NBA Finals 2011: How Does That L.A Lakers-Miami Heat Matchup Look Now?

Before the 2010-11 NBA season began, most observers had already penciled in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat to meet in the 2011 NBA Finals.

The cries of "we're still here!" by the jilted defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics were drowned out by the rock star atmosphere surrounding LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Heat.

Maybe people should have listened to the Celtics.

The Lakers and Heat have both somewhat fulfilled the promise that many predicted—since each are considered to be elite NBA teams.

But these days, the only people penciling them into the NBA Finals are the fans and residents of their respective cities.

Entering the final stretch of the regular season, both the Heat and the Lakers are among the top three teams in their respective conferences. The only thing is that neither team has yet to defeat the other two teams in their elite circles.

Last night's loss to the Chicago Bulls gives the Heat a combined 0-5 record against the Celtics and the Bulls, while the Lakers have fared little better with an 0-3 record against Dallas and San Antonio.

Needless to say, that's not the type of record that most people would have expected the Heat and Lakers to have against their fellow elite teams at this point in the season. If they hope to fulfill their 2011 NBA Finals prophecy, a few adjustments need to be made.

Most observers felt Miami would be a superior defensive team, but if there was a weakness to be found, then it was going to be at the point guard position and in the post.

That prediction is partly true—as the Heat have been able to compensate for their lack of strength in the post—but they have also struggled mightily against the NBA's elite point guards.

In most cases, James and Wade have been forced to defend opposing point guards when the defense o...

About the Author