Division Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Heat 3rd Southeast
Regular Season Series: Lakers lead 1-0
Streaks: Lakers won 3 - Heat won 1
Time: 5:00PM PST - TV: TNT
Welcome to Miama, Buenvenido a Miami! Thanks Will! Where the beaches are hot and the women are hotter. Let's just hope that if the Lakers do get burned, it'll be from the Miami sun and not the Miami Heat. Lakers start another tough road trip by going up against Dwayne Wade who recently helped snap the teams 4 game losing streak (Wade was out) by beating a very blah Golden State Warriors. Nothing impressive.
Here's something to be impressed about. The Lakers strength is typically in their starting unit but this season has proven that the bench can come in and help save the day, especially when Kobe can't make a shot with a marble. Listen, we all know he's in a slump that will quickly perish faster than this sentence is completed but to have the confidence that Phil has with his second string is something to, again be impressed about.
The other night, Brown, Farmar and Odom stepped up BIG. Lamar had a team high 7 assists. We can always rely on Kobe (even with his current shooting slump) to put up high numbers, Gasol to have his characteristic double double, Bynum to show promising numbers, Artest to show no mercy with his badgering defense. He has 11 steals in the past two games and the bench to help fill in the gaps left behind from the front line.
As far as Miami, D. Wade continues to play remarkably great fresh off his return from a strained left calf. He's scored 56 points since his return in just two games. Miami can expect their star player to put on a show. Beasley's points and minutes have been inconsistent so you never know what to expect out of him. Jermaine O'Neal's numbers have elevated due to more playing time. Anyone who is a fan knows that O'Neal's successful formula is pretty simple. The more time he's on the floor, the more production you'll see out of him. I've always liked Jermaine, his mid range and inside game is unstoppable. Quenton Richardson will need to have a superb game against Artest's D in order to help Wade carry the offensive load.
Wade is still angry about what happened to him last time he faced Kobe. Don't remember? See the video below. Expect him to come out hot and try to close the game early to avoid another last second game winning shot opportunity for this generation's Mr. Clutch!