The Lakers match up better against the Heat than some other contenders, as the Heat's main deficiency is their big men. The Lakers have the best center in the league and a quality power forward. The Lakers now have a better starting 5 but LeBron has established himself as the clear best player in the league. I think this would be a great matchup in the finals but that the Lakers would prevail for the next two seasons while Kobe and Pau are still capable.
Overall, I think this season will be a 4 team race between the Thunder, Lakers, Heat, and Bulls. When Rose is healthy, the Bulls are one of the best defensive teams in the league with a source of offence.
A dark horse team is the Spurs, who seem to quietly put up the best record in the west season after season but fall come playoff time. They are getting older but Parker and Ginobili have maintained quality production while their role players and young prospects have performed well.