Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Live
Although Miami Heat did not make any major moves during the off-season, the team around Dwayne Wade was able to surprise many experts as they rallied to a solid 9-7 record in the first month of play. Thus, the Heat will make their way to California to take on the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. GMT.
When the Heat’s front-office refused to comply with Dwayne Wade demands to bring another star to Miami many thought the franchise would be bound for another year of barely making it to the playoffs. However, Erik Spoelstra’s squad got off to a good start in this year’s NBA campaign and is currently holding on to a fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Albeit the Heat dropped two straight versus the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics, they still looked much better than last year thus far. Most importantly, Jermaine O’Neal has been performing more consistently and Miami’s promising rookies Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley continue to develop. Likewise, the addition of Carlos Arroyo turned out to be a great fit as he provides the team with some much needed ball handling off the bench. That said, there is no doubt that the Heat rise and fall with the performance of All-Star Dwayne Wade who led Miami with 27.1 points, 5.4 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks per contest.
In contrast, the excellent performance of the Lakers was much easier to anticipate after Kobe Bryant and company won another championship ring in 2008-09. With Ron Artest added to the team and Pau Gasol having recovered from a hamstring injury, L.A. appears to be everyone’s favorite to win another title this year. One month into the season, the Lakers are tied with the Phoenix Suns for the first place in the Western Conference as they won 13 out of 16 games. However, one should keep in mind Pau Gasol only appeared in five of these games and will inevitably make the team even stronger. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Lakers have not lost a single game since the Spanish All-Star forward returned to the floor. Offensively, Kobe Bryant has been nearly unstoppable, averaging 29.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Taking everything into consideration, the Lakers seem to have an edge over the Heat but should not underestimate Miami. Without any doubts, the perimeter match-up between Dwayne Wade and Kobe Bryant will electrify fans around the league and could very well determine the outcome of the game. In order to stay within striking distance of the Lakers, the Heat will have to pull off a stellar performance and rely on their starters to play heavy minutes.
You can watch all games of the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers right here on www.watchlivenba.com, the home of NBA live streaming.
Tags: Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Beasley, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade
Posted: 26th December 2010
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