NBA ? Lakers and Heat for Christmas Day Showdown

The LA Lakers and the Miami Heat are working up their engines for their fist face-to-face game this season. Miami is coming from an outstanding comeback, linking together 12 consecutive wins this season, before falling just short to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at the American Airlines Arena. At the end, the big three, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade just couldn’t make it pass Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs.

Despite that latest bump, the Miami Heat has been able to put on a great series of games. And let’s be frank, here, the Heat had a lot to prove. Their numbers at the beginning of the season where by no means even close to what we had expected of a team filled with players of such high caliber. It really seemed as if the Heat where not at all finding a way to play together smoothly and brilliantly. The sports press went on against them, the bloggers went on against them and even their fans were a bit upset. The Heat Index was not as hot as one would have wanted.

So yes, at 21-9, they are not the strongest team in the nation, and yes, the Heat have yet to figure out a way to defeat their conference rival, the Boston Celtics. But they have figured out some things along the way recently. The Heat are very strong defensively. It was quite a surprise to see a team with such an offensive potential lead the nation in points allowed. At 91.5 points allowed per game, the Heat are the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Now, if you consider what LeBron James, Bosh and Dwayne can put together (if they keep on improving their playmaking and consistency) you can help but to realize that this guys are a very strong combination.

The Lakers, on the other hand, have been a bit more stable overall.  At 21-7 they are just a tab stronger on the spread-sheet then the Miami Heat.

Their offensive is quite strong. They have Kobe Bryant, who is arguably one of the best active players in the league, and the sweet combination he has put together with Pau Gasol has proved to be giving its dividends. At 106.4 points per game, the Lakers are currently the No.5 strongest offensive team in the nation.

And then there are the boards. On both ends of the courts the Lakers have been extremely efficient grabbing rebounds. At 44.8 points per game, the Lakers are as dominant as one would like a team to be under the rim. We are talking about a team that is currently the second best ranked rebounding team in the nation. The Heat is going to rely on its defensive proneness to keep the Lakers from building up momentum. With either Odom or Gasol hitting a double-double, and Kobe Bryant bringing in his usual numbers, it is going to be very hard for the Heat to keep thins under control.

Expect and exciting, thrilling and perhaps close game as these two teams, worthy of making it to the NBA Finals, give you a sneak preview at what could happen at the end of the season. Stay tuned for more NBA action at


Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the NBA news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS’ Sports Betting Blog . You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.