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NBA Weekend Preview: Lakers vs. Heat Looks Sexy On Paper

Written by Charlie Jimenez   
Thursday, 07 February 2013 10:20

Lakers vs. Heat OddsThe Miami Heat know that the Los Angeles Lakers are coming on strong. However, they also know that the Lakers probably won't have very much size inside, creating different matchups.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Miami Heat – Sunday, February 10

In the realm of sport betting online, you're probably going to find a lot of debate about this game among bookies and the betting students who scour various 5dimes.com reviews during an NBA season. The thing that stands out about this game is that the Lakers' lineup is being reshuffled like a deck of cards in online poker. The central tension point which emerges from the Lakers' roster changes is that, on one hand, Los Angeles thrives with a smaller lineup, whereas Miami flourishes against teams with smaller lineups.

Look at the Lakers first. The Dwight Howard injury was and is a blessing, the best thing that could have happened to the team.

The Lakers were losing ground rapidly with Howard, because Kobe Bryant didn't work well with him on the court. Howard was not playing at anything close to 100 percent efficiency and health. He took up space and halted the flow of the Lakers' halfcourt offense. Howard also stole minutes from Pau Gasol, since head coach Mike D'Antoni felt it was more important to give Howard the lion's share of playing time. Gasol is the player Kobe knows and trusts, and it was only after the Howard injury that Gasol, more of an inside-out player who can produce at multiple spots on the floor (unlike Howard), was freed up to do more on the court. The Lakers became a better team and have a winning road trip to show for it. The Lakers have won six of seven, and they've won three straight on the road against Minnesota, Detroit and Brooklyn. This team is figuring out how to play at both ends of the floor, and the Howard injury made it happen.

 

There is some concern in the Laker camp about Gasol, however. He suffered an injury in the win over Brooklyn on Tuesday and might be questionable for this game. This leads to the other side of the coin for the Lakers. They might enjoy playing with a smaller and more agile lineup, but this is what plays into Miami's hands. The Heat are vulnerable to teams with great size and length in the paint, but if Gasol joins Howard on the pine for this game, Miami will be able to attack the rim with regularity, and the Lakers will not have a big body that can stop LeBron James on forays to the basket. Los Angeles is between a rock and a hard place in this game. The Lakers want to play small ball under D'Antoni, an expert practitioner of that form of ball dating back to his days with the Phoenix Suns in 2005, but Miami eats up small ball teams for breakfast. The Heat, playing at home, should beat the Lakers. Los Angeles will be finishing up a seven-game road trip and should be very weary.

 
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