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Dwyane Wade says the team to beat is the Lakers

Jul 14, 2010, 7:55 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for wade_layup.jpgSome pundits (and a few of the NBA’s advanced stats community) are pretty willing to hand the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Miami Heat.

The other 29 teams, not so much.

Actually, make that 30. Because Dwyane Wade doesn’t even think the Heat are the favorites, as he said before his charity golf event to AP.

“The Lakers are the champions and we know the Lakers are very good,” Wade said Wednesday at a golf tournament he co-hosts with Alonzo Mourning. “That’s the team that everyone’s shooting for and they should be. Not the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers.”

Think about the matchups for a minute. Chris Bosh on Pau Gasol, fun because of different styles, but kind of a wash. Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade… I’d lean Kobe but for the sake of argument we’ll call it a wash (these are the two guys on the teams with the real killer instincts). LeBron James is going to get his, but Ron Artest is going to make him work for those.

Then who covers Andrew Bynum? The most likely candidate to slow him is his own knees. The Heat have Big Z who is a big body but a healthy Bynum destroys him.

And while Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are quality, Lamar Odom has more talent than both of them. The person most likely to stop Odom is Odom. As always.

Bottom line, the matchups still make it look like LA is the team to beat. You can bet that television executives at ABC would like to put that to the test next June.

  1. johnmaine - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    Jose Valverde’s mound celebrations being compared to Carlos Perez:

  2. James Perrin - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Kurt, I don’t know what you are smoking but your break down on the comparison between the Lakers and Heat is hilarious. Kobe and DWade close. However, bosh owns Gasol and Artest can not do anything with Lebron hell Cleveland beat the Lakers five out of the last six times they played and Lebron averages over thirty a game not counting his rebounds and assist. He does not have to work hard against Artest nost players do but he doesn’t because he is bigger, stronger and better flat out. So there is definitely some LA bias in your break down. Here is what i see Kobe getting the ball with DWade on him he makes a move and Lebron comes over and traps, what is he going to do—nothing what can her do. I can not wait for the season to start. I am from Ohio and I am areaslist LA is a good team Miami a new team that by season end will be the best team.

  3. tim a - Jul 14, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    what the hell has chris bosh ever done other lead his team into the lottery? chris bosh is not a superstar, he is an all-star riding on the coat tails of wade and lebron.

  4. John - Jul 14, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    Hey James, HAHAHA!!!
    Let’s look at this break down again. Like you said, Kobe and Wade is close, but Kobe has the definite edge. When they say there are two best players in this league they are not talking about Wade… Advantage Kobe. Bosh better than Gasol?? Are you serious?? Gasol is the best big man in the league right now. Read the scouting report. Not to mention that he has 2 rings to Bosh’s 0.00. How many playoff series has Bosh been in? Bosh advantage on youtube, Gasol advantage on court. The Lebron and Artest matchup, Lebron own’s it. However, don’t under estimate the effect of banging with Artest. Not to mention the heart that Artest has. In the finals he was wrestling with Peirce before the game even started. He knows how to compete and get under the skin of the defender. Point guard, Fish and Blake are a clear advantage. Center, Bynum destroys big Z. Odom is better than Miller and Haslem combined. Then you have the rest of the Heat… Whoever is willing to take the league minimum. The Heat will be good in a couple years after some good drafting and another MLE or two. Anyone who thinks a team of three can beat a complete Championship team doesn’t know much about team sports. But hey, we can all dream!!

  5. REALLY - Jul 14, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Droppin the F-bomb, really?? The Heat have 2 of the 3 best players in the NBA. That may be true… Wade is in the top 5 of my list, top 3 of some I’m sure. That’s really doesn’t mean anything though. First off, what happens if Wade, Lebron, or Bosh roll an ankle?? Insert Miller or Haslem into the starting line-up. Where do they rank then? Not in the top 3 in the East. Even where they are I will be surprised if they make it past Boston or Orlando. But Bynum loses a knee, you insert Odom. Where do you rank the Lakers then? Two years ago they won the Championship with that line-up.
    Let’s think back to 04. Lakers on the end of the threepeat. They sign Malone and Payton. Two Hall of Famers to a team that had won the last three Championships. Malone got hurt and Payton played selfish. Lost to the Pistons in the Finals.
    The city of Miami better hope they start playing with two basketballs, there are a lot of ball handlers on that team. It will be fun to watch, but in the end the O’brien Trophy will be back in LA again next year. Jackson wins in Threes.

  6. Jav - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    Keep dreaming homer. The HEAT are going to manhandle the lakers, look how desperately Kobe is trying to find defenders to come to LA, and they’re a championship team. Kobe might have a very SLIGHT edge over Wade, but I would not put all my eggs in that basket either. Kobe has always had a good if not an allstar supporting cast (Shaq,Gasol, Odom)when winning his championships. But they have not faced a team of this caliber. You guys are in for a ride. Oh and by the way, what happens if Kobe rolls ankle too? Or even worse loses that finger?

  7. Sal - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    Hell you guys think you got it in the bag, because you got LeBron? So what, Bosh and Bron Bron= 0 Championships. Let’s get back to the article, the reason Mr. Wade said that the Lakers are the favorite, instead of them is because he can’t take heat ( no pun intended ). Mmm Let’s see, right now the most hated person in the planet, because of his ego in the decision is LeBron Bron. Clearly wade wants to shift that type of pressure away from them. Bla Bla Bla, instead of owning up and having the cahones like his boy Bron bron who in his WWF introduction style, said that the Heat are going to win like 7 championships, Own up Wade have the cahonez to confirm what Bron Bron said. All of Lebron’s talk has done nothing more than to MOTIVATE the Black Mamba to come stronger than ever and get that 3Peat. Did you guys forget that Kobe was hurting like never before with all those injuries and still won the title. We have the best coach, Ron Artest is finally learning the Triangle offense, so we know that he’s only going to get better; and with the addition of Blake, substituting for Fish, I don’t see anyone stopping the Lakers.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    This article makes Heat fans cranky.
    And, apparently, when Heat fans get cranky they spell terribly (areaslist? seriously?) and use profanity. Clearly that is the more well thought out side of the argument.

  9. Bob - Jul 15, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Wade is just trying to take the target off his back with those comments. It is a lot of pressure being the favorites and his is trying to pin that on the Lakers.

  10. Iain - Jul 15, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    I’d say the champs start favourites until someone beats them up, same as always.
    It’s impossible to say who would win a 7-game series based on matchups this tight anyway. What holds true in game 1 may not in game 2, etc.
    Hopefully we get to see some good, exciting games over a number of years, because that’s what we’ll remember most fondly.

  11. metalandganja - Jul 15, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    wow — bosh and gasol are pretty much a wash? holy crap, really? let’s compare their stats and results in all late playoff series. oh wait, what? bosh has never had a late playoff series? well, i can’t wait till he finally shows up to one so he can play gasol to a wash!
    seriously, i can’t stand the freakin’ lakers, but gasol is so far ahead of bosh right now it’s not even funny.

  12. mobtown - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Without a doubt, Gasol is going to destroy Bosh.
    Kobe is much better in the crunch, is stronger than Wade, taller than wade, and a better defender. Wade gets to the line, hits jumpers, and gets injured, that’s about the extent of his game.
    Kobe is without a doubt the best scorer in the game, Gasol is the best big right now, and the question mark surrounding the PG position in Miami is so crucial and not even mentioned.
    We have no idea what kind of chemistry this team has, how they perform under pressure, and if they can even get past the original big three or Orlando. Everybody’s game is going to be ratcheted up for the Heat because a lot players feel slighted by their moves.
    Wade can do a Jig and point at the Lakers all day, but that still isn’t going to take the target off their back.

  13. hnirobert - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    I’m a Heat fan I think the Lakers are the team to beat, but to say Bosh hasn’t proved anything when compared to Gasol is funny. What did Gasol prove while in Memphis? Nada. They’re comparable players and now that Bosh is on a good team, as Gasol has been the last 2 going on 3 years, we’ll be able to really asses who is better.

  14. hnirobert - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Let’s not forget that if it’s not for a miracle shot by Kobe last year, the Heat, with a much lesser team, beat the Lakers twice last year.
    Also, Dwyane hasn’t sustained a serious injuries in 2 years and Kobe’s knees are starting to break down.

  15. mobtown - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Zen Master vs. Spoelester.
    Regular season? Last year? It’s like saying, well the Spurs lost to the Warriors in the regular season, so they probably can’t beat them in the post season.
    Teams like the Lakers, Spurs, and Celtics have different gears in the playoffs, LORD KNOWS LEBRON EXPERIENCED THAT, at the hands of the Celtics last year and at the hands of the Spurs in his only finals appearance.

  16. Jim - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Uhh Lebron and Artest is as big a match-up as a “healthy” Bynum on whoever is. Ron-Ron got abused last year by Lebron in two matchups. No reason to expect that will not continue.

  17. WK - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Comments on here which keep on referring to regular season results (i.e. Miami fans) are clearly not ready to be contenders. Here in L.A., the season begins in April and ends in June.

  18. John - Jul 15, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Gotta love the Miami fans. It’s to bad you all only get to see Kobe play a couple times a year. What you refer to as a “miracle shot” is just a winning shot to us. Miracles only happen once. How many tough “miracle” shots did Kobe hit this last season?? As soon as he got the ball LA knew the game was over. Maybe a miracle will happen and you guys will get to see kobe play in a couple more games in June next year. Then it will be miraculous when we get the threepeat. The miraculous Black Mamba!! haha, maybe that will stick.

  19. Salty - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    The heat first has to get by the Celtic defence. Don’t forget the Celtics shut the king down in the playoffs. I think the green beast will knock them out before the finals. The finals will be the Lakers and Celtics, as it should be.

  20. loungefly - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    Holy cow…you mentioned a regular season game? Oh man..nuff said on that. Look, until you win something, the smack talk in not credible. Laker fans right now rule the roost. Back-2-Back? Just show respect holmes. I know your’re pumped about the Heat, and I would be too, but the fact, the fact I emphasize!, is the Lakers are the champs. Till someone dethrones them, it’s all just chump talk, jealously, bitterness, etc…If your Heat win in the upcoming season, I’ll be the first to say congrats. But until then, Black Mamba & Co own the court. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch as well, dude.

  21. mick the ripper - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    REALLY, dont contradict yourself… what happens if Kobe rolls and ankle? hahaha they are out for the count. If one of Heats big 3 gets injured you still have 2 great players to rely on. Bosh has only been getting better every year, he’s going to comeback this season stronger and more dominant than ever. Lakers are cleary the best team right now but you chumps fail to give credit where it’s deserved. Also to say Gasol owns Bosh is completely rediculous, that’s a great match up right there that makes for great basketball.

  22. WK - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    “Bosh has only been getting better every year, he’s going to comeback this season stronger and more dominant than ever.”
    Why, because you say so? The difference between Lakers and Heat fans: we can rely on results while you only have hope and dreams. There is no credit to count with the Heat, so they deserve none. Prove it on the court, then we’ll see who the chumps are.

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