The Los Angeles Lakers continue their four-game road trip on Monday night against the Miami Heat. L.A. is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 120-101 loss to the Orlando Magic and pick up their first road win of the season.
Monday will be another shorthanded effort as Jaxson Hayes is now out with an ankle sprain, but Taurean Prince is back and active for the game against the Heat. The depth of the Lakers was a strength heading into the 2023-24 season but injuries have already impacted the team dramatically with no Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent and now Hayes, who are all rotational pieces.
The Heat are off to a slow start themselves currently at a 2-4 record, but have one of the best head coaches in Erik Spoelstra, who coached LeBron James during his time in Miami. Spoelstra is aware of how to game plan against James, but he took the time to commend the four-time champion, who is still playing at a high level in year 21, via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald:
“He’s redefining what is possible with human performance at that age,” Spoelstra said of James, who he coached for four seasons from 2010 to 2014 with the Heat. “It’s a credit to his work ethic. I don’t think that gets talked about enough. How much he commits his life to this game. He doesn’t take it for granted, he doesn’t take his talent for granted. He matches his talent with a work ethic and you don’t see that very often, particularly if you’re the most talented guy in the league.
“It would be very easy to put in half the time and I would say the average fan would not even notice the difference. But if you want to play at that type of exceptional level, you have to be putting in a great deal of commitment behind the scenes. … I’ll use the word alien. That’s just what he is and that’s why he is who he is.”
There truly has not been a talent like James, who is still able to play at this high of a level while logging heavy minutes at 38-years-old. Spoelstra was able to win two championships during his time with the Heat and now a decade later is still having to compete against him.
While their relationship wasn’t always great, it’s awesome to see that mutual respect that James and Spoelstra share to this day as two of the best ever at their jobs.
Vincent speaks to difference of playing with Lakers & James compared to Heat
While Vincent will not be able to play against his former team due to injury, he made a name for himself during his time with the Heat. Now playing in L.A., Vincent discussed the difference between playing with the two franchises.
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