Apology, for some reason I lost half of my post in a copy-paste operation... I guess I am not as good as Mitch Kupchak's summer-copy-pasting skills.
In case some article on the internet you read makes you believe the Celtics and the Heat are somehow looking good, just let me remind about what we are looking at...
Point Guard Mario Chalmers Carlos Arroyo
Shooting Guard Dwyane Wade Eddie House
Small Forward LeBron James Mike Miller
Power Forward Chris Bosh Udonis Haslem
Center Joel Anthony Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Coach: LeBron unless Pat Riley comes back...
Extras: Juwan Howard, Arroyo, Magloire.
I will not fall into the trap-argument of this team won't glue ect... Don't forget one thing: Pat Riley. I know his name is like pronouncing satan. You remember the old friend with great memories of the Show Time Lakers, at the same time you wish no one remembered the fact that he's probably the best basketball mind around with Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers...
The Heat will have a good nucleus around Wade, with Lebron$ and Z from the cavs and Bosh. So there isn't that much change other than for the fact that three former team leaders are finding themselves sharing one basketball.
I'll admit that is pretty difficult to foresee this as positive for their stats, but actually, they don't need to dominate at the same time (a bit like Ray Allen one night, Rajon Rondo another kinda thing - but neither had more than one big game...).
But they'll have no issues leading their division and passing the first round of the playoffs. So at that point will be their moment to show if this can really work. Wade and LeBron$ are likely to affect each others productivity, but in the end, they are great players and will not make it easy on anyone. So they can reach the final, depending also on the level of the 35 year old Celtics team and Dwight Howard's ability to consistently dominate offensivily in the paint.
Point Guard Rajon Rondo Nate Robinson
Shooting Guard Ray Allen Marquis Daniels
Small Forward Paul Pierce Tony Gaffney
Power Forward Kevin Garnett Glen Davis
Center Jermaine O'Neal Shaquille O'Neal
Coach: Doc Rivers, the second best in the league... The best being the best
Extras: Glen Davis, Perkins, Wafer.
Retirement homes seem to recruit a lot during the summer... Joke on the newly born O'Celtics.
Anyway, I'm not pleased. If these guys make it to the final, it's gonna be dirty. Real dirty. I mean Bynum will make Shaq lose 5 kilo per minute played. Ray Allen won't start anymore, Garnett will be one year older, and Rondo will hope Bryant has only 9 fingers available for the night. Oh yes, not to forget, Doc Rivers, he's good. In fact, I consider him the second best coach in the NBA at the moment. So in spite of the fact we all despise them and only wish to confront them to rip every little bit of self-esteem they still have, they will be a tough adversary... But then again, the summer acquisitions don't convince me. Whilst if the Celtics want to get dirty, Barnes and Blake will probably let them know not to mess with the 50cms of Oxygen around Kobe. Anyone who messes with this team with Artest and all is looking for a next life. Some people said we should take Delonte West (!), well, it would be funny, he'll be our traitor. They can keep Shaq for as many dollars as they want. I forgot to mention Ratliff being a force when Perkins causes problems in the paint... But then again, I really believe Bynum will have an enourmous season. He knows it is time, and Gasol will only benefit from that. If the Lakers are to trade an important player in the next two seasons (no offence Sasha Vujacic) it would either be Odom or Bynum so this is a crucial year for both.
Interesting, but how about this?
Los Angeles Lakers
Point Guard Derek Fisher Steve Blake
Shooting Guard Kobe Bryant Shannon Brown Sasha Vujacic
Small Forward Ron Artest Matt Barnes Luke Walton
Power Forward Pau Gasol Lamar Odom
Center Andrew Bynum Theo Ratliff
"Optional" Toppings: Caracter & Ebanks
Every weakness has been dealt with. One big guy who can play 10m at least a night and contribute. Two promising rookies, and then two guys who will make this team a tough team for opponents for the full 48 minutes, Barnes and Blake. Don't udnerestimate either, off the bench, they are luxury; not sure we'll be able to keep Barnes, but you never know as salaries may be re-adjusted next year and a 31 year old small forward may no longer be a great market value...
Is anyone still worried?
Maybe the Magic?
Point Guard Jameer Nelson Chris Duhon
Shooting Guard Vince Carter J.J. Redick
Small Forward Mickael Pietrus Quentin Richardson
Power Forward Rashard Lewis Ryan Anderson
Center Dwight Howard Marcin Gortat
Richardson is not going to bring as much as Orlando needs. They need to dominate games, have a leader that can step-up to another level: Howard.
So if we look West who could make it hard on us?
Okhlahoma City Thunder
Point Guard Russell Westbrook Eric Maynor
Shooting Guard James Harden Thabo Sefolosha
Small Forward Kevin Durant Morris Peterson
Power Forward Jeff Green D.J. White
Center Nenad Krstic Cole Aldrich
If like me you spent the first game of the series trying to remember the names of the whole starting five, then you know by now that these kids could improve in the next couple of years. Young teams often have one great year, after which they often need some copy-paste before challenging for a ring, so it isn't a huge threat. So Durant and Westbrook will be better, but then now we have Blake and Barnes as well to give them no rest... Although I would say that would be more the case for Durant... Westbrook could cause more trouble as a smaller guard like Farmar was until now the second best defensive solution on small guards... Artest will have the chance to shine, I think he'll really be here for a while like Rodman was for the Bulls (Rodman did retire very late, or did he? hehe...).
Well, all we need is all of Kobe's fingers alive, and it's a 3peat!