The Miami Heat are unquestionably one of the most surprising teams in the NBA so far this season and have continued to find ways to win, but perhaps their toughest test yet awaits next when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at 7:00pm.
After an emotional overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks last night, the Heat will have to regroup (and hopefully get healthier) in time to continue their homestand with a “Very Important Game” on Friday night against LeBron James and the Lakers, the top seeded team in the Western Conference and tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best overall record at 21-3 — including a highly impressive 11-1 road record.
The Lakers, winners of their last four games, picked up right where they left off after their recent loss to the Dallas Mavericks snapped their 10-game win streak. However, Kyle Kuzma will sit out their game tonight in Orlando with a sprained ankle and the team listed Rajon Rondo (hamstring) as day-to-day yesterday.
With considerably less star power and now half a decade removed since LeBron last donned a Heat jersey, the Heat are improbably besting the Big 3 era — and any other era in franchise history — with a perfect 11-0 record at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Yes, they’ve loaded up the win column against lesser teams and though they’ve suffered some bad losses against elite teams like the Lakers (many times on the second of a back-to-back set), Miami has also enjoyed quality road wins over the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors.
The success has been as a result of working together as a team, even though they still remain far from healthy while important players like Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic continue to miss games right when Derrick Jones Jr. (and Winslow himself) and KZ Okpala came back from injury. The biggest question though for the Heat remains: can their quality depth be enough to win consistently against the likes of teams with superstars?
With an extra day of rest and due to their success at home, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gives the Heat a slight 51.2% edge to win the game.
Not only will there be plenty of drama and theater on the main floor, Tinseltown will also meet ViceWave as it will be the third home game in the new City Edition series.
You don’t want to miss out on the hottest game of the season so get your tickets now before it’s too late!
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.