Depends on D-Wade
The Thunder should be the obstacle again next June and for a few more Junes after that.
Here's the thing: Dwyane Wade's window is now the Heat's window. He'll turn 31 in January, but he's an old 31 after a career of hitting the floor.
What's scary for the NBA is that King James has figured it out.
It's now LeBron's team, and his time, and he could own a three-peat.
James knows the drill
It's an impossible question to answer before a summer full of transactions. Nevertheless, it's a fun one, particularly since the Heat have been polarizing since The Big Three formed.
The early guess is yes, and here's why: LeBron James now has tasted a title. He's also twice tasted losing in the Finals. Guess which one he likes better? James' ability to figure out what he needs to do to help the Heat win is the biggest reason they climbed out of a 3-2 hole against the Celtics. James elevated his game. And who's going to stop him from doing so moving forward when often it was him doing so in the past?
As long as James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are around, they have to be the favorites.
It's a tall order
Sure, the Heat could repeat, and the pressure on LeBron James to win his first title was more intense than it will be for his second.
Like the Heat, the Thunder's core of young stars will also be around next season. So there's a reasonable bet to be made that we will see a repeat — at least with the same two teams playing each other in June.
Everything's on their side
I'll answer this question in the most annoying way possible: more questions.
Will the Heat still have the league's best player — the only man who could go for a ho-hum 26-11-13 in the clinching game of the NBA Finals — LeBron James?
What about Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, will they still be around?
Will the Heat still be the league's top destination for free agents who will take less money with the hope of winning a championship (see: Nash, Steve)?
Yes, yes and yes.
Even if the Thunder, Bulls, Lakers and Mavericks make big-time moves, LeBron James is only getting better, and the Heat look poised to bolster their roster as well. Miami is the heavy favorite to repeat.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun