The (14-3) Lakers host the (10-8) Miami Heat at the Staples Center tonight. This will be the first of two regular season contests.
The Lakers are on a roll, winners of their last seven games and haven’t lost to the Heat at home since December of 2004.
Dwayne Wade and the Heat want to remove a bad taste in their mouths right now for losing again in Denver, a city he has yet to win a game in. He can take solace in the fact that the team was able to snap an 11-game skid in Indiana this year. Dwayne Wade put up 25 points and collected 10 rebounds but the game was over early as the Nuggets were up by 29 at one point. The Miami Heat are on a four-game Western road trip that started well; with them beating the Trailblazers before struggling with the Nuggets.
The Lakers are set to increase their streak to eight straight games. The Lakers are playing good basketball right now but it must be said that the team has yet to reach its peak. The scary thing is that there is still room for improvement and the team knows it and is constantly working on improvement.
The key to the Los Angeles beating Miami Heat will be slowing down Dwayne Wade.
Arguably the third best player in the game; what doesn’t need to be argued is the fact that he is one of the leagues best. An argument can be made that he is a valid number two player away from being unstoppable. The best way for the Lakers to defend him tonight is to be physical with him. He is going to get his share of foul calls but the more you can force him to shoot from the perimeter the better it is for the defense.
Wade will have to match up with the best player in the game, Kobe Bryant. For the few people out there that don’t know, Kobe has gotten better and is currently shooting a career-high 48.3 percent and averaging a higher point total than he has since leading the league in the 2006-07 season. This will be one of the must-see match ups between the leagues number one and number two shooting guards going at it.
The Lakers will start their offense from the inside by establishing Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum in the painted area. Michael Beasley & Jermaine O’Neal combined are producing 30 points and 15 boards which is good production but they’re no match for their opponents wearing Purple and Gold. The Lakers length will play a huge role again tonight.
The Purple and Gold squad is playing solid defense & needs to control the tempo and get back in transition. The biggest concern on the team, area that needs improvement is the reserves that have to find some sort of rhythm and consistency. The bench mob also needs to knock down open shots. Lamar Odom needs to be more aggressive, refrain from the jump shots and attack the basket.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Miami: Sun Sports (Eric Reid & Toni Fiorentino)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Miami: 940 AM WINZ (Mike Inglis & John Crotty)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- Keyon Dooling (Hip)