Jerry West believes Lakers’ 1971-72 team could compete with Miami Heat

As they continue on their quest to secure a second consecutive NBA championship, the Miami Heat received a vivid reminder that it’s hard to sustain greatness.

They nearly came close to shattering the Lakers’ NBA record 33 game winning streak set by the 1971-72 team that featured the likes of Jerry West, Gail Goodrich and Wilt Chamberlain. But not close enough. They won 27 consecutive games in an era that featured chartered plans and more days in between games. Hence, it should be hardly surprising that West recently told NBC broadcaster Bob Costas in a sit-down interview that the 1971-72 Lakers could beat the Heat.

“Obviously I want to say that we would win. I don’t know if that would be a fact or not,” West said. “It would be very interesting because they’re not a very good rebounding team and we were one of the best rebounding teams I’ve ever seen. “They have two magnificent players. We had a bunch of guys that were pretty good. “Selfishly, I’d like to think we could play with those guys.”

West was referring to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But how would the Logo stop the King?

“I’d try to run him left, if you can keep him from getting to the basket, which is a task itself. He will get better because he works at it,” West said. “To try to guard someone like him would be an enormous task. Kobe Bryant would fall in the same category.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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