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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 11:00 am  |  71 responses

Magic Johnson’s Title Pick: Lakers 3-Peat, Heat Next

The minority owner of the Lakeshow not-so-surprisingly picks his own squad for the upcoming campaign, but tells the LA Times that Miami will be hoisting up gold trophies very soon: “The Lakers great, who owns about 5% of the team, says the two-time defending champions are the team to beat next season, particularly after bolstering their bench in free agency. But he can see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh winning ‘two or three’ titles in Miami down the road. Magic Johnson still thinks the Lakers are the NBA team to beat next season, but he likes the new-look Miami Heat’s chances of winning a title or two down the road with LeBron James. Johnson had plenty of help from teammates like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy during his playing career, and commended James’ decision to join the Heat with the goal of winning a championship alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. ‘You got to give him credit,’ Johnson said Monday. ‘He wants to win a championship. When you put LeBron James with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, you put yourself in a position to do that.’ However, Johnson isn’t crowning the Heat the 2010-11 NBA champion, as many others did after James said he would play for Miami. Johnson believes the defending champions will win a third straight title, especially after they strengthened their bench by signing guard Steve Blake, forward Matt Barnes and center Theo Ratliff this month. ‘The Lakers still have the most talent,’ he said. ‘They’re the best team in the NBA.”’

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Magic is smart. I’ve only been saying the same thing since The Decision.

  • JStar

    Whose thinkin about Miami…. They wont even beat the Celtics next year… Everyone came back and they added Jermaine Oneal to come off the bench…. Ill take the Celts in 6

  • logues

    o man, here come the angry comments. im gonna guess taht mj somehow gets involved and the kobe, bron, mj debate will start. and two ppl will get in an argument and start calling each other names, then one will get really offended and other ppl will tell him to calm down, etc, etc

  • logues

    which now im sure ppl will purposely say that stuff just to make fun of me within the next five comments

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL

    stfu logues! hahaha…just kidding.

  • rayraynz

    Magic – I hope your right except that Miami part – I hope the Lakers win the next decade straight and Kobe plays till he’s 42 like Robert Parish except he keeps on schooling fools!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    So…Miami is suddenly the underdog team?

  • T-Money

    The Lakers are obvioulsy the best team in the NBA right now. I don’t think they’re the more talented team in the league anymore though. In terms of pure talent, Bron/Wade/Bosh/Miller/Haslem > Kobe/Pau/Drew/Artest/LO.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    @ niQ, what, Laker fans are going to try and make them out to be the underdogs? GTFOOH.

  • Ali

    Only time will tell…they gotta play the games first! But if Boston, Orlando and them ATL Hawks keep adding the right pieces and work to get some young guns like down OKC, they will be serious contenders in the East for years to come, right along with MIA. Nothing is a given.

  • Drew

    Miami have to go through Celtics and Magic before getting a chance to see the Lakers. I Strongly believe that Celtics are going to knock them out.

  • http://www.albeback.com Breeze

    So who thinks mia is the favorite…how’s the hell is that team better than the lakers who’s about 9 deep with considerably 2 great players and 7 good players…vs mia 2 great players 1 good player..1 aight and everybody else just there to fill the team..I don’t get it…simple mathematics..!

  • SWIFTboy

    Semi-off-topic question: Who are the Lakers biggest challengers in the West? Am I crazy in thinking it’s OKC? Or is it the fear of a healthy San Antonio, if that even exists? Dallas, Denver, Portland?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    should he pick the clippers

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Eboy, that’s what Kobe said before this year’s playoffs. That they were the underdogs, even just after winning it all the year before. And for the record, what’s up with you man? You make it sound like I offended your family or something.

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    Lakers!!!
    i agree with Magic Johnson

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    So who thinks mia is the favorite…how’s the hell is that team better than the lakers who’s about 9 deep with considerably 2 great players and 7 good players…vs mia 2 great players 1 good player..1 aight and everybody else just there to fill the team..I don’t get it…simple mathematics..!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I meant that comment in reference to the guys that say things like “the Lakers are winning the next 10 titles, no doubt” and things of that idiotic nature. It wasn’t meant to be mean-spirited towards you.

  • flipnoyce

    As far I’m concerned there is no guarantee which team would win that next trophy. So far though as much as I hate to admit it the Lakers are still the team to beat. They are the champ. I hope Miami’s big 3 stays injury free to prove their worth.All that hype only looks good on paper so far, but like what Rondo said they haven’t done nothin yet! And I hope that my Celtics stays healthy as well because they are that Eastern Champ. Say what you want about your team but the truth remains, to be the best you got to beat the Best!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    The Lakers (1-12) are clearly a better team than the Heat. Real talk.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Yes T-Money, the Lakers still have the most talent and are the deepest 1-12. If one of Miami big three suffer an injury then there chances are over and I say that bc Wade and Bosh are often hurt.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I wonder how that injury scenario affects the Lakers if Kobe goes down? Anyone? Thought so.

  • O.R Paperstacks

    ^ What if Lebron or Wade goes down? Lakers still got a better all around team if Kobe goes down.

  • http://dsklf.com Jukai

    Eboy: actually, the Lakers won every single game (5-0) when Kobe went down last year. Just sayin’. Implying Nothing. Nope.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    With an injury to any player besides Kobe the Lakers could still make it out of the West but if one member of the big three went down you could not say the same.

  • Fat Lever

    Aside from all this Miami Heat talk and they don’t stand a chance vs LAL/Bos/CSKA Moscow, Stern has got to be ecstatic that the NBA is now more relevant than it has ever been since MJ.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’d take my chances with Wade and Bron. Name a better duo in East. I’ll wait.

  • T-Money

    Kap: if Pau or Kobe goes down, the Lakers have no chance of winning it all. It’s the same for every team. Don’t kid yourself, Pau is crucial to their success. / People keep saying that Miami is not deep but this is their bench right now: Mike Miller, Haslem, Big Z, Carlos Arroyo. compare that to Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Sasha Vujacic. How are the Lakers deeper? Miami has a very solid 8-9 man rotation. and goons like Pittman and Magloire to hack bigs.

  • T-Money

    I could be wrong and I guess we’ll see during the season but I still think there’s not a more talented crunch time line-up in the league than: Wade/Miller/James/UD or Z/Bosh. Let’s just say that getting to the line and creating open shots won’t be a problem for the Heat. Against smaller teams they could even go Chalmers/Wade/Miller/James/Bosh and run everybody out the gym.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    If Pau went down I still think the Lakers could make it out the west or at least to conference finals but winning it all would be unlikely. Wade and Bron are best duo in league but that doesn’t mean that their team is better than Orlando or a healthy Boston.

    T-money
    Arroyo & Big Z??? I like Odom, Barnes, and Blake over the Miami bench and I think alot more would agree with me on that one. 1-3 Miami is better but 1-12 LA is better IMO.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I agree with Magic on this one. Pat Riley may have trade-marked “three-peat”, but Phil Jackson is the damn master at it. After next year though, I can see the Heat winning two or three. Heat fans who seriously think they’re gonna win “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six…” are delusional though.

  • The D Train

    On paper you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more easily predictable NBA Finals than Lakers-Heat. Of course, two years ago it seemed that Cleveland-Lakers was the predetermined soup du jour. Honestly, I think everyone can say that the Lakers are the WC favs, and it’s probably a fair gap between them and the rest. In the East you could argue that Miami will be the favorites, but Orlando and Boston are probably a bit closer to them than anyone out west is to the Lakers. Every year you can pretty much call out the 4 or 5 teams that have a legit shot at winning it all. This year is no different.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    3pt shooting is gonna be a huge problem for this team. Miller is the only consistent shooter outside of the big three from long range bc I don’t think Jones will get that much PT. I think rebounding is gonna be a problem also when they play bigger teams like Orlando and LA.

  • The D Train

    Also: I’m not sure if this has been mentioned in all the Heat-mania and Laker-defender posts, but coaching in the L does matter. If Spo stays on in Miami (obviously not a sure thing by any stretch), even through a potentially great regular season, don’t you have to give a pretty sizable advantage to LA if they did meet in the Finals? If Riley comes down to coach, then it’s obviously not the same situation, but Phil v. Spo is a landslide victory on the coaching side for LA, no?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    D Train…..it would seem like it, wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t throw Spo into a fire just yet, he’s going to be more prepared than Phil from a gameplan strategy if they were to meet in a Finals situation (just look at his games coached against Phil over his first couple of seasons as the way he is able to counter most of Phil’s advantages over a 60% weaker roster), but Phil has that knack of finding the right substitutions that only comes with greatness, championships and tenure. I also think that Doc Rivers being introduced as the head coach NEXT season isn’t too far fetched either so….

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Orlando isn’t a “bigger” team. Dwight is big, but the Magic rarely pair him with Gortat or Bass.
    I’ve already made the argument about the Heat’s crunch time lineup.
    Anybody who thinks the Lakers would win the West without Pau or Kobe is crazy.
    Even if one of hte Big Three goes down, the Heat can still possibly make it out of the East.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    That being said….Spo is a Riley clone in terms of his coaching style, high energy, demanding, intricate in preparation which is a vast difference from Phil’s attitude of always having the leagues largest talents and knowing that eventually he is going to be able to rely on the greatness of a Michael/Shaq/Kobe/Gasol to figure things out. In this circumstance (if the Heat and Lakers meet in the Finals) it would be the first time in Phil’s Finals appearances that he would not be coaching the most talented players….he would actually be going against guys equal in talent, if not less seasoned in Finals played. THAT is interesting to me. This isn’t Ray Allen and Paul Pierce he’ll be lobbying to get advantages against. Again, if they both get there.

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  • The D Train

    Good point about the talent advantage, E. Phil has always had that ace in the deck. You could argue that he still would have the ultimate ace in the deck of a close Finals game between Miami and LA, but then you’d be ignoring 6-24 and the fact that Miami should/could have 2 aces in the deck.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    You’d also be ignoring the one player in the league that has had his lone overall Finals appearance be better than anyone else’s that is still active in the league (and I know Shaq was a monster in 2000-2001 but he’s not really “active” is he?), so there is an “ultimate ace” on Miami’s side if we take that approach.

  • http://dsklf.com Jukai

    The superstar calls in the last minute of any Finals game between the Heat and Lakers would be… ATROCIOUS

  • Yesse

    Well, i agree with Magic, but he is a former Laker.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    I don’t really agree that Wade’s finals appearence in 2006 was better than Kobe’s in 2009. Both were definitely upper echelon good. Wade had the 3rd highest scoring average in a finals for example. Kobe became the first player in 40 years to average at least 32.4 points and 7.4 assists. Wade shot roughly 47% and averaged 34.7 pts, 7.8 rebs and 3.8 assists. Kobe shot roughly 43% and averaged 32.4 pts, 5.6 rbs and 7.4 assists. I don’t think you can say that one was definitely better than the other.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    Lakers still the favorites, how many times do I have to say it? Its because they have won the last 2. If you don’t like it, beat them. I’m no Laker fan by any means, just saying.

  • Hurricane

    Lakers>Heat, ENOUGH SAID

  • total scrotal implosion

    Tiago has come for paus soul.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    i dunno but phil was outcoached by rivers’ game management. it’s like phil just does the buy and hold and rivers keeps adjusting like a day trader. rivers looked like he did a better job at it, and almost won it.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    @ jumpman- plus, you forget that wade shot alot of freebies (undeserved ones too). He averaged 11 FTA’s that year. And the finals when I saw it was ridiculously favoring wade.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000580635564 Bryan

    Nice to see T money followed Lebron’s n*ts to Miami.

  • T-Money

    By that comment I’m assuming that you think the Lakers are a more talented team, Bryan. Yes?

  • Cool Dude

    I am surprised. The discussion here is surprisingly civilized and informative (though that is mainly because Philosopher or Jtaylor ain’t here yet).

    I disagree with the assertion that Wade + Bosh would be able to take the Heat out of the East if Lebron went down though, simply because there are 3 other really strong teams in the East in the Bulls (yeeee Rose), Magic, and C’s. The Heat would likely have to go through 2 of the 3 without LBJ, and that seems too much for just Wade and Bosh since they would have to carry their other players.

  • Shem

    Bosh, Wade, LeBron, Ilguaskas all have a history of injury. That being said, if they stay healthy the lakers HAVE THE PIECES to contain the 3 without playing zone. Artest can guard LeBron on D. He won’t shut him down but won’t get killed. Then if he gets in foul trouble Matt Barnes can come and help out. Then Kobe can guard Wade. Once again won’t get shut down but body on body, Kobe will make it difficult for Wade. Bosh as a Raps fan, has a lot of trouble against lengthy big men. Dalembert, Bynum, Biedrins all bother him on D. Ive watched him for 7 yrs and am confident Bynum can hold him to 15. I’m not a Heat hater, but they won’t win next year, then I’ll judge on the year after. People that are predicting 2-3 years down the line don’t know anything. You can’t predict that. The league will change, players will move and it’s already hard judging the Heat before they’ve even played a game. Rondo said it best. I’m not even giving them East Finals until I see it on the court. LeBron and Wade and Arroyo aren’t the best shooters. That’s what I project to be their 1,2,3 positions come season. (Arroyo started last year). Playing a 2-3 zone would be a good idea. Don’t count out the Celtics, to beat the heat. They’re proven. Miami isn’t.

  • Shem

    Like to add, people we’re hyping how good a LeBron and Kobe Finals would be for like 2 years and LeBron never made it.

  • http://juanm.garcia@comcast.net Flashback

    Miami ain’t winning squat! After the Lakers reign the Thunder will be taking the league by storm. Teams (need a superstar or two aswell) win chips. The Thunder are on their way. The Heat have to gell and then prove they have a winning formula. Until then, Heat fans, eat a fat one.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Stupidty…..since 5:00p.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    The Lakers will four peat, then Dwade will get hurt, Lebron will realize he hurt Jay Z feelings and go to the Nets and Bosh will grow his braids back and help Rupaul with her show as a celebrity judge. The B Team will then be on VH1 show, about topics of the 2010 years and how everyone thought they would win multiple titles.

  • http://comcast tony

    HOUSTON is looking very good with a healthy Yao Ming!!! They have a solid starting line-up and a really good bench that allows them to match the Lakers length. Yao, Luis Scola, Ariza, Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks as starters—-Lowry, Shane Battier, Brad Miller and Jared Jeffries equals Lakers length! That’s nine solid players to contend with, even though Lakers would win, it won’t be a cake-walk. P.S. Unless Yao is not healthy, then they fall way off.

    I am a die hard Laker fan and don’t believe Miami can beat Boston, Orlando or Chicago with their current line-up.

    Miami vs Lakers

    Fish over Miami PG, Fish too clutch
    Kobe over Wade
    Bynum over Big Z
    Gasol over Bosh
    LeBron over Artest, not so much though—

    LA Bench is Monsterous this coming year! I’m making an early shout out to Caracter and EBanks if they let them play!!!!

    KOBE number 6 and possibly 7-8 before retiring!

  • M5

    @jumpman. I would also like to add the differences in defense between the Mavs and the Celtics. I think Kobe would have torched the Mavs if he would have played them in the finals. After all, it was in 2006, that Kobe torched the Mavs for 62 pts in only three quarters of work, including 30 in the 3rd quarter.

  • T-Money

    LeBron has a history of injuries? LeBron over Artest but by not so much? Oh my, I’ll sit out this one.

  • boggs

    the lakers will win, although i wouldn’t be surprised if Miami beats them.

  • black pinoy

    What kind of @$$ would think wade and bosh or can carry the heat (with its current roster) out of the east without lebron. Even if youd replace bosh with lebron I doubt that theyd still be able to defeat a healthy magic team. The HEAT needs all three SUPERSTARS to even get a fighting chance..
    LAKERS in 6..!!!

  • black pinoy

    healthy celt team

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    We have finally seen the limit to what end T-money will defend lebron’s honor. Just tell him james is only marginally better than artest, he’ll stfu.

  • Cool Dude

    Naw. It’s the elbow. Lebron is such a soldier playing through that sore elbow that mysteriously healed up right about the end of the series.

  • phil

    eboy is in about 30% of comments on articles that have the word “miami” in it

  • johnpebenito

    i dont see and imagine spoelstra beating phil jackson in a 7 game series, i dont see also spoelstra beating doc rivers in a 7 game series as well, but TOM is already in chicago, but the ball is round after all.

  • JTaylor21

    @Tony, i did not know u liked to get wet, fuc*ing junkie. Bron is better than artest but not by much, come on son. even the most asinine laker fruitylooped fans wouldn’t say that sh*t. On second thought, they probably would. Do you laker/kobe lovers even understand and watch the game or what, seems like you guys have been locked in kobe’s dungeon for too long. Stupid fools.

  • http://music.entelleckt.com entelleckt

    @Shem: what are you talking about with those defensive suggestions?

    how is Kobe remotely quick enough on defense to contain Wade?

    how is Bynum close to being mobile enough to guard Bosh? (seems like Gasol would be guarding him anyway)

    how is Artest quick enough to guard LeBron? he won’t be able to strong arm LeBron the same way he could Durant.

    aside: LeBron’s averaged 4 missed regular season games per season. is that your barometer for a history of injury?

  • Th3_R3al_Chris

    I’m taking the Celtics over everybody next season.

  • http://celticknightk3@aol.com Celtic Knight

    @ Enigmatic acutally Red won 8 championship in a row so he did it as being the coach/general manager/presidnt. Red is the real master and he stayed with the team and put them together from the start to the last breathe he took and he didn’t bail out and jump from Chicago to LA and winning championships thats never been involved in putting the team together from scratch. RED is the real master. Oh by the way it’s going to be Celtics vs. Lakers again in the 2011 Finals PERIOD!

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