The Lakers will be without LeBron James and Anthony Davis — so this will hardly feel like the NBA Finals rematch we were hoping to see in this one. The Lakers (32-19) still have a lot to play for as they are also hoping to avoid falling to the play-in games in the Western Conference.
Miami is also looking to move itself away from the 7th seed and into a safer area. The Heat come in nearly fully healthy with only KZ Okpala missing, but are still working out the kinks of adding in Victor Oladipo to the lineup and also Nemja Belicja — who have both found their way into the rotation. The Heat are 2-1 with Oladipo so far.
The Heat’s biggest advantage will be their bench unit as it has a strong scoring punch with Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro available. If the Lakers don’t hit open threes, Miami should be able to keep them out of the paint and scoring from the perimeter without their best players. Anything can happen, but Miami should be able to play really well through Bam Adebayo in this game — unless Andre Drummond is back, he’s the type of big that would give Bam some trouble because of his strength and size around the rim.
Both of these teams rank in the top 5 of opponent PPG and opponent FG%. So we’ve got some defensive minded sets between Vogel and Spo that should create something fun for anyone who can pay attention to more than scoring.
ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 65% chance to win the game.
HEAT VS LAKERS: THURSDAY, APRIL 8 AT 7:30 PM
- KZ Okpala: out (health and safety protocols)
- Tyler Herro: probable (foot)
- LeBron James: out (ankle)
- Anthony Davis: out (achilles)
- Andre Drummond: probable (toe)
- Kyle Kuzma: probable (calf)
- Jared Dudley: out (knee)
|Jrue Holiday||PG||Goran Dragic|
|Bryn Forbes||SG||Duncan Robinson|
|Khris Middleton||SF||Jimmy Butler|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||PF||Trevor Ariza|
|Brook Lopez||C||Bam Adebayo|
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)
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