After such a condensed 2011 NBA season that seemed to fly right by, it feels a bit strange to see a basketball game in November this year.
The 2012 season kicked off this past week, the defending champion Miami Heat played host to the Boston Celtics on opening day; this was a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Championship.
This marked the third straight season where the Heat played on opening day. And just like the last two seasons, Miami is the overwhelming favorite to win the title once again.
The big three of James, Wade, and Bosh are still in town. They return their electric point guard combination of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole and also brought back solid veterans Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier. Plus, they had two key free agent signings this past off season of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
The Heat got even deeper. A team that was already too much for most teams to handle added the best three-point shooter in NBA history to their arsenal. And Lewis is no pushover either, the combination of Allen and Lewis worked well for the once Seattle Supersonics for years before they were separated.
Now the two are much older and further along, they join the Heat this year looking to try to work up some old magic and fight for an NBA title.
But now that the NBA is back on a regular schedule, will this help or hinder the Miami Heat?
Well let’s make something very clear to start off: if the Miami Heat are as good as they seem to be, then it shouldn’t matter.
But let’s see how this one plays out. Last season teams had very few practices during the season since there were multiple games a week and sometime teams played three games in a row.
This was great for fans, but awful for the players since they barely got any rest and barely got any preparation.
Some teams had maybe ten practices throughout the whole season! This year teams will have more time to prepare for each game. So when the Miami Heat come to town, these NBA teams might be able to work out some kinks in their game plan to defeat the defending champions.
But think about it, there is a huge difference between having 2-4 days to prepare for the Heat than to have 0-1 days. Coaches can come up with something more specific for Miami and get their teams to practice specific game plans that were drawn up for Miami.
Granted, the Heat will also have many more practices to work out their kinks that they have for themselves.
But you can count on Miami to win several games solely off of their unmatched athleticism, and last year they probably won quite a few games simply because they are more talented than most of their opponents. Now that teams are back on their regular schedules, let’s see if the rest of the NBA can catch up to Miami.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. You can e-mail comments about this column to