TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley, always outspoken and seemingly unafraid to ruffle feathers, recently spoke with USA Today.
When asked if he thought that the Miami Heat could repeat as NBA champs again this coming season, Barkley, as usual, pulled no punches.
"I think that you saw the flaws in the Miami Heat last year, (specifically) their lack of size. And I think the key to me is going to be (free agent center addition) Greg Oden. If he gives them physical size, it's going to be very difficult to beat the team. But that's their real weakness — size. Every big guy they play against just dominates them. I think it really, to me, it depends on what Oden has left in the tank."
"You saw last year, where first of all they shouldn't have won the championship — (the) San Antonio (Spurs) just flat out blew it — but you see how (Indiana Pacers center) Roy Hibbert, (San Antonio forward) Tim Duncan had flashbacks. When they play against big guys, man, they just get dominated."
In my opinion, Charles hit the nail on the head with virtually every point he makes here.
Both the San Antonio Spurs and Pacers took the Heat all the way to seven games in their playoff match-ups, and Hibbert and Duncan both did damage to the Heat.
The Miami Heat responded this summer by signing the oft-injured Greg Oden in hopes that he could resurrect his NBA career there. If he does manage to stay healthy this year, it's certainly possible that he could help to diminish that glaring hole the Heat have in the middle.
That being said, I think the deck is stacked against Oden at this point, and my opinion is that he continues to be plagued by injuries.
I also agree with Chuck that the Spurs lost the Championship, more than Miami won it.
We all witnessed what seemed like a sure thing in the final minute of play in game 6, turn into a nightmare. Missed free throws and questionable substitutions and such turned out to be the difference in that game, and the series.
Let's all just hope that our Spurs can respond well to last years disappointment, get back to the Finals, and earn that coveted fifth championship before Timmy sails off into the sunset.