The NBA has given the public another Christmas present. David Stern and Co. always try to have some compelling match-ups on this holiday and this year they have a few, but none compares to the Heat vs Lakers game at 5pm EST. Before the season, many experts assumed this would be a preview of the 2011 NBA Finals. Now, plenty of those experts have cooled on the Heat even with their current 13-1 run. So who wins and why?
On the Los Angeles side the most important piece of the puzzle is not Kobe Bryant, but Pau Gasol. He has become one of the best big men in the game and Miami has struggled in the paint. Finding somebody to defend Gasol will be key. I expect to see a lot of Joel Anthony even if he is not starting. He provides the most energy of any of Miami’s frontcourt players in terms of defense. Obviously Pau is not the only player that the Heat need to concern themselves with. The Lakers have a guy named Kobe Bryant who’s the best closer in the game while Lamar Odom is having his best season since coming to L.A..
Now just hours before the game, Miami might be giving Phil Jackson a case of Deja Vu. Heat star Dwyane Wade is talking and tweeting about his bum knee. Sounds like he might be baiting the Lakers into thinking he’s not 100 percent effective. Sounds like one of Jackson’s former players, Michael Jordan. Like Jordan, Wade always seems to come up big when the lights are shining bright. Offensively, D3 is the key to the Heat beating Los Angeles. If you watch ESPN, you might think Dwyane doesn’t play for Miami anymore because it is non-stop Kobe-LeBron, LeBron-Kobe. Shame on you ESPN. The Heat go as Wade goes. Even Kobe lovers and ESPN NBA analysts have stated that Miami has been more successful since DWade has retaken the leadership role. In a game like this one MJ would have dropped 40. I say Wade hits 35 as the Heat win, 101-92.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).