NBA Pick: Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers Preview
Sunday’s NBA betting action is going to be hot and heavy, and there might not be a game that more fans are looking forward to than the clash between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat at Staples Center.
LeBron James is right. He can’t win. The Heat were knocked off by the Utah Jazz for their first loss after nine straight wins. The opportunity was there for James to be a hero, but he passed the ball instead of taking the shot. Of course, now we’re back at the All-Star Game, when LeBron, with Kobe Bryant draped all over him, didn’t drive the hoop and didn’t pull up to take the last shot of the game. LeBron and D-Wade have been doing it all over the course of the last two games, including logging a total of 66 points in that loss to Utah. Chris Bosh is still out of the fold with a personal matter, and he might not be around for the game in Tinseltown either. The good news is that others are stepping up around them, including Shane Battier posting one of his best games on the season in which he scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting on Friday night. Still, it’s hard to knock this team for losing on the road out West, especially in the second game of a back-to-back, and there is no doubt that when push comes to shove, the Heat are as good as it gets in the league.
The world is waiting to see what Kobe Bryant does in this one. Bryant had his nose broken in the All-Star Game by Dwyane Wade, and he has been wearing a mask ever since that point. Think Bryant was bothered by the mask? Think again. He has scored 31 and 38 points in his two games since the break, and he is now averaging 28.8 points, 5.9 boards, and 4.9 assists per game. Of course, life still isn’t totally okay for the Lakers, who still have to deal with the trade deadline and the question as to whether or not Pau Gasol and/or Andrew Bynum will be dealt before March 15th. However, mostly thanks to Bryant, the team has come out of the second half of the season on fire, though wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings aren’t quite as notable as a victory here against the Heat would be. LA has played well this year at Staples Center, going 16-2 in this building, and there has only been one loss since a Christmas night defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.
The Final Word: The Heat just seem to be in a bit of turmoil right now, and we think that they are going to be on the wrong side of a tremendous outing by Bryant. Kobe and the gang need to prove that they are a contender in the Western Conference, and they are going to do it by taking down one of the beasts of the East at home.
Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers Free Pick: Los Angeles Lakers
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