The Miami Heat secured their second NBA title in franchise history earlier in the year, dominating the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2012 Finals. They're clearly the most dominant team in the NBA right now, and I expect that trend to continue.
Here are five reasons the Miami Heat will win their second consecutive NBA title next year:
1. LeBron James has found himself"King James'" decision to take his services to Miami, rubbed some basketball fans the wrong way, but it certainly was the right choice for LeBron. With the Heat, James finally got the opportunity to play with other superstars, and that turned him into a better player. The intense backlash he received from fans toughened him up, and he solidified his role as one of the NBA's greats with his many clutch performances during the 2012 postseason. Like it or not, LeBron is the best player in the NBA right now, and won't change for quite some time.
2. Erik Spoelstra proved he can coach at the highest levels
Even though Spoelstra put together a decent coaching record before the Heat acquired LeBron and Chris Bosh, many still wondered whether he was the right man for the job. However, he's managed the "big three" well, keeping everyone on the same page. With Miami's dominant performance in the 2012 NBA finals, questions about Spoelstra's coaching abilities will no longer be a distraction.
3. The addition of Ray Allen and Rashard LewisAs if Miami needed any more firepower, they've added two decent scorers to their lineup. Allen will help the Heat spread their offense, with his three-point shooting; while Lewis gives them another player that can drive to the basket (he's decent from downtown as well).
4. Mario Chalmers will only improve with timeChalmers is arguably the most underrated player on Miami's roster, and he'll only get better with time. He contributed to the Heat's success during the 2011/12 NBA season, and I expect him to play a bigger role next year.
5. Weakened Eastern ConferenceThe NBA's Eastern Conference hasn't been as weak as it is right now in quite some time, but that will only make Miami's road to the Finals that much easier. Besides the Chicago Bulls (who'll be without the services of Derrick Rose for the first half of the season) and Boston Celtics, I can't see any team in the east competing with the Heat.
Player and game information from ESPN.com
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