“Scary,” James called it.
He refused to use the word “repeat” at the Heat’s Media Day Friday, but still went on to say, “We have a chance to win another title. Everyone will be gunning for us. Teams have loaded up. It’s a different challenge for us this year — a completely new journey.”
James was so optimistic because of the new additions that should add depth to a roster that was lacking in just that — but they still won the championship. New to the Heat are the all-time best three-point shooter in league history, Ray Allen, and a healthy Rashard Lewis, who at one time was among the best small forwards in the NBA. Add them to the rotation of seven Miami had last season and James could be right.
Injuries always play a role, however. Dwyane Wade is still not certain when he’ll be able to return to game action as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. Wade said he continues to target the season opener against the Celtics, but coach Eric Spoelstra said the team would take “the long view” with working Wade slowly back during training camp.
Allen, who had June ankle surgery, and Mike Miller, who rehabilitated a back injury, both participated in recent offseason workouts. But there was no concrete timetable on when they will be at full strength.
The Heat officially start their title defense on Oct. 30 against Boston, Allen’s former team. But Miami faces several questions well before they begin to battle their way through a top-heavy Eastern Conference that has seen Boston, Indiana, Brooklyn and New York reload their roster to try to knock off the Heat.