Dream Team Miami Heat
March 24, 2012 by staff
Dream Team Miami Heat, At about the time LeBron James was declared dead to the city of Cleveland, the Miami Heat were declared to be an NBA “Dream Team” and installed as the favorite to win the 2011 title.
First, of course, we had to hear James confirm to ESPN’s Jim Gray that he doesn’t bite his fingernails so much anymore.
Why Gray didn’t follow up on the King’s bed wetting and thumb sucking we do not know. However, he did finally ask the only question that mattered, which is where James would play.
It is Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as the nucleus of a team that you know Pat Riley is going to coach.
And with that, the NBA’s balance of power shifted dramatically from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference.
After all, not only did James and Bosh stay in the East and join another perennial All-Star on the same team, they were joined in the Eastern Conference by Amar’e Stoudemire, who left the Suns for New York, and Carlos Boozer, who switches from Utah to Chicago.
Richard Gardner, sports book manager for the sports wagering website Bodog.com made the Heat a 7-4 favorite with the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers second at 11-4, and that was before word came out that Derek Fisher might abandon the Lakers to jump to the Heat.
“Never in my time in this business have I seen such an impact one player would have on a team’s odds to win the championship,” Gardner said. “Look at the Cavaliers who would have been 4-1 if he would have stayed in Cleveland and now are 60-1 to win the title.”
In case you’re curious, the Suns now are a 35-1 shot, tied for seventh among Western Conference teams with Portland and New Orleans. Stoudemire and the Knicks are given the same odds.
Who knows how big of a favorite the Heat will become when the full team is assembled? A lot of players may want to latch on for the ride.
But these Dream Team deals don’t always work.
The last time a team got so much hoopla – ok, not an-hour-of-prime-time-butt-kissing hoopla – might have been the 1994-95 Suns. That club, too, was called an NBA “Dream Team.”
It was the season the Suns added free agents Danny Manning and Wayman Tisdale to a roster that included Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, Danny Ainge, A.C. Green and Kevin Johnson. All but Tisdale had played in at least one All-Star Game.
With Michael Jordan still whiffing on curveballs and the Suns having just lost in seven games to the eventual-champion Houston Rockets, the Suns were regarded by many as the team to beat.
And they looked like it, running out to a league-best 36-10 start, despite Barkley missing the first 11 games due to injury. But a funny thing happened on the way to the parade.
Kevin Johnson was in and out because of leg problems, missing 35 games.
And Manning, who was averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 shot blocks through those first 46 games, suffered a season-ending and career-damaging knee injury in a practice collision with Joe Kleine.
The Suns went 23-13 the rest of the way, lost again to the Rockets and watched Houston celebrate a second title.
Manning never averaged better than 13.5 points a game again. Majerle was traded. Ainge retired. Barkley played one more season and forced his way out.
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