The (1-5) Los Angeles Lakers are in one of the world’s most popular vacation spots, Miami, Florida, for a run against the (4-3) Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Miami receives one of the highest levels of rainfall among major U.S. cities, but Miami-Dade is also home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States. The purple and gold are not in Miami to experience the trendy nightlife of South Beach, the Art Deco District (the first 20th century neighborhood recognized by the National Register of Historic Places with 800 structures built between 1923-1943), the historic hideaways of Coral Gables or the family-owned shops of Coconut Grove, this team has to stay focused on developing, improvement, learning and building.
This is the 55th meeting between the two franchises, with the Lakers holding a 30-24 all-time lead. The Lakers have lost the last the last six season series against the Heat, dropping both games last season, the first a three-point loss and the second by six. In Miami, the Lakers are 1-9 in their last 10 meetings with the Heat. The last Lakers win over the Heat, on 12/9/10, in Los Angeles on a miraculous Kobe Bryant running bank-shot three-point field goal off of one-foot from the top, left side of the arc at the buzzer.
The game and shot almost five years ago, although it feels like it happened over a decade ago. In 32 games, that includes 28 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.4 points per game against the Heat, and in Bryant’s high individual game he scored 42 points against the Heat of Christmas Day 2004. The Lakers blew the opportunity to secure their second win of the year and dropped a winnable game in New York by getting stagnant on offense, allowing and not answering a late Knicks rally and also going ice cold in the final seven minutes of the contest.
There is no doubt that stagnation in the offense causes bad shots, besides when you hold a team to 39-percent shooting from the field it should result in a win. First thoughts are that this game is a matchup between the Lakers fourth ranked offense (104.3 points per game) against the Heat’s second ranked defense (90.2 points per game). In actuality, it will be a matchup of the Heat’s 25th ranked offense (96.6 points per game) versus the Lakers 29th ranked defense (110.7 points per game). It is imperative that the Lakers learn to increase their energy as well as their activity on defense. The Lakers need to work on communicating, persistence, hustle, moving their feet, utilizing active hands to create deflections, in addition to make opposing players play in a crowd in the painted area, furthermore the Miami Heat are averaging 47 points in the painted area.
Lakers: D. Russell, J. Clarkson, K. Bryant, J. Randle, R. Hibbert
Heat: G. Dragic, D. Wade, L. Deng, C. Bosh, H. Whiteside
Tip-off: 4:30 PM PST
• Los Angeles: TWC Sportsnet (Bill MacDonald & Stu Lantz)
• Miami: Fox Sports Sun (Eric Reid & Tony Fioretino)
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
• Miami : WEPN (Mike Inglis & John Crotty)
• Gerald Green (Undisclosed Medical Issue) Out
• Amar’e Stoudemire (Knee) Out