Heating up the NBA

Parker Fox, Sports Editor

In the summer of 2010 when many of the NBA’s top stars were scheduled for free agency, three of the most highly sought after players all landed in Miami.  Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh all signed and sent a shock wave through the sports world.  Following a tumultuous 2011 campaign, the Heat has a Championship-or-bust outlook as they look to silence their haters.

            Only a handful of teams are considered serious contenders to overcome the Heat, namely the Bulls, Knicks Thunder, and Lakers.  Even more so than any other professional league, the NBA is a league of superstars- the supporting cast is only so important.  That being said, the most notable difference between this season’s Heat and the 2011 Heat has been the improved play of the bench.  Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are finally healthy, and off-season acquisition Shane Battier has provided an edge. 

            With the 120-108 victory Tuesday over the Kings, Miami won its 7th straight game and now has the best record in the NBA at 26-7.  Unlike the cross-country rival Lakers, the Heat has been using its key players sparingly.  The Lakers have used Kobe Bryant rather frequently to be able to win regular season games.  The Heat has the luxury of a talented bench and don’t need to overuse their star players.  Seeing Wade and LeBron on the bench at the same time is not uncommon.

            “The Heat are really starting to pass the rest of the league,” says senior Shane Smith.  “The only team with any kind of shot to beat them is the Bulls.”

            With Derrick Rose finally returning from an injury (back spasms), the Bulls will be able to challenge the league-leading Heat.  They know that if they want to win a championship, they will probably see Miami, one way or another.