Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Will it be a brawl or a battle of wills?
This afternoon we will be covering the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Miami Heat game. This one is a Sunday afternoon affair worthy of headline Wrestlemania status.
Had the NBA schedule makers known that Dwyane Wade was going to knock Kobe Bryant into a protective mask worthy of a villain from a Marvel Comics movie, this would a primetime game; there is no doubt.
The fans are sitting back licking their chops for some violence that most likely won’t come. There will be some hard fouls but there won’t be anything dished out there that will make front page news.
The Lakers have too much to lose. Right now they are getting back to being treated seriously again after a near collapse signaled their decline.
We discussed trade scenarios that would allow the team to build another championship caliber squad around Kobe. We discussed issues with age. We discussed coaching issues. We discussed every nook and cranny of what we as outsiders could try to figure out what was going on in that locker room.
Now, the ship has been righted somewhat and we started talking about what game Bryant would select to be his 100 pt. game on the anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s defining game.
If the playoffs were today the Lakers would have the fourth seed in the Western Conference. After some wins last week that included Friday’s 117-105 victory over a young Sacramento team, the Lakers are starting to “look” the part again.
Some assorted suspension worthy drama today with a player like Andrew Bynum or Meta World Peace would more or less kill any momentum that has just gathered.
This prediction is not that this game won’t be intense. Both teams will get out there and throw some bows. Both teams will fight hard to win this game that they know the whole world is watching. That will happen.
This blood feud that supposedly was initiated last weekend? That won’t happen. Wade has profusely apologized and Bryant has accepted.
We all know that Kobe holds a grudge deeper than most people, so for him to work media trail to make sure it’s known that things are cool with Wade, there has to be some truth to it.
Any baiting and/or issues that he has with anyone on the Heat squad are probably with his assumed peer LeBron James whom Kobe feels is not on his level. Oh yes, LeBron.
LeBron James is suddenly on the hot seat again for failing to be a closer.
Kobe taunted him last week during the closing seconds of the All-Star game to ‘take the shot.’ James opted to throw up an ugly pass in lieu of more or less proving he could school Bryant at will.
On Friday night, the Heat lost their first game in 10 efforts after James failed to throw up a game-winner against the Utah Jazz. What he did he do? He passed the ball and lost the game.
This is not the space to discuss when, where or how James will take the final remaining step to his accession as our generation’s dominant force. That will happen most likely come play-off time.
But for now, the stage is set for one of the most exciting games that we’ve seen all year. Will the Lakers go head hunting for Wade? Will a formerly downtrodden Lakers team be able to avenge a January loss to the Heat? Does LeBron have it in him to take control of this game and be the “man?”
The answers to these and other questions will be answered at 3:30 p.m. EST.