Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Danny

HEAT at Lakers Official Game Thread and Preview

127 posts in this topic

670_heatlakerpre_130117.jpg

(Photo Credit: Andrew Bernstein)

The Miami HEAT wrap up their six-game road trip in Los Angeles, where they take on the Lakers. The HEAT are atop the Eastern Conference with a record of 25-12. The Lakers are battling for the final playoff spot out West at 17-21. Tip off is set for 10:30 PM.

1: If Pau Gasol plays, does this game change that much if he comes off the bench instead of starts?

Couper Moorhead: Considering how much the HEAT have played with two big men lately, either pairing Chris Bosh with Udonis Haslem or Joel Anthony, Gasol likely won’t see any particular matchup advantage if he gets to run his own bench unit for a few minutes. But remember, Gasol is returning from a concussion, not a knee injury as he was dealing with earlier in the season. He has struggled to find his place in the team’s system, but he should at least be, in theory, rested and ready to go.

Danny Martinez: I don’t believe the game changes a whole lot if he starts or comes off the bench. The more important thing would be minutes played. The HEAT have gone “small” in doses, so for the most part the extra size wouldn’t be an issue. Gasol has struggled some this season, but he’s still an excellent player and passed. His brother, Marc, was able to dissect the HEAT with quite a few bog-to-big passes. Pau is certainly capable of doing the same, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

2: Is Chris Bosh going to get Dwight Howard duties all by himself?

Couper: He won’t. Howard may not look completely like himself, though he’s getting there, but he’s still more than a one-man job. Bosh, Haslem and Anthony need to be fully aware of Howard at all times when a shot goes up, and the rest of the team needs to be ready to dive to the rim from above the free-throw line and get the rebound as Howard is taken out of position. In the past, if Miami wants to play small, the key to attacking Howard has been with LeBron James and Bosh. Use Bosh to get him out of the paint and isolate him for box-outs and then James takes advantage of the space and cleans up the loose balls. It’s a lot to ask for an entire game, but it’s the Lakers.

Danny: Nope. Matchups are rarely, if ever, one-on-one anymore, especially in HEAT games. In the HEAT’s defensive system, players are constantly helping all over the floor, hedging drives and cutting off driving lanes. As such, everyone will have a role in guarding Dwight Howard. When he and Steve Nash run a high pick-and-roll, and there will be many, HEAT wings will be crashing down on Howard, looking to thwart his opportunities at the rim. Bosh will get the bulk of Howard duties, and will have to defend him straight up a handful of times, but he’ll have help.

3: Should it matter to Miami who Kobe Bryant, who has been defending some point guards of late, defends?

Couper: Kobe hasn’t been an elite defender for years, despite his reputation, but he has reached a different gear in a couple of recent games defending ballhandlers. It’s probably more than he should be taking on given how much the offense is relying on him, for better or worse, and if Bryant gets constant Wade or LeBron duties, the HEAT will likely involve him in as many pick-and-rolls as possible to wear him down. Of course, if you’re attacking Bryant in that way you aren’t attacking Steve Nash – pretty vulnerable defensively himself – but if Nash is on Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole, it’s probably best not to force the issue unless you get transition opportunities. The HEAT might change their usage of certain plays given matchups, but they aren’t going to change the way they play.

Danny: No. Bryant will guard many players over the course of the night. Bryant’s defensive reputation no longer matches up with his actual prowess, and against many of the HEAT wings he’ll be at a significant disadvantage. Opponents have been attacking Bryant off the ball as he’s been focused on the ball. While he’s on the floor, the Lakers defense is susceptible to back door cuts, something Dwyane Wade has featured heavily in recent games. Who Bryant defends doesn’t matter all that much to the HEAT, for they have the upper hand in almost any matchup.

4: There have been a number of comparisons to the 2010-2011 HEAT for this Lakers team. How many of them play true?

Couper: There’s no comparison to the sort of attention the HEAT were getting three seasons ago, but in practice the Lakers have played out as a more extreme edition of that Miami squad. An early losing streak for Miami that lasted a week or two went deep into December for the Lakers. People foolishly wanted Erik Spoelstra fired early in the 2010 season, but the Lakers actually did change coaches and their entire offensive systems. Miami lost Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem for most of that season; the Lakers have been without Steve Nash and Pau Gasol for much of this season. There’s a lot of bad luck involved in what has happened to the Lakers, but they’re in a deeper hole than Miami ever was.

Danny: I guess if you really squint, you can see the similarities. The HEAT probably garnered a larger amount of attention than the current Lakers squad, but there’s no shortage of coverage for this Lakers team. In both situations, there were questions early on as to whether the team would be able to succeed. In the HEAT’s case, and early struggle was wiped out by a 22-1 stretch. These Lakers haven’t been as fortunate, suffering a litany of injuries and narrow losses. Through 38 games the Lakers are 17-21 and outside the playoff picture. The HEAT were 29-9 at the 38 game mark and leading their division. The comparisons aren’t totally off base, but they also aren’t totally apt.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy B-Day D-wade!!

Lakers...going to be...if...I guess that what blogs are for

In any case regardless of the outcome of today's game it should not be a sad day for Dwade. He is a pro basketball player living the dream, has multiple businesses ongoing that has him preparing very well for his future. I'm sure you know who Gabrielle Union is...he has three wonderful kids, plays alongside arguably one of the best athletes/players in the history of the game and plays on a team that is trying to repeat as NBA Champions. From my vantage point the outcome of the game will do very little to sour Dwade's day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy Birthday Dwyane Tyrone Wade!!

This will be a great game to watch and I feel the Heat will come out victorious because Wade and Bron will be just too much for L.A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's get this win!

Winning in Staples always feels good for some reason.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year Wade fouled out and LeBron could not beat the team by himself. (Bosh missed the game due to a death in his family) This year, and after that Warriors romp, it looks like it's that time where we make the Lakers look like Jokers.

Also, lets win so we don't have to have that annoying Lakers fan trolling the forums any more. lol

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a feeling we will lose because the Lakers are finally starting to play better and they are desperate for a big win and we're probably tired from last night. This may just be their perfect storm, or we could just go out and rape them. I'm hoping for the latter.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kobe is going to outplaying D-Wade tonight. I really have a bad feeling about this game. I know Howard is going to have a field day against Christina Bosh and might probably set a new career high in rebounding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If BOSH hits his jumpers consistently,and MIAMI's help defense is at a high level, we HEAT fans should have an enjoyable weekend. RIO and WADE should attack Howard early to try and get him into foul trouble. It too will help if the three-ball is falling. Kobe will get his,just take everyone else out of the game....TEAM HEAT since '88!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just passed by the LA LAKERS discussion board and they are all hyped up for the game. To secure a win MIA HEAT has got to rebound rebound cleaning the glass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@IraHeatBeat: With Dexter Pittman back for this game, Jarvis Varnado and Josh Harrellson inactive for Heat, as their 10-day contracts are about to expire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@IraHeatBeat: With Dexter Pittman back for this game, Jarvis Varnado and Josh Harrellson inactive for Heat, as their 10-day contracts are about to expire.

Spo is going to bust out the secret weapon tonight!?

Dexter Pittman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spo is going to bust out the secret weapon tonight!?

Dexter Pittman

Yup. Dwight's not gonna know what hit him....literally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Steve Babineau
      The Miami HEAT face the Boston Celtics Sunday night at TD Garden. The HEAT fell to the Celtics 117-114 in their last meeting on December 30. Tip-off is set for 6:00 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 5:30 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      Highlights:
      December 30-HEAT at Celtics 
      December 18-Celtics at HEAT
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won three of five and are 35-37. The Celtics have won six of seven and stand at 47-26. Hassan Whiteside leads Miami in rebounds (14.2) and blocks (2.1) per game. Isaiah Thomas leads Boston in points (29.1) and assists (6.0) per contest.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 104.8 (18) HEAT Defense: 104.0 (5) Celtics Offense: 108.4 (8) Celtics Defense: 105.3 (11)
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT fell to the Toronto Raptors 101-84 Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Hassan Whiteside led the way for the HEAT with 16 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com. 
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Toronto Raptors Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT defeated the Raptors 104-89 in their last meeting on March 11. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What did the HEAT do well to get back on track against the Suns?
      Couper Moorhead: They played defense. Granted the starters came out a little slow on that end but once the bench unit was in towards the end of the first quarter the Suns were held to an offensive rating below 90 the rest of the way. Phoenix isn’t exactly an offensive powerhouse this time of year – Eric Bledsoe is being held out – and had plenty of unforced turnovers of their own but the opponent isn’t always the most important thing when it comes to getting back to your own established habits. Miami probably could have beat the Suns on Tuesday with scoring alone, but working on their game will help them in the long run with tougher opponents coming up.
      Joe Beguiristain: After a slow start to the contest, the HEAT got things going in the second quarter to take control of the game. In particular, Wayne Ellington caught fire towards the end of the period and helped Miami jump out to a 13-point lead at halftime. From that point on, the HEAT locked-in defensively (especially Hassan Whiteside) and held the Suns to just 39.5 percent shooting. Other than Whiteside, both Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson defended Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker quite well. In fact, Johnson led the team with five steals and helped Miami get some easy buckets in transition (the HEAT ended up with 19 fast break points on the night). In other words, Miami took care of business on its home floor against a depleted Phoenix squad. 
      2: Since Toronto didn’t have Kyle Lowry in the last meeting, what can we take away from that game?
      Couper: That the Raptors, despite an impressive comeback win over Chicago on Tuesday, miss Kyle Lowry. Last time these teams played the Raptors were playing on a back-to-back, which is always a factor, but despite a 26-point first quarter the Raptors never really seemed to get much of an offensive rhythm going as DeMar DeRozan was asked to do a ton of shot creation. Through the first three quarters, before the Raptors essentially played their bench the rest of the way, Toronto’s expected effective field-goal percentage, based on shot quality, was 47.6 – a number that would rank last in the league.
      Additionally, Toronto will be without the services of Serge Ibaka on Thursday. Ibaka was given a one-game suspension after an on-court incident with Robin Lopez on Tuesday.
      Joe: In that last matchup, the HEAT dominated the Raptors in nearly every facet. Six players scored in double-figures for Miami, while the team also held Toronto to just 37.5 percent shooting. Like Coup stated above, the Raptors did have some trouble initiating offense with Lowry out.
      As a whole, Toronto’s offense has dipped with its floor general out of the lineup. Before the All-Star Break, the team ranked fourth in offensive rating at 110.9 points per 100 possessions. In the 14 games since then without Lowry, the Raptors are ranked 16th with a 105.7 rating. Luckily, their defense has improved enough for them to go 9-5 since the break. New addition P.J. Tucker has had a lot to do with that, as the versatile forward is holding the opposition to 6.5 percentage points less than their usual field goal percentage since joining Toronto. We’ll see how things transpire on Thursday night.
      3: If Miami is without Hassan Whiteside (hand laceration), how will Miami adjust?
      Couper: Likely as they always have this season, with Willie Reed starting and heavy doses of James Johnson as a small-ball center. This isn’t the easiest matchup for that configuration considering Jonas Valanciunas is a load to deal with and Toronto can put out just as many versatile lineups as Miami with Ibaka, Patrick Patterson and new arrival P.J. Tucker. Even if Ibaka isn’t available, the Raptors can still play small with Miami. And of course Udonis Haslem is always an option, one that Erik Spoelstra can trust to adhere to the defensive system as well as anyone.
      Joe: If Whiteside can’t play on Thursday night, we’ll likely see Willie Reed in the starting lineup. In his five starts this season, Reed has averaged 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game on 68.6 percent shooting. After practice on Wednesday, the 26-year-old stated that his role doesn’t change in the starting lineup and that it’s still about bringing energy.
      “It’s not about the points. It’s about the energy that I can bring to the team, you know, holding down the inside [and] the paint, rebounding and trying to provide what Hassan provides.”
      Things will be tough with a skilled big in Jonas Valanciunas on the other side, but Reed has the mental makeup to get the job done.
      INJURY UPDATE: Coach Spo said Whiteside (hand) was a full participant in Thursday morning's shootaround and still intends to play.

      Highlights:
      March 11-Raptors at HEAT
      November 4-HEAT at Raptors
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won three of four and are 35-36 on the year. The Raptors have won four of five and stand at 42-29. Miami is 16-3 at home in 2017. DeMar DeRozan leads Toronto in scoring at 27.0 points per game.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 105.1 (17) HEAT Defense: 104.0 (5) Raptors Offense: 109.9 (5) Raptors Defense: 105.3 (10)
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      At 3:30 PM EST, I will ask a trivia question for a pair of tickets to tomorrow night’s game against the Raptors. Please keep in mind that you must be at least 18-years-old in order to qualify and must reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Monroe County. Also, you are ineligible if you've already won tickets this calendar month.
      Please only play/answer if you can attend and qualify based on these rules.
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Phoenix Suns 112-97 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Hassan Whiteside led the way for the HEAT with 23 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.