The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to extend their five-game winning streak in the midst of a brutal five-game road trip that will stop off for a showdown with the Miami Heat.
LeBron James will be getting a healthy dose of nostalgia when he returns to the American Airlines Arena in Miami where he spent a good chunk of his illustrious career. Only this time, he will be coming back with a new partner in Anthony Davis to defend their NBA-best 22-3 record.
The Heat had no answer for this formidable duo after they combined for 51 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds in their first matchup of the 2019-20 NBA season. It is safe to say the team’s plan to make their presence felt in the paint early on once again in the rematch.
Los Angeles is still monitoring some key injuries on this grueling trip. Aside from Anthony Davis’ lingering shoulder issue, Avery Bradley is still on a minutes restriction while working his way back from a leg injury. Kyle Kuzma has already been ruled out due to an ankle injury, but Rajon Rondo will return.
Miami is hoping to use their homecourt advantage to even the score after coming up short during their first game at Staples Center. Despite their struggles on the road, they still boast an 11-0 record at home and will need to get off to a hot start if they hope to maintain their perfect mark.
This will be much easier said than done since they find themselves severely shorthanded coming into the game with Justice Winslow and Goran Dragic already ruled out. Meanwhile, Dion Waiters remains suspended for insubordination and still has yet to make his season debut.
Regardless, they have had no problems staying competitive with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference thanks to the emergence of their young backcourt in Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Jimmy Butler has clearly embraced leading the youth movement with his star power as one of the best two-way players in the league and will undoubtedly be up to the challenge of guarding James on the defensive end.
Los Angeles Lakers (22-3) vs. Miami Heat (18-6)
4:00 P.M. PT, Dec. 13, 2019
American Airlines Center, Miami, Florida
TV: Spectrum SportsNet/ESPN
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo, Jared Dudley
Heat Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Kendrick Nunn
SG: Duncan Robinson
SF: Jimmy Butler
PG: Bam Adebayo
C: Meyers Leonard
Key Reserves: Tyler Herro, Derrick Jones Jr., Kelly Olynyk