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A New Big Three In Miami: How Does Affect The Hawks?

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You've almost certainly heard this news somewhere if you're following sports at all.  LeBron and Chris Bosh have decided to join Wade in Miami.  There's perhaps never been such a gathering of top level talent at such a young age in NBA history.  When the Boston Celtics built their team three years ago, they included three of the game's best 25 players, headlined by Garnett, who should have been considered a top 5 player at the time.  In Miami, they have two of the game's ten best, including the best overall player, and a third who is top 20.  And they're all much younger than the group assembled by the Celtics.

What does this mean for the Hawks?  It's a bit early to say.  On the bright side, Cleveland drops from an elite club to likely back end of the lottery, removing one competitor for Eastern Conference dominance from the picture.  The Heat, however, are now an elite level team, bumping up from having been a solid playoff team last season.  They might even be favorites to win the championship, but until the rest of their roster is assembled, it's definitely not time to make that assessment.

I'll go back to my earlier comparison of the Celtics, despite the fact that it's not perfect.  They did generally skate based on the talent of their top three players, but they do not win a championship that year if it's not for the play of Rondo and Perkins, and they also got key contributions from Leon Powe and James Posey.  Rondo has since become one of the best point guards in the game, and Perkins is now wide considered an above average starting center at the least.  Even with LeBron, Wade, and Bosh grouped together, a roster full of sub-standard talent could still derail their championship hopes.

The good news for the Hawks is that this doesn't really affect their outlook at all.  Divisions in basketball barely matter, so the accumulation of players by the Heat doesn't directly affect their impact.  They went from not seriously contending for a championship to, once again, not seriously contending for a championship.  Right now, my prediction is that they're one of the better playoff teams in the Conference, battling for the third seed once again with the Celtics and Bulls.  As of right now, they'd be returning the exact same team from last year, just one year older at every position.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.