The Miami Heat have been incredible to begin the season. They have seamlessly integrated Kyle Lowry into their system and there have been no chemistry issues to begin the season.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra has deployed incredible strategies on both ends of the floor. The Heat are fourth in offensive rating and fifth in defensive rating in the NBA this season.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler is gaining early MVP traction with his spectacular outings. He leads the team in points (24.7) and steals (2.3) and is second-highest in assists (5.2), rebounds (6.1) and blocks (0.3).

Butler is also third-highest in the NBA in steals and is 12th in points per game. Additionally, he is third in the NBA in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) and is leading the NBA in Win Shares and Offensive Win Shares.

While their performances have done most of the talking, an altercation during the Miami Heat’s last game against the Denver Nuggets certainly turned headlines. The incident saw Nikola Jokic shove Markieff Morris in the back during the final few minutes of regulation. Morris hard-fouled Jokic and the reigning MVP responded with a cheap shot of his own.

The Heat canceled their postgame press conference and coach Spoelstra called the play “dangerous, dirty” and also said it was “uncalled for.” Markieff Morris will undergo testing before the game against the LA Lakers.

We know Jimmy Butler is the Miami Heat’s best player and he will do his usual things but Tyler Herro is one of the reasons why the team is winning games. He runs the second unit and is making a strong case for this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award. The Miami Heat are 10th in the league in bench production and Herro is partly responsible for that.

Tyler Herro is averaging career-high numbers in all three main categories with 20.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He is the team’s second-highest scorer and he is doing so while shooting 40% from beyond the arc on seven attempts per game.

The LA Lakers were the favorites to win the Western Conference before the season began, but their stock is steadily declining. They are 6-5 through their first 11 games and have shown no rhythm or chemistry to begin the season.

Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis haven’t been able to carry this team forward comfortably so far and LeBron James’ absence has been catastrophic. According to Tim DiFrancesco, the LA Lakers’ former head of strength and conditioning, LeBron James is set to miss roughly 4-8 weeks because of his injury.

The LA Lakers are coming off a close victory against the Charlotte Hornets and practically every game they’ve played has gone down to the wire. They had one of the easiest schedules in the league to begin the season and they blew several opportunities to win games down the stretch.

Westbrook’s turnovers have turned into a nightmare while Davis’ injury issues constantly linger over the team.

The LA Lakers have blown several double-digit leads this season and coach Frank Vogel has the entire rotation haywire. Due to the plethora of injuries on their roster, the coaching staff has had to deploy the weirdest of lineups at times.

To make matters worse for their title credentials, they blew a double-digit lead to the rebuilding OKC Thunder, the youngest team in the NBA, twice in one week.

Anthony Davis needs to be the best player on the floor for the LA Lakers to win games. He is their best option on both ends of the floor and he can certainly lead the team to wins alongside Russell Westbrook.

However, Davis’ free-throw and three-point shooting have been a major concern. From shooting 33% from downtown and 85% from the charity stripe in 2019-20, he is now down to 12% from three-point range and 73% from the line.

The Miami Heat are favorites to win this game because the LA Lakers are dealing with injuries. The latter has eight players on their injury report, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo. However, Davis is expected to play, and he could cause enough trouble for the Miami Heat alongside Westbrook. The Heat certainly won’t have anything easy during the game.

The Miami Heat also have their fair share of injury issues but their starters, excluding Bam Adebayo, are all ready to play.

The Los Angeles Lakers broke their two-game losing skid on Monday, prevailing 126-123 against the Charlotte Hornets in overtime. The extra five minutes really shouldn’t have happened, as the Lakers let go of a 110-99 lead that they had with 5:10 remaining in the game due to some costly turnovers from Russell Westbrook as well an insane five free-throw possession for LaMelo Ball that resulted from an ill-timed delay of game and a couple of ill-advised technicals.

Still, a win is a win, and that’s all the Lakers can really ask for as LeBron James mends from his abdominal strain while they continue to wait for the season debuts of Talen Horton-Tucker, Trevor Ariza, and Kendrick Nunn. Even with late-game mistakes, the Lakers are talented enough with Anthony Davis and (an apparently rejuvenated version of) Carmelo Anthony that they can beat a team like the Hornets, who had lost four straight heading into the contest.

Unfortunately, they face a far tougher test on Wednesday in the form of a team that feels very familiar for an Eastern Conference opponent, as Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat will pay a visit to the Staples Center just a little over a year after the Lakers defeated the Heat in six games to win the 2020 NBA Finals.

This offseason, the Heat also created their own three-headed monster by signing Kyle Lowry to join Butler and Bam Adebayo. It’s given them much better early results than what the Lakers have been dealing with from their own new Big 3, as they come into the game with a 7-3 record, currently tied for 2nd place in the East.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra has his team playing elite, balanced basketball as they are one of only four teams currently sitting in the top 10 for both offensive rating (3rd) and defensive rating (6th). It’s been much smoother sailing this season than last year was for the Heat — who paid a similar “bubble tax” as the Lakers — on both ends with Kyle Lowry on board, although Tyler Herro’s return to Bubble Herro has also helped, as he might have an even better claim to Sixth Man of the Year than our own Carmelo Anthony, while averaging 20.3 points per game off the bench.

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