NBA set for a super season

As the NBA faces a possible lockout next year, the upcoming season will be centered on the main attractions, the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.   

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By Javier Cabrera / Managing Editor

By Javier Cabrera / Managing Editor

As the NBA faces a possible lockout next year, the upcoming season will be centered on the main attractions, the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.    

After the Lakers ended last season as back-to-back NBA Champions, the attention shifted to LeBron James and where he would he play, since he was an unrestricted free agent.

Rumors had James going to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles with the Clippers, but the big rumor was in Miami, with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

After Wade and Bosh said that they would sign with the Heat, James followed behind them a few days later when he announced it on the television show “The Decision” on ESPN in primetime.

The Heat went from an average team to a championship elite team in seconds once James made it official that the three will be teammates in Miami.

The ground-breaking moves that occurred in the NBA landscape this past offseason sets up what is expected to be one of the most anticipated seasons to look forward to for NBA fans all across the world.

The Lakers have most of the spotlight and attention entering the season. NBA experts and basketball fans will watch and see if the Lakers can three-peat as champions with three new bench players and two rookies.

Not only do the Lakers have the pressure to win their third straight title, but they also will be looked upon to see if they can capture their 17th NBA championship, and tie the Boston Celtics with the most titles won.

On top of all the team’s expectations and pressure in the upcoming season, coach Phil Jackson will seek to win his 12th NBA title and Kobe Bryant will attempt to tie Michael Jordan with six NBA championships.

While the Lakers handle their business in Los Angeles, the “super team” in Miami will be expected all season to win all their games and beat the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ regular season record of 72-10.

The Heat will be favorites to come out of the east and make it to the finals. Before it can do that the Heat will have to get past an older Celtics team that acquired Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal in the offseason.

The Lakers are favorites to win the west since the San Antonio Spurs are nearly done as an elite team, the Utah Jazz did not improve their roster and the Denver Nuggets will likely be trading their superstar, Carmelo Anthony by the season’s trade deadline.

The Lakers’ only main concern in the west will be the young and dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder since it was the only team to catch the attention of the Lakers in the NBA playoffs last season.

The Thunder also has Kevin Durant, who finished second in MVP votes last season behind James and who is rapidly evolving into a superstar.

No one is expecting any other teams but the Lakers and Heat to make it to the NBA Finals in June 2011.

In the annual NBA general manager’s survey predictions on NBA.com, 70 percent of the general mangers believe the Heat will win the Eastern Conference and 96 percent believe the Lakers will win the Western Conference, which means the managers believe it will be the Lakers and Heat in the NBA Finals.

In the survey, 63 percent believe the Lakers will three-peat and win the NBA championship.

A Bryant vs. James NBA finals match-up looks to be happening this season after years of dreaming by fans.

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