A Miami Heat weakness? These pieces don't fit perfectly. A Heat strength? The friendship of the two men at the center of the puzzle. Just six victories from the trophy, which will triumph? The weakness or the strength?

Miami, great as it is, should be better, right? But it is not. That much has become clear after two years of this riveting experiment. Miami isn't leaps-and-bounds better than the elite. Boston won the title in 2008 immediately after bringing three lesser talents together — producing the league's best record, its 66 wins the second-most in the fabled franchise's history — because those parts and skills congealed more effortlessly than these, with less colliding redundancy. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen occupied different parts of the floor, so they could be three artists working on three different canvasses. Here, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade must always share that paint.

This fundamental flaw in Miami's blueprint can be overcome, given the size of the talent and the will. Miami was within two victories of doing so last year. But it doesn't make the weakness any less so. And that brings us to how James and Wade have chosen to attack the dilemma this year, relying on a bond that strengthens even as so many things test it, maybe because so many things test it. This friendship, seen growing before your eyes in celebratory pictures together at weddings and engagement parties, might be the only thing under-covered about this wonderfully noisy team.