Originally written on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 10/5/12
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Contributed by guest writer Frank Palmasani


Years of mocking, followed by ridicule, trailed by disappoint, preceded by doubt, and through all of it the Miami Heat, or Lebron James, finally caught the ring they vied for all the sears.

No one, not even the most passionate of all Heat and Lebron haters (I could be the king of them) can deny the fact that they dominated a good part of every game they played in. The talent that their team possessed mixed in with flamboyant team chemistry was just too much for most teams to deal with. Put them against even the most dominant of teams in a seven game series and you have a drawn out slaughter at the hands of “King” James and Dwayne Wade.

Especially in the previous season, no teams had the star power it took to truly stop the Miami Heat. It would take a team with excellent management and an even more tempting environment to bring in the talent that could truly challenge the likes of South Beach. It would take a team that can make the correct moves and decisions to bring an elite point guard and maybe even a Superman-like center.

After bringing in those two key talents, maybe the team would rock the foundation of the pre-season and raise the question: Can this team beat the champions?

Walla, introduce the newly formed Los Angeles Lakers.

Can they do it? Could this Laker team who has faltered in the second round in the past two years truly challenge the trophy team of all bandwagon prone NBA fans? There is no denying that they are the best in the NBA. For the most part, it comes along with the ring at the end of the post season; that doesn’t mean anything is set in stone.

The one on one match ups in Laker versus Heat games are as far away from one sided as an octagon. The matchup that comes to peoples mind right off the bat is always Kobe versus Lebron. However, realistically, that match up is seen a lot less than most would wish for. The majority of the game is Meta World Peace going head to head with Lebron James. While World Peace is not nearly quick enough to stop James, he has plenty of strength to challenge him at the block and he isn’t intimidated at the least. Do not let that confuse you, though; Lebron James will get his 30 plus points per game. It’s an automatic stat that seems willed almost by the hand of David Stern himself.

Dwayne Wade bringing his “flash” into, around, and over Kobe is the real match up. How Kobe plays defense at Wade is a key factor of the game. It’s been seen, especially in the Laker’s most recent matchup with the Heat, that when Dwayne Wade is off, so is their chemistry. In the matchup directly after the All-Star game, after Dwayne Wade broke Kobe’s nose in what is supposed to be nothing more than a pick-up game, Dwayne Wade was not just shut down by Kobe but he was also forced into six fouls.

Just as easy, however, the huge sway of the game can count on how well Wade guards the aging Bryant. Wade can easily keep in front of him on any whim of cutting, slashing, or driving that may pass through Kobe’s mind, Kobe is Kobe. He’ll get his shots, they’ll drop, and he’ll smile all the way down to the other side of the court. This matchup will be the core of the game along with how well Dwight Howard reacts with the wide variety of athleticism that the Heat brings to the table.

Dwight Howard will have to go up with both Dwayne Wade and Lebron James. Regardless of any of Chris Bosh’s recent comments or remarks, he versus Dwight Howard is a no contest. That old saying, “Great offense beats great defense every time” will not apply here. It is what Dwight Howard does. However, Chris Bosh is still an offensive specialist and someone Dwight will have to keep an eye
on.

How he reacts and how quickly he does to defend a cutting and loose Wade or James can greatly change the direction of the game.

They’re great, and up until now they had no true competition. They do now. This will be a great season.


Previous "The Competition" articles: Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers
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