Before I embark on the Miami Heat and devote yet more time to them, let us firstly look at all that is good about this wonderfully talented basketball team… http://youtu.be/-x2G3AvHeaM
Now with that being said, let us look at a possible problem that the Heat may bring to the table, for years to come. A fantastic team, check. A team worthy of winning the title multiple times in the future, check. But perhaps this meticulously assembled team is doing something which few predicted, and that is stiffle and stop the growing talents of some of the league’s best and up and coming players. Of course, we can not predict what teams will challenge for the title in the next five years, but most would agree that the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and others like the promising youth of the Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers will be up there. (Of course both the Lakers and Celtics cannot be discounted either, as always.) But because of the Miami Heat, these teams will either never get the chance to go for the title. Even worse though, and selfishly for us fans, they will deny the people some great match ups in the process.
Think about it, it is not impossible to believe that every year for the forseeable future that Miami will make the Finals. Great if you’re a fan of them for sure, but does this mean that Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant will not get to meet in a Playoff series during their best playing years? Two fantastic talents, who year after year will run into the brick wall that is the Heat and never facing each other for the gold? That would be a shame. Or how about the ageing and masterful Dirk Nowitzki, never getting to tangle with a superpower in his prime like Dwight Howard? Kobe Bryant having one final swan song against a John Wall type? The fact is, Miami seem to have thrown a spanner in the works here.
Looking back on the past, great talents staying on seperate teams resulted in classic match ups between Jordan, Bird, Magic, Wilkins and Thomas amongst others. It was a natural progression and a passing of the torch of sorts, but bringing together some of the best players of a generation has stopped this progression from occuring. How disheartening must it be to know that if you are a team from the East, you must pass by the Heat at some stage every year just to get to the Finals? Similarly for teams in the West, how annoying must it be to know that it will be Miami waiting in the Finals no matter what? Actually, this is probably how teams would have felt in the Jordn era.
This Miami team is great, and watching them can be a pleasure, but knowing they will be up there year after year is kind of boring, especially when you consider the talent that may never get to hoist the Larry O’Brien aloft as a result. However, all is not lost. As Dallas have shown this year, this team is beatable, especially over a seven game series. It would seem that Miami just need the right pieces around their three star players to win a title, after all they were only two games away from victory last time out. So, although it will be great to see if Miami can build one of the all time great successful dynastys, it is also a sad thought to think that some potentially great match ups may never get the chance to play out.