Kevin Durant and James Harden tried to play down what the Lakers did during their appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. “Good for them,” was Harden’s comment.
But don’t think the rest of the league didn’t take notice of what happened in Los Angeles.
Chris Bosh, who tends to be a pretty frank interview, was just that on WQAM sports radio in Miami Friday morning. A conversation transcribed by Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
“The Lakers, I think, right now, I mean on paper, they probably have the best team in the West and probably the league right now,” he said. “On paper. I’m saying on paper. But it’s a lot, a lot, it’s a long season. And the best team always isn’t the one who starts out the season as the best team.”
That’s a lot of qualifiers in once sentence, but the message is clear. Los Angeles has the talent. The Lakers now have on the roster the best center in the game, the most skilled big in the game, one of the best two guards ever to play the game, and one of the best pick-and-roll point guards ever. Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash.
The question is simply how it comes together. And while that is a legitimate question, that doesn’t mean it will not come together, that the Lakers after the All-Star break will not be far more formidable than the ones in November.
Bosh said because the Heat have been there, he understands what is ahead of the Lakers.
Bosh said the Heat have learned to deal with the type of pressure the Lakers are expected to face and “how the hype can get to you….”
“It’s all about who’s standing at the top in June, after the season is over, and that’s all we care about,” he said. “So we have to build toward that again.”
Miami should be better than they were last season. In part because of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, but mostly because they have found their identity. They will go small, they will be quicker and more athletic than you. They will play to their strengths and defend hard on the wings.
Miami will need to be better if they want to repeat, because whoever comes out of the west will be better than the team the Heat beat in the finals last year.