The game though, may be overshadowed by the jersey retirement of Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq spent 3+ years in Miami and helped bring the franchise’s first title in 2006. It’s somewhat ironic, or planned, that it would happen against the Lakers where he built his name.
The Lakers are 11-20 on the season, yet only two games back of the 8th spot in the West. Without Kobe Bryant, they are playing freely and at times pretty good. They have beaten the Warriors this season as well. But right now, they are not playing well, going 1-9 in their last 10.
The Lakers have five players averaging double figures, led by Lou Williams. This will also mark the return of swingman Luol Deng, who spent two years in Miami before signing a 4-year deal with the Lakers.
The Heat, 9-20, are struggling. But we are all beginning the recognize what this team is. They play hard and are exciting at times, however, when it comes to key stretches in games, they often get stagnant on offense and predictable.
This game will be televised on TNT. It’s scheduled for 8 PM EST.
Expect an up tempo game with some sloppy play at times. I expect the Heat to pull out the victory in the end.