:

    The only reason the Spurs were competitive in the finals last year is b/c Danny Green lit up the first couple of games from the 3 like no other player has done before. That was straight luck for the Spurs and the series would have been over given a stellar performance from danny green that no one expected. If All of a sudden Norris Cole or Chalmers started liting up 3′s like green the series would have been considered ‘luck’ on Miami’s part. Sorry, the Spurs really had no shot once Danny Green’s streak of luck ended. That’s the only reason they had a shot

  7. sedajames says:

    A lot of these posts make me wonder if anybody has actually seen Oden or Beasley play.

    Considering Miami has only pennies to spend on their entire supporting cast they were really smart additions, but Beasley was cut, then waived, by two lottery-bound teams – there is a reason for this. And nobody has seen Oden play because he can’t stay healthy.

    Comparing Miami to Chicago or LeBron to Jordan is ridiculous. That Chicago team was one of the most dominant ever, and destroyed pretty much everyone they played save for their tough finals games against Utah. Miami had a strong regular season last year, but they played a favorable schedule and in a very weak eastern conference decimated by season ending injuries to several all stars (Rose, Grainger, Rondo), and ran up that 23 game win streak playing mostly bad teams.

    Post season, after sweeping a terrible Milwaukee team, they played .500 ball the rest of the playoffs. Winning more due to lucky circumstances, than dominance. They faced the Bulls without Rose, Deng, and most of their bench, then faced Indy without Danny Grainger, yet they didn’t dominate either team. If not for a boneheaded move by Indy’s coach to pull Hibbert, they could have easily lost game one of the conference finals and that series.

    The finals was weird with teams trading blowouts, and, again, injuries hobbling Parker and Ginobli giving Miami another fortunate draw. San Antonio choked due to inexperience (most of that team was not around for their prior title runs) and easily should have won the series.

    I congratulate Miami for pulling it off, but it was far from a dominant display, and they were lucky to win that second title. This year they are a year older, which is definitely not a good thing for Battier, Allen, and most importantly D-Wade and this year they have to get through 3 (hopefully) healthy teams that have dominant rebounding, interior scoring, and stiffling defense that exposes Miami’s weaknesses and can force LeBron to do everything (the majority of their post season losses where in games they were outrebounded, outmuscled, and LeBron was forced to play hero ball).

    Miami will be good. But look for Indy or Chicago to knock them off in a gritty series. Miami will not even make the finals this year.

    • malikdamon says:

      The heat aren’t dominant, then y since LeBron James came 2 the heat, they only took an L from 1 team in a playoff series.these Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams can’t touch Miami Heat u should know and understand that by now

  8. Cripple Rapist says:

    @Don’t ever CLICK MY NAME!!!! You Have been warned
    You’re just a BUTT – HURT, what??? D12 left your god kobe??? I thought your god kobe will take them to the promise land? I guess it’s a lie after all… The HEAT barely got past indiana….a team carried only by paul george??? How about your so called Super Team??? Nash Pau Howard MWP and your god kobe??? They didn’t even make it past 1st round… Now you’re saying Heat vs Paul George? Even with your god kobe around, lakers will be swept…. By Duncan and Parker…. when the ballhog got injured, the lakers became a real TEAM… Watch out for the Rockets, Howard will wear his BIG BOY PANTS and I sure he will let kobe to notice it…

  9. Karlo Garcia says:

    I have doubts about the Heat in terms of health(Oden) but overall I still expect them to top the East slightly.

  10. J says:

    I said this on the other article

    the heat have a great chance at a 3 peat next season. why? well…

    they pretty much have the same team as last year which is a good thing
    they added oden and Beasley which is a terrific thing
    WADE’S INJURIES ARE OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE IS FINE!!!!!!!!!!
    and they have lebron

    I’m not saying they will 3peat for sure (the pacers are strong contenders) but they have a great chance

    doubts? they wont be as far ahead of the pack as they were last season so they better stay focused
    more doubts? (more worries really) Oden and Beasley

  11. sid says:

    All these writers are jumping on the heat bandwagon because last year each and every one of them said the heat would not repeat and they all felt stupid….so they dont want to make the same mistake this year…also steve kerr will see how wrong he is….if there is one team that can actually beat miami is indiana. NOT THE BULLS. Did he forget what happened in 2010 when a healthy rose and a really good bench got ousted in the playoff? i guess he did

  12. BOOM says:

    LOL, It actually looks like some of the writers don’t want to say that the Heat will lose because of the flaming they’ll get. Just sad.

  13. 2014OKC says:

    Lebron James is the best player in the galaxy. The Heat will not win all of the consecutive (26?) games again like last year, but they are still the best team in the NBA. The best player is the best player because he makes everyone on his team be the best they can be. And not to mention, they also have the best coach in the NBA. Let’s face it, they have an awesome threesome, this is key factor. They re-invent their own wheel by deleting and adding the right mix of players in the off season. I can go on and on. Oh, they even have a video!!! Watch and learn OKC!

  14. Game Time says:

    Health is the only thing that will keep Miami from repeating. A healthy James, Bosh and Wade trumps pretty much all the combination of stars in the NBA right now. If Beasley decides to get his act together then it’s pretty much going to be a nightmare for everyone this season. Oh and for those who want to talk about Wades decline they should realize he was still in the top 10 ppg last season.

  15. Dollar Man says:

    I think they’ll do it but, man, Indiana is going to be GOOD. If D Rose comes back strong, Chicago will be a tough out. Brooklyn could be a problem with that experienced squad of vets. And don’t forget New York, y’all. The East is stacked but Miami has James and Wade. Two players that will end their careers in the Hall Of Fame. Two players who, in my opinion, rank in the top 15 all-time. If healthy, that’s a lot for any opponent to handle.

  16. grantstern says:

    The Heat are going to repeat. Why? Not just LeBron James, and not just experience.

    The Miami Heat have a system and organization that enable them to be championship contenders year in and out.

    Its not just Riley, not just Wade, or Lebron, or Spo or Udonis, but an idea and practice of the way basketball should be played – and 15 guys on the bench to execute on the court that way. Sure, the Heat have 3 superstar players, but none of that matters without the organization around them.

  17. Alvin D.Harris,Sr. says:

    C’mon NBA fans, The Miami Heat success for the last three NBA season all depended on D-Wade play in the End of each and every NBA Finals series….Yup, the Heat got great play from LeBron James, but the King need Flash to make it a NBA Battle against those Pacers and Spurs at the End and D-Wade came through when it counted like the NBA Champ and 2006 Finals MVP player he’s always been….I like LeBron James, but I love me some D-Wade……!

  18. Alvin D.Harris,Sr. says:

    There has always been doubts each year going forward with this Miami Heat team, Each and every NBA teams will be gunning to beat the Heat as always for the last three NBA season and they had better be at their best to beat the Miami Heat if they expect to make it to the NBA Promise land and on to a NBA Title. The not winning another third Championship this coming season will depend on Greg Oden and D-Wade play. Any NBA team that play this Miami Heat team had better have their A game when it count to defeat this Heat team. If D-Wade can stay healthy and Oden come in to play some monster defense, its going to be the best and most exciting Eastern Conference show-down ever….Can you feel the Heat down in your Soul…..

  19. There will always be doubts each year going forward with this Miami Heat team, Each and every NBA teams will be gunning to beat the Heat as always for the last three NBA season and they had better be at their best to beat the Miami Heat if they expect to make it to the NBA Promise land and on to a NBA Title. The not winning another third Championship this coming season will depend on Greg Oden and D-Wade play. Any NBA team that play this Miami Heat team had better have their A game when it count to defeat this Heat team. If D-Wade can stay healthy and Oden come in to play some monster defense, its going to be the best and most exciting Eastern Conference show-down ever….Can you feel the Heat down in your Soul…..

  20. I believe that the Heat will three-peat. Lebron is currently at Jordan’s level (1990-1998) meaning that no one can stop him in the Playoffs. His stats ( http://www.hostnumber.com/lebron-james-career-stats.html ) show that he has reached a point in his career where he can contribute a bit less, but still be more successful.

    If all else fails, meaning D-Wade and Bosh have off-games, Lebron can take over and become a one-man wrecking crew. There has never been a player who could impose their will onto opposing teams and give coaches big headaches. The only two players to come close are Shaq and Jordan in their primes.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Thank you.
      It feels good to see that there are still people who are knowledgeable about the NBA, and are not just typical LeBron-Heat-Haters with no logic or rationale to their arguments, other than just wanting to see them fail….

      I agree with exactly what you just said … The Heat are hitting the peak of their Dynasty, which is very similar to the 90-98 Bulls, nobody can stop them unless LeBron has a season ending injury or goes back to Cleveland. Just like in the Jordan Bulls era, Jordan kept Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, etc etc all from winning championships…Just like LeBron (who is not even in his prime yet-in my opinion) will prevent Durant, Rose, Melo, D12 etc etc from being able to get any rings.

    • bdg says:

      The heat are goin to be good but dont forgot mike miller was a big factor to those titles he might not did everything but he stretched the floor for lebron in late games when the have lebron at the point can Beasley and Greg oden spread the floor they goin to miss mike miller

  21. Simba says:

    Did this dude from India really cite depth as a problem for the Knicks? Who has a deeper depth chart at all 5 positions than the Knicks? I agree with Kerr that it’ll be tough to 3-peat after so many games played with Xs on your back. The Heat are still the team everyone has to beat but the gap between them and all the big boys in the East has lessened and if they sustain any injuries to any player outside of LeBron (he seems invulnerable) they’ll be in serious trouble.

  22. ac says:

    I really hate saying this, but the only way Miami is not winning another championship is if one of the big three suffers a season-ending injury. I’d love to believe Indiana could do it, but I just don’t see it happening, even with a healthy Granger and the support cast they added this offseason.

    Wish the season would just start already!!!

    • naaah…the heat already had a powerful lineup last year and they needed a 3 from ray allen to win a championship lol…they even barely got past indiana….a team carried only by paul george lol

      • Game Time says:

        Only PG…..and Roy Hibbert….and David West…..and George Hill…..and Lance Stephenson…..geez you always make the stupidest comments.

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        wow, just when I thought you couldn’t be any dumber…
        The heat did a powerful lineup last year but they were missing a huge piece … a Center who can rebound and defend.
        Now the heat have an even more powerful lineup – adding Oden, Birdman, Beasley………………………………………………..
        And how did the heat ‘barely get past’ Indiana, game 7 was a blowout, IND never led the series at any point……………….
        And to say ‘a team carried only by Paul George’ … did you forget Roy Hibbert? David West? or are you just $tupid?

        Lastly, ‘they needed a 3 fro ray allen to win a championship’, yes they definitely did…. But since your such a Laker fan, maybe you can think back to when Lakers needed Derek fisher to hit a shot with 0.4 seconds left vs the Spurs…… Or when Robert Horry hit his game winning 3 vs the kings?

        Think about what you say next time… because you just sound really, really $tupid & annoying …

      • Carried by Paul George boy I tell you you heat haters are something else. Roy hibbert n David west carried Indiana. Where was Paul George in game 7? Indiana is only good because of their size if Greg Oden can stay healthy Indiana would be lucky to win a game against Miami. Paul George only had 2 good games in that series

      • Lonnie says:

        Only by Paul George? U must not know basketball. They have Roy Hibbert nd David West.