The Miami Heat will rather have an easy first round in the 2014 NBA Playoffs. After beating the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 1 easily, in a game that Al Jefferson got hurt (sports injury alert), LeBron James and Co. are set to continue playing at their top level. The Heat aim to close the series by sweeping the Cats and get some days of rest before facing their second – round opponent. So how possible is it for the Heat to three–peat? Are they on track?
Well, Erik Spoelstra’s group seems to be exactly on track. Nonetheless, the Heat not much better than just that. They are doing their job, they are getting what they need but they are not causing jaws to drop with their performance. Unlike last year, when the margin between them and the rest of the league was very big, the Heat don’t seem to be that good this year. Don’t get me wrong here. The Heat are still good but they are not that good.
Miami will have an easy time during the first round against the much weaker Charlotte Bobcats. Nevertheless, their second – round matchup could cause them some trouble. It will be either the Toronto Raptors or the Brooklyn Nets who will stand in Miami’s way towards the Eastern Conference Finals. Both teams could cause some trouble to the Big Three. After all, the Brooklyn Nets are the only team Miami’s LeBron era which has managed to sweep a season series. The second round is when things will start getting serious for the Heat.
The biggest obstacle the Heat will most probably face, at least as things look at the moment, still is the Indiana Pacers. Although Frank Vogel’s group lost the first game against the Atlanta Hawks, they came back to win Game 2 and they are projected to eventually win the series. The Pacers and the Heat can’t meet before the Eastern Conference Finals but if they do, we should all expect a clash of titans. None of the two powerhouses holds the edge and this could be the moment where Miami’s the dreams for a three – peat and LeBron’s promise for “not one, not two, not three… “ could come to an end. The Indiana Pacers will hold the home court advantage in such a potential matchup.
Dwyane Wade’s health and condition will be a key for the Heat during this championship run. At the moment, D – Wade seems to be just fine. He is scored 23 points in 34 minutes of play in Game 1. As long as he stays healthy, the Heat can continue to eye their third one in a row. Of course, the Heat will have to ride King James’ performances for yet another season but LBJ is looking playing with his usual, dominant style.
The Heat should be worried about their supporting cast, which hasn’t been as powerful as last year this season. However, they can hope for some big, clutch performances from players like Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and even Shane Battier when they will need to play big.
Thank you for reading. Ron Leyba is the lead editor of Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues, and a LastWordOnSports NBA Analyst. For more of his articles, follow his updates at Google+ or follow him on Twitter – @ronniedare. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport and “liking” our Facebook page.
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