Sometimes basketball is a simple game. The Los Angeles Lakers have won eight straight games, and are tonight facing a Miami Heat team that has lost five straight contests. However, it would be foolish to simply write the Heat off. After all, they did place a whooping on the Lakers, 96-80 on Christmas Day, that still sticks in their craw.
On the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll, Dexter Fishmore sees red when thinking of Christmas 2010:
December 25, 2010 was not a proud moment for Lakerdom. For the second year in a row, LeBron James dropped down our chimney like a Super-Evil Santa, ripped out our heart and held it aloft for the world to see. Neither Ron Artest nor Matt Barnes nor anyone else employed by the Lakers had a hope of stopping him, as he piled up 27 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds, four steals and just a single turnover en route to a 96 to 80 asskicking. That made three straight victories for LeBron over the champs. Despite all the talk of how signing Artest would endow the Lakers with a pitbull defender who could slow down LBJ, the Lakers have yet to defeat him in the Ron-Ron era.
David Dwork of Peninsula Is Mightier sees the Lakers center as the, ahem, pivotal player in tonight's contest:
One reason that L.A. is doing so well is the defensive surge that has come from their center, Andrew Bynum. The young Lakers center has been blocking shots left and right. He has at least one in every game of their winning streak, and hasn't had a game without a block since January 28th, a stretch of 17 games. Over the last couple weeks he has had games with 5 and 6 blocked shots, and in those games he committed a total of 1 foul.
Tonight's 4 p.m. PST game will be nationally televised on TNT.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.