Thursday, July 19, 2012

If the Los Angeles Lakers Acquire Dwight Howard Can They Beat Miami?

Patrick: As ESPN reported, Dwight Howard is willing to sign an extension with the Lakers if he get traded to Los Angeles this summer.

While the Lakers would have to give up a lot in a trade for Howard (most likely Andrew Bynum, their promising young big man) and take on a bad contract such as Hedo Turkoglu's, adding Howard would give Los Angeles one of the most feared starting line-ups in the league.

With Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and the recently signed Steve Nash, the Lakers would have to be the favourites to win the West. But could they beat Miami?

Coming off a title in June, Miami didn't sit back in free agency. With Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis now both on the team, the Heat will have not only a great starting five, but a deep bench too.

So who would win head-to-head? The Heat or the Lakers?

Travis: I don't see them being able to beat a healthy Heat squad in a 7 game series. The Heat are the defending champs and got better.

To be honest if the Lakers got Howard I by no means think they are the clear favourites to emerge out of the west. Oklahoma City and San Antonio will once again be forces and even a team like the Clippers could give the Lakers a run for their money.

Patrick: I like Los Angeles. Don't forget that the Lakers started Derek Fisher and Ramon Sessions at point guard last season so Steve Nash is a huge upgrade there. Howard is a better rebounder, shot blocker and at times scorer than Bynum.

The Lakers also signed Antawn Jamison. Their bench was horrendous last year and Jamison will give them an elite bench scorer.

Finally, Pau Gasol had a poor season last year because he wasn't used properly under new coach Mike Brown. However, he will do an excellent job running the pick-and-roll with Nash as well as running the fast break with him.

The Lakers addressed all their weakness this offseason while Miami still does not have anyone who can score upfront besides Bosh.

Travis: Will Jamison, Nash, & Bryant even have enough left in the tank if they were to make it all the way to the finals? I still think Oklahoma City will win the West again, and I am banking on the Heat winning it all once again. Not many teams win the championship and then get a lot better but that's exactly what 'El Heat' did.

Patrick: I think the biggest question for the Heat is whether LeBron will have the same desire to win a championship as he did last year. He showed with Cleveland during the 2010 playoffs and the year after in the Finals against Dallas that he can be very passive and I wonder if he will take a bit of a step back after finally getting his ring.

Travis: I think now that Lebron knows what it takes to win a championship he can actually play playoff basketball without the critics whispering in his ear that he will never get a ring.

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