Tag Archives: Miami Heat

Kobe will return to Lakers for Christmas Day

Kobe Bryant Returns

Kobe Returns

Kobe Bryant made his return to practice Saturday, ramping up expectations for his eventual return to the court and to potential salvation for the Lakers. Friday night, while the Lakers were losing to the Memphis Grizzlies, Kobe tweeted that if Friday night’s game was a playoff game he’d be playing. Six months removed from the Achilles injury he suffered versus the Golden State Warriors the Lakers are struggling to keep afloat and badly need their superstar. The worst thing Bryant can do is rush back from injury so he’ll likely work up his conditioning over the next few weeks. According to Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak Bryant will definitely not return in the next two weeks, pushing the timeline to the first week of December at the earliest. So the big question is when will Kobe Bryant return? And when he does return will the Lakers be in contention?

Some of the speculation around Bryant’s return to game action points to the NBA’s traditional Christmas Day game. This year the Lakers take on Lebron James and the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat. A month ago Bryant changed his twitter picture to an image that alluded to 12/25. Whether he’s pointing to Christmas Day for his return or Kobe is simply looking at Christmas Day to be his coming out party the timing of Christmas would force the Lakers to play an additional month without their star. Los Angeles is currently 4-7 and fourth to last in the Western Conference, ahead of just New Orleans, Sacramento and Utah. The Lakers have lost four of their last five games including double digit losses to New Orleans, Minnesota and Denver. Friday night’s loss was a perfect example of where the Lakers miss Bryant. They were facing a 3-6 Memphis team that has struggled all season. The Lakers held a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter only to see Zach Randolph score fourteen in the fourth to put the game away. It’s the type of game that Kobe simply wouldn’t have allowed Memphis to win. In the Western Conference you have to defend your home court and Los Angeles is just 3-3 at STAPLES Center on the season. The Lakers have three games remaining on their current home stand, Detroit, Golden State and Sacramento. The Pistons, who the Lakers play Sunday night, are wrapping up an extended road trip and are ripe for a defeat after beating Sacramento on Friday night. While Golden State is an elite team, the Sacramento Kings are sitting at 2-7 and look completely discombobulated on offense. If Los Angeles can take two of the final three they’ll have some momentum as they leave STAPLES Center.

Whether the Lakers are in contention when Bryant returns is contingent on when he returns. After they wrap up the current home stand the Lakers head east for games at Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit. The Wizards are young and have trouble finishing games, like versus Cleveland on Saturday night. Detroit is a talented bunch but is still getting their rotation and interior combo of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe to play consistent together. Brooklyn is loaded with veteran talent but has struggled this season and may be without Deron Williams for an extended stretch. After a home game versus Portland the Lakers play at Sacramento followed by home games versus Toronto and Phoenix. This stretch of games encompasses the next three weeks and as far as the Western Conference is concerned is a relatively manageable stretch. If Los Angeles can go 5-5 over these next ten games they could potentially target Friday, December 13th versus the Oklahoma City Thunder for Bryant’s return following over three weeks of practice. If Bryant can give Los Angeles and immediate lift they just may claw back into contention.

If I was a betting man I would be the farm that come hell or high water Kobe Bryant will return to the Lakers to play on Christmas Day if not before! Lakers Tickets are available for Christmas and all other home games at the LA Staples Center. By:Chris Michaels

Can anyone stop the Miami Heat?

During the 2012 NBA finals, we saw the Miami Heat smash the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. LeBron James finally redeemed himself and won his first ring, alongside Chris Bosh and D-Wade. It’s true that the Heat put their Championship chances in jeopardy, after Bosh’s injury during last year’s Playoffs. However, The King stepped up and zipped the mouths of all his critics about his late-game performances and his inability to deliver in crunch time.
So what has really changed since then?

Well, Miami’s chances have surely become better. LeBron, after a close-to-unreal season won his 4th MVP award in the last five years. The Heat recently knocked off the Bucks in just four games. They broke the franchise record for most wins in a season, with 66. They are putting on display a game that proves they possess what it takes to repeat. Plus they have a more powerful roster from last season. After managing to retain the core of the team, they added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in their arsenal. They were really tough for any team to stop throughout the season. Most of their opponents had to just pick their poison when they were facing them.
Is there a team that can really beat the Heat in seven games?

First of all, it was a season with many injuries of star players. Even when the Playoffs started, many key players for strong teams were not in their full health.

Let’s take it one by one. The most dangerous opponent for the Heat at the moment is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite the fact that Durant lost his fellow superstar Russell Westbrook, they are still arguably the best team in the West. Although Durant is having another great season putting up huge numbers, the team could actually be less powerful than last year, when they got hammered by Miami. Kevin Martin is surely a great player off the bench and a terrific shooter. However, the loss of James Harden is surely was costly for Oklahoma. Now, with Westbook sidelined, there were many voices that the repeat just got easier for the Heat.
Apart from the Thunder, the Spurs could post a threat for the Heat, at least theoretically. Gregg Popovic’s veteran ensemble is always a countable opponent. They showed their force in the first round when they swept the injury-depleted Lakers. Health is a concern for them, too. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker experienced some injuries and were not at their 100% at the start of the Playoffs. They should be ready come NBA Finals time.
In the West, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks are the two teams that could seriously assail the Heat. The Knicks rely much on the offense of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith and that could be a problem for them. Keeping in mind that the Heat’s defensive system is very effective against the pick and rolls and also the fact that Miami has the defensive guru in the name of Shane Battier in their roster, it could get tricky for the Knicks to exploit them.

Indiana on the other hand proved that they came to fight. They broke New York’s home court advantage last night, taking Game 1 of their series. They also troubled the Heat extensively during their matchup last year. Miami finally advanced after Game 6. Nevertheless, LeBron and Wade hit the wall of Indiana’s big men, Hibbert and West. Should the Pacers roll past the Knicks in the East Semis, the Eastern Conference Finals will really be interesting. Of course they are still playing without their rstar Danny Granger, who is out due to a knee injury.

Miami will have to overpass the obstacle of the Chicago Bulls. This is yet another of the many teams that lacks of its best player. Derrick Rose, one of the best players in the NBA has yet to play this season. There is much speculation about his return during these series. However, nothing is certain and of course it’s questionable which version of him we’ll see after his extensive time off the courts. Chicago will also play without All-Star forward Luol Deng, at least in Game 1.
There is no doubt that the Heat are capable of winning any team currently in the NBA even with all players at full health. But now, their road to their second consecutive Championship might be a bit easier.

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Can the Miami Heat beat the Lakers’ all-time best 33-game winning streak?

Lakers Vs Heat

Lakers Vs Heat Win Streak

The Miami Heat are ready to write history in yet another sector of the NBA. After their recent win against the Detroit Pistons, they have now extended their winning streak at 25 in a row. The NBA’s record for the longest winning streak throughout its history is still held by the Los Angeles Lakers.

LA managed to win in 33 consecutive games during the 1971-72 season, when Wilt Chamberlain was in the team’s roster. This is also the longest streak of any American sports team. The Lakers closed out that season after winning a total of 69 games and went on to be crowned as NBA Champions, marking that season one of the mostsuccessful ones amongst any professional team in the history of sports.

The Miami Heat can challenge this record right now and also ink their names in the golden pages of the NBA’s history book. If they continue to prevail and win one game after another, they can be remembered as one of the best teams to ever participate in the league. Up to now, when we talked about the NBA, the best teams and players to every play in the league, the first ones that came in our minds were the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan, the Lakers with Chamberlain, Magic and Abdul-Jabbar and the Celtics with Larry Bird. Now the Heat have a great chance to protagonist in that list, too and LeBron James can be considered as one of the greatest to every play the game.

14 games are left in their schedule till the end of the regular season and they are also considered as the team with the easiest schedule until the playoffs. They will have to win another 8 games to match with the ‘71-’72 Lakers and that last game would be against the Philadelphia Sixers. In-between they will have to roll past the San Antonio Spurs and also the New York Knicks, two games that could possibly end their superb streak. Nevertheless, the Heat, led by the Big Three, have proved that they can literally win any team, even the Spurs or the Thunder.

Of course, Miami will need not only the winning-streak record but also this year’s Championship and maybe the following year’s, too, in order to verge the glory of the legendary teams of the Chicago Bulls or the Los Angeles Lakers. Those teams used to dominate the league throughout the years. At present they do have what it takes to reach this top-tier level. What will be needed from now is duration. Since LeBron and Bosh landed to Miami to join D-Wade, Miami recorded a great course, with one Finals appearance, one Championship and counting. The question from now on will be if they can stay healthy, retain their core under the new CBA that penalizes teams with high payroll and continue to perform the way they’ve been this season. If they succeed in these, then not only can they surpass the Lakers’ winning-streak record but they can also be remembered as a dynasty in the NBA for many years to come.

Miami Heat Vs Lakers Tickets are always available for their upcoming games. Next time they will face each other would be in the 2013 NBA Finals!

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Chris Paul Bobblehead night at Clippers Vs Thunder Staples Center Jan 22nd

Chris Paul Clippers Bobblehead

Chris Paul Clippers Bobblehead

Only the first 18,000 People receive the Chris Paul Bobblehead at the Clippers Vs Thunder on Jan 22nd at the Staples Center! SO DON’T BE LATE!

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A huge game is coming ahead for the LA Clippers next Tuesday, on January the 22nd . They host the Western Conference leading team (record-wise), the Oklahoma City Thunder. It will be playoff-type game. In fact, these teams are the two favorites as the finalists on the Western Conference, so it will be no surprise to see Chis Paul, Blake Griffin and their company fight against Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook for a chance to compete for ring.

It will be the second meeting between these two teams. Last time, the Thunder managed to escape with a close win at overtime, 117-111, but can they repeat? Also, the biggest question most people might have is which team can actually dethrone the Miami Heat and win the championship this season. The Clips and the Thunder are the two best teams in the West and also have the two best records in the entire league respectively.

Chris Paul has really lifted up his game during the last weeks and he is getting the help he needs from almost every teammate. He has missed three consecutive games due to a bruised right kneecap, but he will be ready for this derby, even sooner. Griffin and Crawford have proven to be the main supporters for Paul, but in general, Coach Vinnie Del Negro has just too many weapons he can use with effectiveness. Can the Thunder last and prove that they have matured enough to win a championship, after last year’s demolition in the finals by the Heat?
Well, this game will answer a lot of such questions regarding the top teams in the West and will show which one is more ready and complete. Apart from the ranking boost the winner may get, the momentum gained will most probably be the number one factor coming into this game. Both teams need this win. It is predicted to be a spectacular game with lots of tension and some great performances, with so much star power on court.

Staples Center will be rocking for this one of the Clippers biggest home games of the season.

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Can Lebron James and the Miami Heat win another Championship this year?

Heat Championship Rings

Heat Championship Rings

After a tough first 9 seasons in the NBA, with lots of criticism, lots of hate and love for his face, Lebron James finally redeemed himself last season winning the long-awaited Championship Ring. Can he really do it again this year?

Whether you hate Lebron, love him or simply don’t care about him –that would be curious- you have to admit that he is the best player currently in the NBA. I am not talking about best scorer, best passer or best rebounder or even the most clutch player. I am talking about doing all these together at a superior level, non-human, video-game like. Even if you were a tough NBA defender it’s almost impossible to stop a 6-8” body-frame weighting 250 lbs coming towards you at full speed. Combine it with top-class agility and shooting stroke and you have an ultimate weapon at your arsenal. I mean, what can’t Lebron really do? The most usual answer to this question until last June was that he can’t win a championship. Or some jokes about giving him a dollar and him giving you ¾ back. Well, all that has now changed, at least at some point. It’s always natural for a champion to ease the tension towards himself and that happened also with Lebron. Especially when this summer we all witnessed the Dwight Howard saga that finally ended up with him being traded to the Lakers. In fact the Lakers took a lot of the media attention and the criticism that Miami and Lebron had last year. It seems that together with power always comes responsibility and expectations for the greatest achievements. That’s what the Lakers face this year, they are in the tough position the Heat were last year. They are in a win now mode and not only because of getting 4 former all stars in their starting lineup, but also because everybody knows that in order to compete in the NBA, you need to be fresh (and young enough). The Lakers don’t have the luxury to wait a year or two like Miami did. On the other hand, the Lakers have already won several championships and the fans may not be so championship-hungry.

Back to Lebron and Miami, though, could they really make it to the finals again and win their second in a row? Only the Lakers have achieved to win two or more in a row the past decade. But the question might be which team can beat Miami in 7 games? As they’ve proved last year, they can do well even with tall teams managing well their weakness at frontcourt. They found the way to make the most out of their roster. What they wisely did last year for example against the Thunder at the finals, was that they switched Shane Battier at the four. That changed the game, because it forced Serge Ibaka, the monster blocker, run all the court around to chase Battier and defend him shooting the three. So that left the inside space clear Lebron and Wade. This year, they’ve added also Ray Allen, who needs no comments about his three pointers and Rashard Lewis, plus they’ve kept all the valuable members at their team. And with Lebron having another super season this far, they look like they are eligible to repeat. Let’s wait and see how things go for Miami and all the other true Championship contenders.

Heat Flames put out by LA Clippers

It’s early in the season but not too early to see a clear theme taking shape. The Clippers are legit and clearly the best basketball team that currently occupies the Staples Center. They’ve now run off four consecutive big wins against the Spurs, Grizzlies, Hawks and Heat, with the seven point margin over the Heat being the smallest margin in those four wins. Those previous four games, like last night against the Miami Heat, weren’t really all that close.

The most impressive part of the win streak is the types of teams they’re beating, matching up effectively with all of them. The Clippers can match the Spurs bench and versatility. They can match the Grizzlies superior size and strength inside. Last night they overpowered the small-ball heat with a dominating combination of size and quickness inside, depth off the bench and versatile perimeter play. Pick your style and this deep Clippers team can match it.

Last night was another impressive step in the evolution of Blake Griffin as a complete player. When his spot up jumper is falling he’s un-defendable. If the defender tries to come out and defend his jump shot he can easily blow past any four or five in the league. Try to cover him in the post? He can easily overpower smaller bigs like Chris Bosh. Try to cover him with Shane Battier? Good luck.

Beyond Griffin several others things stood out on the Clippers side yesterday, most notably the Clippers bench. Eric Bledsoe’s block on Dwyane Wade will make all the highlight reels and rightfully so. According to Twitter Lebron called Bledsoe “Little Lebron” following his performance. Highlight reel aside Bledsoe is quickly becoming a game-changing difference maker off the bench with his phenomenal athleticism and ability to get to the rim. He provides a perfect change of pace with Chris Paul, not giving teams any break when Paul gets a rest.

Bledsoe is just part of the story when it comes to the Clippers reserves. Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford have stepped up huge in recent games. The Clippers second unit has a great balance of offensive threats (Crawford), defensive stoppers (Barnes) and size and strength (Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins). Early on there were questions about how Del Negro would mold this unit together. The roles are now being clearly defined and the argument can be made that the Clippers are now the deepest team in basketball.

A couple of early losses aside when power ranking the west the argument has to be made that the Clippers are the top team. Of course it’s a long season and injuries can happen, with Griffin and Chris Paul both being somewhat injury prone in the past. Still, unforseen injury aside the Clippers are going to be a forced to be reckoned with and are real contenders—and the top team in LA. Hopefully the LA media will get off the Lakers soap opera a bit and realize the story that’s brewing in Clipperland.

As far as the Heat are concerned it’s not surprising they lost to the Clippers in LA, something they’ve done in all three years of the Lebron James Heat era. The fashion in which the Heat lost that has to concern Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra. Like in Memphis and Houston on this current road trip the Heat displayed a lack of intensity on defense. The good thing for Heat fans is that the defensive intensity can be ratcheted up. The big factor that has to concern Heat Nation is the play of Dwayne Wade who just isn’t the same player. The second thing that jumped out is how another team was able to exploit the Heat’s “small ball”. Like Memphis earlier on the road trip it’s pretty clear that a team with dominant big men can exploit a lineup that sometimes employs Shane Battier at power forward. If Memphis or the Clippers find a way to get into the finals they could very well give the Heat quite a series.

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Whats wrong with the Lakers?

Star center coming off back surgery. CHECK

Former two-time MVP point guard injured two games in. CHECK

A glaring lack of depth forcing the starting unit to play big minutes early on. CHECK
Flashback to this summer after the Howard and Nash trades and it’s hard to believe that six games in Mike Brown’s out and the Lakers are 2-4.

But is it really?

Look beyond the star-power and you have to wonder if Mike Brown isn’t just a convenient scapegoat for a team that may not be as well-constructed as we all thought. Or was Mike Brown simply the wrong coach to begin with? Perhaps he was.

Many point to the Princeton office as a mistake, perhaps rightly so. But were the Lakers issues under Mike Brown offensively related? Take a look at the Hollinger stats and the Lakers sit csolidly at number seven in offensive efficiency, higher ranked than last year. Granted it’s a small sample size but one can make the argument that offense wasn’t really the issue.

Perhaps the problems are much bigger than that.

For Mike Brown’s sake you’d think the Lakers would have at least waited for Steve Nash to return and take a real assessment of the direction of the club. But, that didn’t happen and now they’re in head coach search mode, adding some additional turmoil to the equation. Clearly bringing back the greatest coach in NBA history in Phil Jackson would be a benefit. And, Mike D’Antoni can clearly teach offense and worked perfectly with Steve Nash in Phoenix. Still, head coach aside is this year’s Lakers club really equipped for the long slog through the Western Conference and a likely matchup with the Heat in the finals? For all the star-power there are some real question marks

Defense: It does seem unusual to question the defense of a club that has the top defensive force in the league in Dwight Howard, as well as Metta World Peace and Kobe Bryant. But, there are some real matchup issues that could be pretty evident against top teams. Take the Thunder for example. Who exactly is Steve Nash going to guard? You can put him on Sefalosha, but that forces Kobe Bryant to expend huge energy on the defensive end to guard Russell Westbrook, because Nash clearly can’t. The same holds true of the Heat in an expected finals matchup. The Lakers size is clearly a huge advantage against the Heat small-ball, but if the Heat does go small, with a lineup of James, Bosh, Allen, Battier and Wade you again have to ask the question: who exactly is Steve Nash going to guard?

Does Gasol Really Fit in: You have to wonder if Mitch Kupchak is tossing around any trade ideas for Pau Gasol. A few pundits have speculated on the benefit of perhaps trading Gasol for a player like Ryan Anderson. Anderson would give the Lakers a lot more versatility and a key shooter on the perimeter while providing some relief towards the luxury tax.

The Minutes these guys are playing: The eighty-two game season is a long haul and early on the Lakers vets have been forced to play some real extended minutes. While the Heat’s sudden depth have given them the ability to play their starts relatively light minutes Kobe, World Peace, Howard and Gasol are playing minutes early on that don’t bode well for a long season and an extended playoff run. The sheer amount of game time the stars are getting is directly related to their poor bench. Save the Charlotte Bobcats the Lakers bench may be the worst in basketball. It’s hard to imagine this current roster going head to head in a seven-game battle with a team like San Antonio.

A potential poor playoff seed: With such a veteran roster it’s vital to get a high playoff seed. If the Lakers continue to struggle and don’t receive a top four playoff seed their road to a championship will be that much harder. It’s a lot easier to make a run through the playoffs with home court advantage. It’s a lot harder if it involves being a road team against the likes of San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Still, for all the Lakers question marks they still have the top center in the league one of the greatest point offensive point guards of all time and a top ten all-time player in Kobe Bryant. Their size inside and unique matchup issues will make them a tough out in the postseason. Unlike the Heat, who had time to build their current championship club, the Lakers really don’t have all that much time. If they don’t win this season they’ll head into next year with Bryant and Nash a year older—and the Heat a year wiser.

Lakers face the Sacramento Kings tonight tickets are still available for the game by clicking here.

1992 Dream Team set the gold standard both literally and figuratively

USA Dream Team 1992 Vs 2012

USA Dream Team 1992 Vs 2012

The fundamental 1992 Dream Team set the gold standard-both literally and figuratively-for Summer Games basketball. Kobe stated the 2012 Dream Team could beat Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and the rest of the 1992 group. Is he right?

Miami Heat LeBron James, LA Laker Kobe Bryant and Thunder Kevin Durant head line the latest edition of the “Dream Team,” one that will defend Team USA’s World and Olympic championships in basketball at the Olympic Games in London.

Much has been made about the current team’s weak frontcourt. The 1992 team had 4 players who grabbed at least 15 percent of available rebounds in 1991-92 (Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, David Robinson).

The present team has about three players at that rebound rate last season (Tyson Chandler, Clipper Blake Griffin, Grizzlie Kevin Love). The 1992 team had two players (Ewing, Robinson) who blocked no less than 5 percent of the shot attempts they faced in 1991-92. No 2012 player had a block percentage greater than 3.4 last season (Chandler).

The 1992 team was about 2½ years older on average (28.8-26.2). Other than Bird and Magic, every Dream Team member was 30 years old or younger. Each member of the current team is 29 or younger, apart from Kobe, who is 33. But the NBA experience level is about the same.

The 1992 team had, on average, 7.3 years of practical experience per player. This year’s team has 7.1. The 2012 version has seven championships among them, carried by Kobe’s five. LeBron and Chandler each have one. The present team has members of each of the past four NBA champions, while the 1992 team had members of the then-past two champions.

There’s no assurance the 2012 team wins the gold medal this summer, but LeBron, Durant and Kobe could probably rampage through the other teams at the 1992 Olympics relatively conveniently.

The 1992 Dream Team involved greats such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson among others. In all 11 Hall of Famers were on the team.

The latest 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team consists of superstars such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony.

Conclusion
2012 team has looked strong during its very first two games at the London Olympics 2012, and you can anticipate to see more of the same during Team USA vs. Nigeria as the team continues its bid for a gold medal. This year’s team may be preferred to bring back the gold from London, yet compared to its counterparts who took Barcelona by thunderstorm in the summer of 1992, the 2012 team appears at the silver podium.

Miami Heat Beef Up for 2012-2013 Season

Just in case their roster wasn’t loaded with enough star talent, the Miami Heat have added the NBA’s all time leader in 3-point field goals, Ray Allen, to their championship squad. The Heat won it all last year with defense, athleticism, and a constant attack the rim mentality. The one thing that could’ve been considered lacking for them was their outside shooting. It’s starting to look like that won’t be the case anymore with Allen on the court. There may not be a spot for Ray in that ridiculous starting line-up (he’s fine with playing behind D-Wade and LeBron), but he knows that it’s not about if you start the game. It’s about whether you finish it; where you are during crunch time. Ray will certainly be on the court during crunch time. He’ll be just one more option (and a pretty good one too) to knock down any crucial last-second shots.

In addition to Allen, the Heat have also signed free agent Rashard Lewis. Depending on what he has left, the two-time All-Star could also help spread the floor and knock down those outside jumpers, something he’s done his entire 14-year career. Nobody can say the Heat aren’t a deep team anymore. With the addition of these two veterans, the bench just got a whole lot better.

With the impressive showing Mario Chalmers had in the playoffs last year, and the addition of 10-time all-star Ray Allen, should we just go ahead and start calling them the Big Five?

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Preview Heat Vs Lakers Staples Center

Game Preview: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Staples Center March 04, 2012 12:30pm

On Sunday, March 4 2012, the Miami Heat are scheduled to travel to the Staples Center to take on the LA Lakers. Of course, the first thing that comes to the minds of fans is the fact that LeBron and Bryant will be playing against each other.

LA Lakers felt that way when they had the pleasure of meeting Kobe Bryant, and fans of the Miami Heat felt that way when the team acquired Dwayne Wade. Any time these two teams meet on the court, there is electricity in the air and sparks around the basket.

That leads to an argument that will go on for a long time: Kobe or LeBron? This past weekend, Kobe Bryant took a hit to the face from Dwayne Wade as he went in for a layup. Bryant somehow was able to finish the game and break Michael Jordan’s record for the all-time all-star scoring title. Unfortunately, because of Dwayne Wade, he broke his nose as well. The team doctors are being very careful with Bryant’s status, and have him listed as day-to-day. On top of sustaining nasal fractures, he suffered from a concussion as well. Bryant will undoubtedly be ready to play against the Miami Heat on Sunday. Will the other members of the Lakers be prepared to step up and teach Miami a lesson?

When the Lakers have Kobe Bryant in the lineup, they are automatically considered a dangerous team. Which is why the team should do everything they can to back the all-star up and protect him from hard fouls. Wade said that he apologized for the foul he had on Bryant, but it is still unacceptable to foul someone so hard in a game that means nothing. As a result of Wade’s thoughtless action, Bryant now has to go through a long process of check-ups and examinations in order to get back on the court. As the PTI crew said earlier today, it should be expected that the Lakers will not be welcoming to the Heat on Sunday.

How will the “big three” of the Miami Heat respond to the scrutiny that they are now under? Will Kobe or LeBron have the better game? Will aggressive personalities like Ron Artest retaliate against Wade? Is this the beginning of a more heated rivalry between the two teams? Perhaps this is the surge or spark the Lakers need in order to start winning.

Any game against Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Heat is meaningful for the Lakers. This one took on added significance after Wade mugged Kobe Bryant on a drive to the basket during the All-Star Game, causing some serious damage to his noggin.

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