Lakers vs. Heat Game Preview: Lakers Look To Upset LeBron And Heat
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With Kobe Bryant out, the Lakers’ match-up against the two-time defending world champion Miami Heat has lost some of its luster. However, look for this young Laker team to come out with lots of energy in order to defend their home floor against the Heat. The Heat enter Christmas Day with a 21-6 record, good for second in the East behind the Indiana Pacers. LeBron James remains far and away the league’s best player, and the rumors regarding the fall of Dwyane Wade are greatly exaggerated as he has looked excellent so far this season. Any time a team with the star power the Heat possesses comes to town, it is a highly intriguing game.

Frontcourt: 
Somehow, LeBron James continues to improve. The four-time NBA MVP spent the last two off-seasons refining his post game, which helped spur the Heat to the last two titles. This off-season James spent countless hours in the gym working on his outside shot. He is shooting an unbelievable 60% from the field to go with 41% from three, and a slightly improved 77% from the line. He also leads the Heat in points, rebounds, and assists.  Even with these shooting percentages, the Lakers (and all NBA teams, for that matter) have no choice but to give him space and dare him to shoot as he is unstoppable when he gets a head of steam going to the rim.

Chris Bosh remains the perfect fit to go with the one-two punch of James and Wade. His ability to space the floor against opposing big men is critical in opening up driving lanes for LeBron and Wade. His touches and points per game are down this year (only 14.7 points per game), but he still shoots it at 52.7% from the field. If the Heat want to three-peat, they do need Bosh to step up on the boards, as he is only averaging a hair over six rebounds per game. If the Lakers want any shot at winning tonight, Pau Gasol needs to play well and punish Bosh on the block.

Backcourt: 
Other than Kobe, Dwyane Wade has been the best two guard in the league since Michael Jordan’s retirement. Though Wade has always been injury prone and has lost some of his athleticism, he remains an elite player. Wade, like the other two members of the big three, shoots above 50% from the field (54.1%). He has the same knack for hitting tough shots at the rim and jumping the passing lanes on the defensive end that he always had. Wade has been held out of several back-to-back games this year to keep him fresh for the postseason, but he will play tonight as the NBA took the day off yesterday.

Mario Chalmers, for the third straight season, is the Heat starting point guard. Chalmers fills the role of spot-up shooter in the starting lineup, a role that many players on the Heat fill playing alongside Wade and James. Chalmers is a fearless player who does not shy away from open shots in crucial moments. Chalmers, like Wade, has quick hands and is dangerous in the passing lanes on the defensive side of the ball.

Keys to Lakers Victory:  
Limit Turnovers: The Heat play without a real center on their roster. How is a team able to do this and still win back-to-back championships? LeBron James’ presence is obviously a huge reason, but the other reason is how great the Heat’s defensive rotations are. When they are fully locked in, the Heat are far and away the quickest team in the league on the defensive side of the ball. They do a great job of blitzing pick-and-rolls and scrambling to close out on shooters. They also lead the league in steals at 9.7 per game, which is a scary thought for a Laker team that is playing with Jordan Farmar, who is back from injury, as their only true point guard.

Transition Defense: When opposing teams allow LeBron and Wade to get out on the break, they not only often times end up on posters (see Paul Millsap and Ben McLemore courtesy of LeBron in the past week), but they more often than not lose the game. The Heat shoot a league-high 51% from the field as a team. With the Heat shooting these high percentages, the Lakers can’t allow them to get additional easy buckets in transition.

20+ Assists: The Lakers have had a hard time creating the past two games in losses at Golden State and Phoenix. They were only able to generate 12 assists total as a team in Monday night’s loss in Phoenix. The Lakers do not have the talent to get into one-on-one battles with the Heat, and must move the ball to generate open looks for their shooters. Trying to run with the Heat or create in isolation situations in the half-court is a recipe for getting blown out.

Miami Heat  (21-6) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (13-15)
2:00 PM PST, December 25, 2013
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: ABC
Radio: ESPN
Radio 710 ESPNLA

Heat Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Shane Battier
C: Chris Bosh

Key Reserves: PG Norris Cole, F Michael Beasley PF Chris Anderson

Lakers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Jordan Farmar
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Wesley Johnson
PF: Shawne Williams
C: Pau Gasol

I simply want to say I am just very new to blogging and definitely enjoyed this page. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You actually have terrific articles. Appreciate it for revealing your web site.

  • I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks!Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  • Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

  • This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  • This is the appropriate blog for anybody who wishes to discover this topic. You understand a lot its almost difficult to say with you (not that I really would want?HaHa). You definitely put a brand-new spin on a topic thats been covered for several years. Fantastic things, simply wonderful!

  • There are some interesting times in this post however I don?t understand if I see all of them facility to heart. There is some legitimacy yet I will certainly take hold viewpoint up until I look into it even more. Great write-up, many thanks and we want much more! Contributed to FeedBurner also

  • Can I say what a relief to get somebody who really knows what theyre talking about online. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and work out it essential. Workout . must check out this and understand why side from the story. I cant think youre no more common since you also undoubtedly possess the gift.

  • After study a few of the blog posts on your internet site currently, as well as I absolutely like your means of blog writing. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site checklist as well as will be inspecting back soon. Pls check out my internet site as well and also let me know what you assume.

  • I?m amazed, I should claim. Actually hardly ever do I run into a blog that?s both instructional and also amusing, and let me inform you, you have actually struck the nail on the head. Your suggestion is impressive; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking wisely around. I am very satisfied that I came across this in my search for something associating with this.

  • Oh my goodness! an amazing short article guy. Thank you Nonetheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there any individual getting similar rss trouble? Anyone who understands kindly respond. Thnkx

  • I am typically to blogging and i really appreciate your material. The write-up has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website as well as keep looking for brand-new info.

  • When I initially commented I clicked the -Alert me when brand-new remarks are added- checkbox as well as now each time a remark is added I obtain four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can eliminate me from that service? Many thanks!

  • Oh my benefits! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t know why Not able to sign up for it. Exists anyone getting the same rss trouble? Any individual that knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • You made some decent points there. I viewed on the net for the concern as well as discovered most people will certainly accompany with your site.

  • This is the ideal blog site for anybody that wishes to learn about this topic. You recognize so much its virtually hard to argue with you (not that I really would want?HaHa). You most definitely placed a new spin on a topic thats been written about for many years. Fantastic things, simply wonderful!

  • Hey there! I just would love to give a significant thumbs up for the wonderful details you have below on this article. I will be coming back to your blog for even more soon.

  • I?d need to talk to you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will certainly make people assume. Likewise, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  • I?m pleased, I need to state. Truly hardly ever do I experience a blog site that?s both enlightening and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your suggestion is outstanding; the concern is something that inadequate people are talking smartly about. I am very pleased that I came across this in my look for something associating with this.

  • When I originally commented I clicked the -Inform me when brand-new remarks are included- checkbox as well as currently each time a remark is added I get four e-mails with the very same remark. Exists any way you can eliminate me from that service? Thanks!

  • I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

  • Hello there! I simply want to offer a massive thumbs up for the terrific information you have right here on this blog post. I will be returning to your blog for even more quickly.

  • An outstanding share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he actually acquired me breakfast since I found it for him. smile. So let me rephrase that: Thnx for the treat! Yet yeah Thnkx for spending the moment to discuss this, I feel highly concerning it and enjoy learning more on this subject. If possible, as you end up being know-how, would you mind upgrading your blog site with more details? It is very valuable for me. Big thumb up for this post!

  • Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  • I was very pleased to locate this web-site. I intended to thanks for your time for this remarkable read!! I certainly taking pleasure in every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new things you blog post.

  • Area on with this write-up, I really assume this site requires a lot more consideration. I?ll probably be once again to review a lot more, many thanks for that information.

  • Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

  • Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  • Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.