Now let's see what they can do. The Heat landed the ultimate trifecta in free agency this summer, retaining their captain Dwyane Wade and adding a pair of superstars in LeBron James and Chris Bosh. When the stars landed, the role players flocked to South Florida to beef up the Heat rotation. This team is now deep, dangerous and determined to win not just one championship, but many more in the years to come.
2009-10 Record: 47-35 (third in Southeast Division, fifth in Eastern Conference, lost to Celtics in first round)
Celtics' record vs. Heat: 52-35 all time, 3-0 last season, won East first round in five
Familiar faces: Eddie House (played nearly three seasons for Celtics)
Key additions: LeBron James (free agent), Chris Bosh (free agent), Mike Miller (free agent), Eddie House (free agent), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (free agent), Juwan Howard (free agent), Da'Sean Butler (draft), Dexter Pittman (draft), Patrick Beverley (draft), Jarvis Varnado (draft)
Key losses: Jermaine O'Neal (signed with Celtics), Michael Beasley (traded to Timberwolves), Quentin Richardson (signed with Magic), Dorell Wright (signed with Warriors), Daequan Cook (traded to Thunder), Rafer Alston (remains a free agent)
Burning question: Who's the King of South Beach?
Everywhere he's gone, LeBron James has been the King. He was royalty in high school, royalty on the Cavaliers, royalty on this summer's star-studded free-agent market.
But now he's in Miami, and this is Dwyane Wade's town. D-Wade's been the leader of this Heat team for seven years, and he's not about to relinquish that title now.
So how will this work? How will the delicate balance of power shake itself out? Will the players inside that Heat locker room elect to defer to one leader or another? Will coach Erik Spoelstra sit down with the two of them and work out a hierarchy? Or will the two settle it like gentlemen, between the two of them?
One way or another, they've got to figure something out. You can't have two guys leading the bench pep talks, two guys running the offense, two guys getting the last shot in crunch time. One superstar has to emerge as the alpha dog in Miami.
The other superstar has to adjust to a new life playing second fiddle.
2010-11 outlook: With a team this loaded, nothing short of a championship will be acceptable. The Heat have enough talent to get it done — all they need to do is forge cohesion, chemistry and balance. You know, become a team. The Celtics proved it was possible when they slapped together an All-Star team and won a title in 2008; the Heat will look to emulate that model in 2011. It can certainly be done.
Did you know? Wade, James and Bosh are all the all-time scoring leaders for their original teams. Wade leads the Heat with 11,967 points in his career, James scored 15,251 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Bosh scored 10,275 for the Toronto Raptors.
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