Moses Malone once famously said he “and four guys from St. Petersburg” (his hometown) could beat the Celtics. (I miss that kind of bravado today!) Pat Riley clearly believes Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and a bunch of guys from South Beach can win an NBA title because that’s just about what the roster will look like once it’s filled out under the salary cap restrictions.
Still, the Heat will be among the favs next season. Should they be?
I’ll give Riley some credit. If he persuaded the South Beach Trois to take less $ for the chance to play as teammates, sure he’ll be able to cobble together some guys who’d like to have the best seats in the house as the Trois take on history.
But let’s be clear: Teams will not roll over for the Heat. They’ll present a formidable challenge, especially in a seven-game series. But there are a few very solid teams who are already lacing up for their change to knock them back.
The Heat, suddenly, are every Eastern team’s rival.
Today, based on current rosters, the best teams in the league are (in Roy’s order):
8 ) Spurs
All of this is subject to change, of course, after there’s no free agent left unsigned (except for Allen Iverson) and every sign-and-trade has been depleted. But for now, that’s my list.