Sunday is going to be a good day for NBA fans, as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat meet for the first time since the 2020 NBA Finals. Which side are you betting on?
Catch this game live on Sunday, February 21, at 9:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (22-8, 9-5 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- SG: Wes Matthews
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: LeBron James
- SF: Kyle Kuzma
- C: Marc Gasol
The Lakers are being challenged right now, not only by opponents but by injuries to the team. Already without Anthony Davis for multiple weeks, the Lakers will play this Sunday without key offseason acquisition Dennis Schroder due to health and safety protocols reasons.
Without the two, LeBron James was left to carry the Lakers in their 109-98 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets last Friday. Nevertheless, James managed to show once again that he can be relied upon to deliver big numbers, as he finished with 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting from the field.
The Lakers are going to get what they usually coax from LeBron James, so the pressure for them is for the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Wes Matthews, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to step up and produce in order to cover the gaping hole temporarily left by the pair of Davis and Schroder.
The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games against Miami when they’re designated as the home team.
ROAD TEAM: Miami Heat (12-17, 5-10 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- SG: Kendrick Nunn
- SG: Duncan Robinson
- SF: Jimmy Butler
- PF: Kelly Olynyk
- C: Bam Adebayo
The Heat finally arrested their three-game skid by beating the Sacramento Kings last Friday on the road, 118-110. Miami also covered the spread comfortably as a 1-point road favorite. Jimmy Butler’s triple-double effort did not go to waste that time around unlike in the previous two games where Miami lost despite Butler’s statistical brilliance.
Butler had 13 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds against the Kings to stretch this triple-double streak to three games. Over the last five games, Butler has averaged 19.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 9.8 assists. Butler and Bam Adebayo will form the backbone of Miami’s offense this Sunday, and with the Lakers missing Anthony Davis, expect Adebayo to have plenty of chances to create plays for himself.
Adebayo had 16 points and 10 rebounds against the Kings. He’s raring to go and play the Lakers after he was not able to give his 100 percent in the NBA Finals in Orlando due to injuries.
Miami, which is averaging 1-7.2 points per game this season, had seen the total hit the over in all of its last three games.
Bam Adebayo makes up for his underwhelming showing in the NBA Finals last season and terrorizes the Lakers with a huge performance to help Miami score a 117-113 win in Tinseltown.