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Chalmers knows East going to be a lot tougher this season

Jul 30, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 6 Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers get Danny Granger back and added a lot of depth. The Chicago Bulls get former NBA MVP Derrick Rose back. The Brooklyn Nets added Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, plus some depth. The New York Knicks added Metta World Peace and will have Iman Shumpert a full season.

Miami has won the Eastern Conference three straight years and have back-to-back NBA titles. They have LeBron James. But while they have made no big moves this summer (Greg Oden, if the Heat land him, is not a big move — he hasn’t played since 2009) the rest of the East has gotten better.

The East is going to be much tougher next season and Miami is going to be hard pressed to be the first team to go to four straight NBA Finals since the 1987 Boston Celtics.

Mario Chalmers told the Associated Press the team understands that.

“The East is going to be a beast this year,” Chalmers said. “It’s going to be tough competition every night. Brooklyn’s making moves, Indiana just got Luis Scola, Derrick Rose coming back to the Bulls, it’s going to be a tough Eastern Conference this year. At the same time, we’ll still do what we do to try to get that third championship that we want.”

Miami is going to have to be better, be healthier come the playoffs if they want a three-peat. The question is can they rise to that challenge?

  1. eboneseagles - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Knicks also added Bargs! Just saying!

    We should see some great ball from these 5 this year, we’ll see how it shakes out.

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      And don’t forget Metta! Regardless of how good you think these guys are, they still made the knicks better.

  2. kountryking - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    And the poor Celtics? Rondo and a bunch of ex-Nets. It’s too painful to think about.

  3. rodge1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Can’t wait for the season to start.

  4. losanginsight - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Sounds like Chalmers knew they got of easy last year due to all the injuries and the *short season before that. This upcoming year should be viewed as the first legit season, besides losing to the Mavs, for the heat.

  5. kb2408 - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I’m glad at least someone is realistic…because the vast majority of Heat “fans” sure aren’t. They seem to think all the team has to do is put LeBron out there with four bozos and a title is in the books. It’s not like the Heat ran roughshod through the playoffs last season. Every contending team in both the East and the West has gotten better except for one…Miami.

  6. dynasonic - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    The Pacers had the best starting 5 last year statistically and took the Heat to 7 games with no bench. They now have a top 10 bench, maybe even a top 5. Pacers fans should be feeling pretty good. There are going to be a lot of disappointed Heat “fans” next year. How many is a lot? Well, not one, not two, not three, not four….

  7. Hughes - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I’m a Miami Heat fan, so as much as I relish the thought of the three-peat, I just don’t see it happening. The teams that provide the most competition for the Heat all got better. I think that with the loss of Mike Miller, the Heat actually got worse. They barely won their title this year, so winning it all next year just doesn’t add up for me.

    • kb2408 - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Dude, if I could give you 100 thumbs up, I would. FINALLY an honest, knowledgeable Heat fan. I feel the exact way you feel…but I get all thumbs down for saying it. Smh…..

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        You can bash Heat fans all you like, but we’re not the ones who have the Heat at 21:10 (bovada.lv) with no one else in the conference better than 10:1 to win it all, even though there are way more bettors in NY and LA and Chicago than down here. That doesn’t prove anything about the teams’ relative chances, but it does suggest that beating up on optimistic Heat fans is kind of missing the target. (Indiana at 12:1 looks like a pretty decent play to me, but maybe that’s why I don’t run a sports book.)

    • pantsfreezone - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      They barely won but they won. And I don’t think you can expect Bosh and Wade to play as poorly as they did. The East is Miami’s until LeBron signs somewhere else or they have a significant injury.

      • spursareold - Jul 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Wade is broken, and Bosh is, well, Bosh.

      • pantsfreezone - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Wade will be fine. He looked pretty good in Game 7. He isn’t Paul Pierce broken. And Bosh had a slump. He usually shoots over 50% from midrange and is good for 1-2 threes a game. I think the greatness of Duncan got in his head. Either way, Indiana, Chicago and Brooklyn are all way, way below Miami in terms of talent and pedigree.

    • soopreme - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      I agree 100% and its scary to think but I’m starting to think that Lebron may go back to Cleveland.
      For a team to have won back to back championships they have a lot of question marks with a glaring weakness in the paint.
      Pitty the thought that Dwade goes down.
      I’m praying that Oden signs and that he works out but if not, I can really see Lebron going back home.
      It almost makes sense.
      Riley has some work to do.

  8. senorpapino - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Pacers – same starting five plus way better bench
    Bulls – four starters who were injured by playoff time coming back
    Nets – huge trade, five current or former all stars in the starting line up

    A lot depends on the health of DWade.

  9. thedebonair1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    As if the Heat will have to play BK, IND, NY, and CHI in a row in the post season. Um those teams are gonna go thru each other too. While every other team has gotten better I can argue that Lebron will be better as well. And if the Heat get Oden and he can just be drivers ed cone for the Heat in the paint on D and finish at the basket, the Heat will be just fine.

    • cbrown386 - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      If Miami makes it into the playoffs as a 3-4 seed (which I think is completely realistic), they could very well have to play some combo of Brooklyn, Indy, NY, and Chicago in the playoffs.

      • miamatt - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        They’d have to play “some combination” of those four teams regardless of what seed they get. You just named 1/2 the field in the east… hard to be in the eastern conference playoffs without playing “some combination” of 1/2 the other teams… just sayin’….

    • kb2408 - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Honestly, how much better can LeBron get? I think it’s more realistic to expect him to play at his current level of greatness for 2-3 more seasons before he has to adjust to losing some of his athleticism, which is what all the all time greats have had to do once they hit their 30′s. And just like Kobe has tons of mileage on his body, LeBron’s odometer is steadily climbing as well. I think the bigger question is what does Wade have left? And I’m almost certain Bosh ain’t getting any better. He is what he is. Oden? Look, I wish nothing but the best for the kid, I am a fan of his. But to expect contribution from someone that hasn’t played in a few seasons is optimistic at best.

      • thedebonair1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

        Well for one his jumper can always use some improvement and two, getting more comfortable in the post can only better his game. I know the thought of him getting better is scary but to say can’t get any better is absurd.

  10. 13arod - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Heat will win championship again and bulls suck

  11. antistratfordian - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Bah! Bosh said the same thing last year… and said the Knicks we’re going to be a force.

    I think the ECF next year is Heat-Nets with Miami winning in 5.

    • arrondior - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      With Rose back, the bulls are pretty scary. The Nets have to be clicking on all cylinders and with the new teammates and new coach, there’s a lot here that could cause them to misfire this season. I expect them to be good, but pretending that they will get past Chicago and Indiana with any certainty is a silly at this point. Let’s see where they are midway through the season.

      • pantsfreezone - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Rose is going to be such a disappointment this year. I’d bet he needs a full season before he gets his footing back.

  12. dj3garrett - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I don’t understand why every team in the league gets to use the injury excuse but Miami… Yea they barely won this year but they still won with an injured Wade… Yea a lot of teams have improved but Miami has too with a healthy Wade coming back… Fans of other teams keep saying that Wade and Bosh have declined big time need to check the facts… They both had the best shooting seasons of their careers last season… I have a feeling that the Heat this year will actually pace themselves during the regular season instead of going for records… People forget that during that 27 game win streak Wade was balling… It was up until like the 25 straight game where he had hurt himself and he never had time to let it heal… The loss of Miller is also being blown out of proportion… I heard all year long how he was a bum and now all of a sudden the same people are saying they won’t 3peat because he’s gone… What the hell? Keep counting the Heat out… You guys have done it for the past 3 years and had Lebron James not folded in the finals they would be 3/3… Miami plays best when theyre doubted anyway…

    • antistratfordian - Jul 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      One of Miami’s Big 3 has been injured during both ring runs… and in 2012 both Bosh and Wade were injured.

      Bosh was out for an extended period during that title run… no excuses.

  13. losanginsight - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Chalmers knows that the heat got lucky last year due to all the injuries and the ring before doesn’t count since it was a *short season. Let’s see if they can win legit ring.

    • thedebonair1 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      What dafug are you talking about? They don’t half a ring for a shortened season or a ring from a box of lucky charms. They earned their keep. Stop trying to water down the Heat’s success (no pun intended )

    • pantsfreezone - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      Moron.

  14. jzone954 - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    At the end of the day , it’s Miami’s title to lose PERIOD……bar any big time Injury, who’s taking them out? Chicago? Really? Pacers? Sure they’ll give them a run, the Knicks? I mean…..really?…….again it’s Miami’s title to lose.

  15. scorp16 - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Indiana looks unstoppable with Granger back and all the moves they made. Rose back with Bulls well they’re instant contenders. Nets have all the experience, I mean Garnett, Pierce, Williams, Johnson, Lopez C’mon Man. Knicks got Amare Carmelo, JR, Chandler and Metta.

    All seems real good on paper. But just ask the 2013 Lakers how much that paper was really worth.

    Two years ago it was Oklahoma City in 5. Last year it was San Antonio in 6.

    Yeah OK.
    With all these posts I guess I should be relieved if Miami even makes the playoffs this year.
    Then I’ll have to go through the Miami won’t make it to the ECF this year posts.
    Then the Miami won’t win the ECF posts
    And finally we’ll get to……………Rockets in 7

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