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2013-14 NBA Preview: Heat thinking three-peat

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TSN.ca Staff
10/27/2013 4:20:21 PM
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At first glance, you would think that everything went according to plan for the Miami Heat in 2012-13.

They picked up an NBA-best 66 wins in the regular season and a second straight NBA championship.

While the end result was what they wanted, the Heat's road to the title was anything but a cakewalk. In fact, if Ray Allen doesn't nail a second-chance three with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, it's the Spurs, not the Heat hoisting the Larry O'Brien.

Instead of talking about a title, we'd be talking about how the Heat's vaunted big three came up short for the second time in three seasons. And LeBron James, instead of winning a second straight Finals MVP, is back to hearing about how he choked in the clutch after missing three straight shots prior to Allen's dagger through the heart of San Antonio.

Of course, Allen did hit that three and the Heat did go on to beat San Antonio in Game 7, capping one of the most thrilling NBA Finals ever.

The Heat remain one of the best teams in the NBA and lost only one significant piece from last year's team in Mike Miller. They still have the best player in the world and will be favoured to win a third straight title.

However, the more difficult than expected playoff run, particularly their trouble handling big, physical teams, has left questions as to whether or not the Heat have what it takes to three-peat. Or more specifically have other teams, expecially in the Eastern Conference caught up to the Heat?

Add in the fact that James, Wade and Bosh are all eligible to opt out of their contracts after this season and the situation in Miami isn't quite as sunny as you might think.

Go to TSN.ca/nba to read more on the Heat and find your team's season preview.

2013 NBA Preview (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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Western Conference

(1) SA v (8) DAL (4) HOU v (5) POR
(2) OKC v (7) MEM (3) LAC v (4) GS


Eastern Conference

(1) IND v (8) ATL (4) CHI v (5) WSH
(2) MIA v (7) CHA (3) TOR v (6) BKN


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