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Top NBA storylines for new season

LeBron James and the Heat are seeking their third straight NBA title.

Bill Haber/AP

LeBron James and the Heat are seeking their third straight NBA title.

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1. Can the Heat repeat again? With nearly the entire roster eligible for free agency next season, this could be the final run for the Heat. They brought everybody back except Mike Miller and then added Greg Oden and Michael Beasley. The Heat have all the elements to win another title, but besides LeBron James, are they as hungry after winning consecutive titles? Is Dwyane Wade healthy? Does Ray Allen have anything left?

2. Is Derrick Rose the same player after missing a full season? We finally get to watch Derrick Rose in a Chicago uniform again after waiting – and waiting – during the second half of last season for him to return from a torn ACL. He has said his left knee is even stronger and he is on a crusade to prove he is the NBA’s most talented player. The Bulls should be on a mission now that they’re whole, and Rose is their unquestioned leader.

3. Do the Nets have enough to beat the Heat? General manager Billy King made the risky trade with the Celtics and added Jason Kidd as coach all with the intent of snatching Eastern Conference supremacy from the Heat. The question is whether Deron Williams can step up his game and whether Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have enough to make Brooklyn a title contender. The Nets are a legitimate contender for the conference finals but they want more than that in Brooklyn.

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