According to Tom Haberstroh, writing for a special for ESPN Insider, they are one of three teams that he targets as potential threats to the Heat's expected dominance.
Interesting stuff from the article after the jump....
"Before NBA franchises jump headfirst into copycat mode trying to assemble their own star-studded triumvirate to match Miami's, the wiser teams will recognize the market opportunity that lies ahead.
There's growing concern that a lockout awaits on the horizon, and in that event, there's a chance that spending power will be curbed significantly for 2011. Those expected new guidelines mean there's a better chance Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn actually says no to signing a backup point guard from the Bucks than another team manages to replicate the Miami Heat's model.
Instead, look for at least one team to go in the other direction. With a tighter budget, a more effective strategy may be to build an unselfish, deep group that will fully dedicate itself to establishing an impenetrable defense.
Conventional wisdom holds that the Pistons trumped the Hall of Fame-conglomerate Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 Finals simply because they didn't have a future Hall of Famer to fight over the spotlight. In reality, the Pistons won the title because they possessed a historically stingy defense, orchestrated by coach Larry Brown, and the right personnel to buy into his world-class system.
Detroit's D allowed only 95.4 points per 100 possessions that season, which is the third-best defensive rating of the 3-point era and a whopping 6.8 points better than this past season's best defensive squad, the Bobcats. As the coaching mantra goes: Defense wins championships -- even if Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton and (an injured) Karl Malone all play for the other team.
So which teams would have the best chance to follow the all-business template provided by the Pistons?"
1. Portland Trailblazers
"If Bucks coach Scott Skiles aims to be the next Larry Brown, he's doing a pretty good job. The former Most Improved Player award winner took over a 26-win team two seasons ago that featured the worst defense in the league and transformed it into a defensively focused squad fit for the playoffs. We shouldn't shower him with all the credit -- general manager John Hammond did win the Executive of the Year award -- but his young squad allowed the second-fewest points per possession in the league last season, and that ranking requires serious discipline.
Having Andrew Bogut helps. It's a shame that the casual NBA fan didn't get to see Bogut play in the playoffs, because the former No.1 overall pick had one of the more underappreciated seasons in recent memory. Bogut reinvented himself as a premier two-way player, scoring a career-high 15.9 points per game and blocking 175 shots, second only to Dwight Howard, despite missing final 13 games of the season to a freak injury. What's more remarkable, only Nick Collison drew more charges than the Australian center, according to Hoopdata.com.
It will be interesting to see how Corey Maggette reacts to Skiles, given his indifference to defense and the fact that another scoring-first swingman, John Salmons, is ahead of him on the wing. The coach managed to turn the slightly built Brandon Jennings into a fine defender at the point guard position, and with the depth the team added in acquiring Drew Gooden, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Larry Sanders, Skiles has plenty of other options if Maggette doesn't respond. Add in the versatility of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute off the bench and the Bucks boast the personnel and gritty attitude to potentially become the defensive powerhouse of the future -- with enough weapons to put points on the board, too."