Race is wide open
It would be easy to say the Heat will be the favorite.
It would be easy to say the Mavericks will repeat because they now have the know-how.
But in reality, it will be wide open.
The Heat, if they can get over losing in the Finals and the disappearance of LeBron James, will be a favorite.
The Thunder gained experience from losing in the Western Conference finals, and will be a force again if Russell Westbrook improves his point-guard mentality and gets past the criticism.
Heat too talented
Whether the season is 82 games, 50 like the last lockout-shortened season or less, the Heat will win the championship.
Rarely has such a successful team been so scrutinized and criticized. Of course, the Heat brought some of that upon themselves. But think about it: The Heat came within two victories of a title in their first season together after landing LeBron James and Chris Bosh in free agency.
James and Dwyane Wade will figure out how to play better together. Erik Spoelstra will continue to demand them to defend. And Udonis Haslem will be healthy. James and Wade are too talented not to win a title together and certainly will be motivated by failure - if you can call winning 58 games and an Eastern Conference championship that.
Heat are favorites