After an impressive second-half performance against the Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat will continue on their seven-game home-stand against the Los Angeles Lakers, the illustrious franchise that may be headed to the lottery for a third consecutive year.
The Lakers have gotten off to a 1-5 start. Kobe Bryant is shooting just 32 percent from the field right now. D'Angelo Russell -- the rookie the Lakers took over Jahlil Okafor in the NBA Draft -- has a grand total of 56 points on 57 field goal attempts thus far. Julius Randle hasn't hit the ground running, and the Lakers threw their free agency money at the once-mighty Roy Hibbert. It's tough to see the Lakers even make the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference.
Miami will host the Lakers Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The key for the Heat players will be to avoid looking at the Lakers' losses to subpar teams and to just play the game. If the Heat players come with energy, defense and intensity, they should win this game comfortably. Hassan Whiteside should win his match-up against Hibbert. Justise Winslow should force Kobe Bryant into a lot of tough jumpers. Miami's defense should contain the Lakers' stagnant offense. Miami already has home victories against the Raptors and Houston Rockets -- two teams that will likely be more competitive than the Lakers.
Since it is the Lakers, I'm not too worried. Dwyane Wade always gets up to play against Bryant, so it should be a fun night.