x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Lakers can see Heat and learn how to turn it on

Many pundits two years ago were quick to mock the Miami Heat when their expensive acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh did not immediately produce a championship. In retrospect, they deserve kudos.

Miami Heat's LeBron James, right, celebrates with Chris Bosh.
Miami Heat's LeBron James, right, celebrates with Chris Bosh.

Many pundits two years ago were quick to mock the Miami Heat when their expensive acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh did not immediately produce a championship. In retrospect, they deserve kudos.

The proof is provided by the Los Angeles Lakers, whose woeful start is demonstrating just how difficult it can be to bring in stars and get them to mesh into a super team. They added Dwight Howard, the game's best centre, as well as the point guard Steve Nash to a team that already had Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, and then started 0-3. They finally won a game, on Sunday, but they are without Nash, who could miss a month with a broken leg.

Lots of exciting ingredients do not always make the best entree. The Heat actually should have had a more difficult time getting things to blend smoothly than the Lakers have. The Heat's Dwyane Wade and James do many of the same things on the floor, and they had to learn to sacrifice a part of their individual game.

Howard, Nash and Bryant all have different games. It should have been an easier transformation. It is enough to give you a new appreciation of the Heat, who made it to the NBA finals their first year together and won it the second, this past June.

They have been somewhat overshadowed on the NBA landscape this autumn because of all the activity by the Lakers. Yet the Heat added Ray Allen and may be even better than last season. The Lakers are showing how hard it was to do what the Heat did.

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