The Miami Heat look to bounce back tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers. With having lost 6 of the last 7 games, including 5 in a row the Heat’s stock has plummeted from what it was back on Christmas when these teams met last. Of course it was the Lakers who were struggling then. Los Angeles has been playing much better basketball of late, taking an 8 game winning streak to South Beach.
I’ve never been of the belief that games in the NBA regular season are of much significance to teams guaranteed to make the playoffs. However, this team is very close to the edge. A losing streak at this point of the season was not supposed to happen to them. The Heat were only going to improve as the season went on, not regress. Roles were to be determined, not completely unkown.
A win tonight for the Heat could certainly help provide comfort to South Florida and reassure everyone, including themselves, that they can beat elite teams in the NBA. On the other hand, a loss could be crushing. Bringing even more doubt upon a team that is nationally despised.
Unfortunately I have no evidence as to why the Heat should win this game. They have swapped roles with the Los Angeles Lakers from Christmas Day. Back in December, the Heat went on that amazing run, winning 21 of 22 games while the Lakers were losing by 20 points at home to Milwaukee. Currently, the Lakers are working on an 8 game winning streak, while the Heat’s struggles have been well documented.
Chris Bosh has been under much turmoil of late, and faces the tough matchup of Pau Gasol. He was badly outplayed by Lamarcus Aldridge last game against the Blazers, so look for Bosh to be very aggressive tonight. Bosh has even gone as far as to demand the ball more in the post. If he can establish a post game, points in the paint will soar.
That will be a difficult task against Gasol, who plays pretty tough defense. Bosh will also be guarded by Lamar Odom, who is also a very capable defender.
It is always necessary to watch when Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. These are arguably the three best players in the world and always make for great competition.
I do expect revenge tonight, but I believe it will come in the form of Miami seeking revenge for last year’s game winner from Kobe. He’s one of the best ever, but there is no way he called bank on this shot.