BIG THREE? TRY THREEPEAT

HOW THE LAKERS WILL BEAT THE HEAT NEXT JUNE
October 24, 2010

Count on a scorching start frowm the ruthless Heat, who will create turnovers and easy baskets as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh turn mutual admiration into regular-season dominance. Miami will earn home court advantage throughout the playoffs, leaving the Celtics gasping.

But in the Finals it's the champion Lakers who control the matchups. Pau Gasol, Bosh will be reminded, is the best power forward on Earth; Kobe Bryant has the edge at shooting guard until Wade proves otherwise; Ron Artest's mauling defense can stymie even James. Derek Fisher is a better clutch option than any of the Heat's role players, and if Andrew Bynum is healthy—a big if, based on his history—Miami's Big Three will have no answer for L.A.'s Large Three of Bynum, Gasol and sixth man Lamar Odom. The Lakers' deeper bench and Phil Jackson's unrivaled experience will ensure a threepeat for the Lakers, leaving Heat president Pat Riley with a new mission for next summer: Find more frontcourt help.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Boston Celtics (3)*

Philadelphia 76ers (9)

New Jersey Nets (10)

New York Knicks (11)

Toronto Raptors (15)

CENTRAL DIVISION

Milwaukee Bucks (5)

Chicago Bulls (6)

Detroit Pistons (7)

Indiana Pacers (13)

Cleveland Cavaliers (14)

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Miami Heat (1)

Orlando Magic (2)

Atlanta Hawks (4)

Charlotte Bobcats (8)

Washington Wizards (12)

CONFERENCE FINALS

Heat over Celtics

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NORTHWEST DIVISION

Oklahoma City Thunder (2)

Portland Trail Blazers (5)

Utah Jazz (8)

Denver Nuggets (11)

Minnesota Timberwolves (15)

PACIFIC DIVISION

Los Angeles Lakers (1)

Phoenix Suns (6)

Los Angeles Clippers (10)

Golden State Warriors (13)

Sacramento Kings (14)

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

San Antonio Spurs (3)

Dallas Mavericks (4)

Houston Rockets (7)

New Orleans Hornets (9)

Memphis Grizzlies (12)

CONFERENCE FINALS

Lakers over Spurs

NBA FINALS

Lakers over Heat

*SI's regular-season ranking (1 to 15) for each conference

Now on SI.com

Get all the insight from around the NBA from our team of experts, including Ian Thomsen, Lee Jenkins and Chris Mannix, at SI.com/nba

PHOTOPhotograph by JOHN W. MCDONOUGH

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)