The Los Angeles Lakers will be looking for some payback when they host the Miami Heat this Thursday in Hollywood. Will the Lakers stop Jimmy Butler and the Heat? Or, will Miami repeat victimize the Purple & Gold anew?
Catch this game live on Thursday, January 5, at 11 AM, Manila time
Away: Miami Heat (20-18/9-10 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyle Lowry
- SG: Tyler Herro
- SF: Caleb Martin
- PF: Jimmy Butler
- C: Bam Adebayo
The Heat are looking good of late. After beating the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday on the road, 110-100, the Heat are now 4-1 straight up in their last five games. They have also gone 8-3 straight up in their last 11 games, and during that span, they have averaged 110.0 points on 45.7 FG% while allowing only 107.1 points. Scoring isn’t Miami’s strong suit in the 2022-23 NBA season, as it is last in the league with only 109.0 points per outing, but the Heat also make their opponents bleed more for points than they usually do versus other squads.
Miami is eighth in the NBA in adjusted defensive rating with 111.8 points allowed per 100 possessions and third with opponents making only 39.9 field goals power game. When they beat the Lakers in South Beach last December, 112-98, Los Angeles went only had 37 attempts from the field.
The Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last five games.
Home: Los Angeles Lakers (16-21/8-8 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Patrick Beverley
- SF: Lonnie Walker IV (questionable)
- PF: LeBron James (questionable)
- C: Thomas Bryant
LeBron James just turned 38 but he is still out there putting up 40-point explosions. After scoring 47 points in a 130-121 win over the Atlanta Hawks last Saturday, LeBron dropped 43 Tuesday in a 121-115 victory against the Charlotte Hornets to put an exclamation mark at the end of the Lakers’ five-game road trip. With Anthony Davis out, LeBron is expected to defy Father Time even more, and so far, he’s responding.
Over the last nine games of LeBron, he has put up an average of 34.6 points while shooting 58.5 FG%. However, LeBron’s status is to be monitored ahead of the rematch versus the Heat, as he’s currently carrying a questionable tag. It’s likely that he plays Thursday to lead the Lakers, who have seen the total hit the Over in six of their last 10 games overall.
As a team, the Lakers have averaged 119.5 points 51.4 FG% in their last four outings.
Spread: The Heat (-4) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (229) hits the Under.