Preview and Chat: The Miami Heat

Darius Soriano —  February 9, 2013

Records: Lakers 24-27 (10th in the West), Heat 33-14 (1st in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 105.0 (8th in the NBA), Heat 109.6 (2nd in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.0 (17th in the NBA), Heat 101.5 (T 10th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark, Dwight Howard
Heat: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Undonis Haslem, Chris Bosh
Injuries: Lakers: Pau Gasol (out), Jordan Hill (out for the season); Heat: none

The Lakers Coming in: Coming into the last game of the 7 game Grammy Road trip, the Lakers are 4-2. It hasn’t always been pretty and the loss to the Celtics certainly stings, but the team has found a way to win games that they’ve needed to. So, on the court, things have been relatively good. Off the court, meanwhile, the drama swirls as comments from Kobe, Dwight, Mike D’Antoni, and even Dwight’s dad have all been top of the fold news stories in the past week. In some ways, this is business as usual for a Laker franchise that knows more drama than TNT. On the other hand, when you’re not one of the top teams, this sort of drama tends to have more legs and leave a lasting affect on the narrative of the season. The only way to escape, of course, is to win more. And the only way to do that is to compartmentalize and narrow your focus on what matters: the action on the floor. The Lakers — especially those not familiar with what it’s like being a Laker — are learning what it takes to do this, but it’s a learning experience for this group. I think D’Antoni had it right when he said he’d like for all the other BS to stop; for guys to quit having loose conversations with those not inside the locker room that are, more often than not, turned into he said-he said stories. No, this team needs to come together and do so quickly. A win against the Heat would certainly help in this regard and serve as a nice close to a tumultuous, yet so far successful roadie.

The Heat Coming in: The Heat have won 4 in a row, 5 of their last 7, and 9 of their last 11. They are again proving that they are one of the elite teams of the league and look primed to defend their championship.

Any discussion of the Heat begins (and, to a certain extent, ends) with LeBron James. In the Heat’s last 5 games, James is averaging 30.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists while shooting 68.4% from the field and 56.3% from behind the arc. On Monday against the Bobcats, he missed one shot in 14 tries while on Friday against the Clippers he missed twice in 11 tries. Both times he scored at least 30 points and made the game look easy. If there’s a better player in the game today, I’ve yet to see him play. It’s this level of play that is not just carrying his team, but also setting the standard that other players must try to live up to. As a basketball fan, it’s great to watch. As a fan of team that’s going to see him on the other side of the floor, it’s a bit scary.

As a team, the Heat are also playing better defense of late. In 4 of their last 6 games, their opponent has not scored 90 points. In their last 5 games, they’re forcing nearly 17 turnovers a game and with their ability to change ends quickly are turning those miscues into easy points. They’re also limiting teams’ makes from behind the arc and forcing them into contested shots all over the floor. In essence, the Heat are raising their game and making life extremely difficult on their opponents.

Heat Blogs: The Heat Index is one of the best team sites on the net. Give them a read for great insight on this team.

Keys to game: Let’s get straight to the point, the Lakers will have a hard time winning this game. This year they’ve been a poor road team, especially against opponents who have winning records. Furthermore, the Heat, as detailed above, are playing some very good basketball. Combine that with the fact that every team seems to get up to play the Lakers and there’s little chance the Lakers won’t see a strong effort from Miami. That said, there are specific things the Lakers need to do in order to head back to L.A. with a 5-2 record on this road trip.

First, as a team, the Lakers must control the tempo and take care of the ball. The Lakers have been at their best when they’ve been able to dictate pace by methodically slowing the game down. Against a Heat team that has more talent than they do, the Lakers must find a way to keep possessions down and ensure that the flow matches what they want it to be. That means attacking the Heat from the post, through Kobe, to keep the game at a speed that can be maintained over the course of the entire contest.

This also means taking care of the ball and not forcing passes that the Heat can take the other way for dunks and lay ups. Key to this is how the Lakers handle possessions when Kobe isn’t in the post. When the Lakers run the P&R, they must be aware that the Heat want to blitz the ball handler and find counters to beating this aggressive style. Nash will need to keep his dribble and not get trapped, but the Lakers will also need to have secondary options and release valves breaking open that can turn a trap into a 3 on 2 advantage somewhere else on the floor. Key to achieving this will be Earl Clark and MWP who will be moving off the ball on the weak side while Nash, Dwight, and Kobe operate on the strong side. If those two can break free and find ways to create with the ball once they get it, they can successfully break down some of Miami’s pressure schemes to create easier shots both on the perimeter and in the paint.

The Lakers’ bench must keep this trend going when they enter the game and not let the Heat’s ball pressure — especially in the Norris Cole/Steve Blake match up — turn the game in their favor. Ball security from Blake, Meeks, and Jamison will be just as important as it is for Kobe, Nash, and Dwight with the first unit. If the reserves can find a way to generate solid offensive possessions, they will find openings for good shots, especially when LeBron and Wade are on the bench and the Heat’s perimeter athleticism falls off.

Defensively, the Lakers must find a way to keep LeBron from dominating the game in the paint. LeBron has been great at breaking his man down off the dribble and getting good looks at the rim, so Ron and Clark must do a good job of keeping him in front of them and not allowing clean paths to the rim. They must also battle LeBron for position in the post and ensure that he’s not able to simply back down to a spot inside 12 feet where his arsenal of turnaround jumpers, quick drives, and baby hook shots are nearly unstoppable. LeBron will usually find ways to get his points, but if he’s getting them mostly from the wing,  you just have to tip your cap and move on. He can’t be allowed to get 30 points on lay ups, dunks, and post plays.

The Lakers must also be prepared to deal with all the off-ball actions the Heat run for Wade and Ray Allen. In the first game between these two teams, Wade killed the Lakers on quick cuts off the ball were he either darted into the creases of the D while his man (usually Kobe) got caught ball watching or used quick picks on the weak side to duck into the paint while LeBron held the ball up high. The Lakers bigs — especially Dwight — will need to be aware not only of LeBron working with the ball high looking to drive, but of the screens being set all over the floor to free up Wade and Allen moving into their favored spots to either get shots in the paint (Wade) or set up for outside jumpers (Allen).

I’ve yet to mention Chris Bosh, but look for him to be better than he was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. In that game Bosh couldn’t buy a basket as jumper after jumper rimmed out. In this game, he’ll look to work in isolation and out of the P&R to get his looks and the Lakers bigs must be ready to help and then recover back to Bosh and not surrender the types of open looks he normally knocks down. Every rotation must be sharp or the Heat will have success.

Again, though, this game will likely come down to pace and ball security. When these teams played last, the Heat jumped out to an early lead simply because the Lakers couldn’t deal with their ball pressure, committing turnovers that Miami turned into dunks. However, as the game went on, the Lakers found their stride, battled back, and had the game tied in the closing minutes. If the Lakers are able to establish their preferred tempo while taking care of the ball earlier in this game, they’ll be right there. It’s easier said than done, of course, but this must be their number one focus.

Where you can watch: 12:30pm start time on ABC. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

135 responses to Preview and Chat: The Miami Heat

  1. If the Lakeshow lose tomorrow w/ LBJ & Wade shooting long jump shots, then so be it. I’m OK with that (no points in the paint).

  2. “Injuries: Lakers: Pau Gasol (out), Jordan Hill (out for the season); Heat: none” … :(

    “If the Lakeshow lose tomorrow w/ LBJ & Wade shooting long jump shots, then so be it. I’m OK with that (no points in the paint).” :(

  3. I don’t comment much anymore… I’m mostly on the HeatBlog now. Let’s enjoy LeBron play today. He or Jordan will go down as the greatest of all time… Lebron is that good today. Lebron will go down as the greatest talent to play the game when he retires. Jordan will go down as the greatest NBA athletetot not take human growth hormone. But Lebron will be baskeballs supreme specimen. Or sciences supreme specimen. Probably both. Just watch the game please.

  4. Needless to say I would not bet on the Lakers Sunday. They could lose by 5 they could lose by 30. Depends on who did what the night before in Miami.

    You never know though. Maybe they will have one of those 15 3pt games. Who knows maybe Metta will even make one!

    Besides their new coach, Dwight’s dad, must have a game plan.
    Wonder if he can make free throws.

    What a mess. It feels like when I was playing Little League and every parent thought they knew best. And we thought Andrew was a problem.

  5. This was rather… early.

    So is the game, its an afternoon game in Miami after a Saturday night out. Wonder where Metta is headed and hope Lt. Horatio Caine doesn’t have his a$$. Also, Pau Gasol has to stay away from driving in Miami if he hopes to escape the “Jello” incident.

  6. As for the game, this is a game where Dwight needs to impose his presence as the Lakers anchor on defense. He is the defensive authority that needs to leave his mark if the Lakers plan on staying in the game with Miami.

    On the Lakers offense, the Heat disrupt the offense by pressing and by cutting into lanes. Pair that with their ability to play the transition, thanks to that guy they call Lebron James, then the Lakers are in for a treat. However, the Heat have always been about their defense. When they have been able to impose their will defensively, disruption and steals that lead to transition, along with good perimeter stroking from Allen and Chalmers and Battier then this game is pretty much one and done.

    The Lakers entertain more drama than needed. They need more of a dictatorship in the locker room, in a sense, media blackout. Dwight’s dad is only concerned, his opinion is just like mine. Overall, the Lakers as individuals and as a team need to focus on the product on the court.

    Lets keep it simple. Lets work hard.

  7. After the debacle in Boston, I said that, though the Charlotte game would be difficult, at least we would finish above .500 (4-3) on this Grammy Road Trip (that loss in Nash’s old stomping grounds really hurts). Which meant that, at the time, I had already counted this Miami game as a loss. Judging by how pathetic we looked for 2 1/2 quarters against Jordan’s team, I feel no different today about that prediction. Hoping that I’m wrong and we can pull off a surprise victory, but real talk, I believe that, for the 2nd time in a week, we’re about to get embarrassed on National Television.

    As for LeBron, because of his ‘Decision’, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports. One thing that’s not debatable, unless you’re a full fledged hater, is his status in today’s NBA. Which is Top Dog. Putting his numbers over the last few games to the side for a moment, his overall stats this entire season are phenomenal. Outside of the Lakers, the 2 individuals who I am really a fan of in the league are Kevin Durant & D. Rose (looking forward to The Return). I mention that, basically, to say that I’m no LeBron James fan-boy. Just a real individual who feels the need to give credit where credit is due. Although I’m pulling for Durant, if LeBron continues at his current pace and his team keeps piling up wins, he just might be staring at a 4th Reg Season MVP Award. Much respect LeBron. Much Respect.

  8. Hope the lakers use some zone defense against the heat. Lebron wont shoot 13 of 14 and 9 of 11 if he is taking co tested jumpers instead of dunks and lay ups. On offense, Lakers should milk every possession in a post up play everytime Kobe is in the game. Minimize the turn over to avoid those transition plays and easy dunks.

  9. Still hopeful but don’t like our playoff chances with Pau out so long. I wonder who we will send to represent us in the draft lottery. Hope they send Jeannie. This latest saga is just sad. I know the Bynum saga is equally depressing but it makes me wish we picked up Igoudala instead in the blockbuster deal.

  10. Rusty Shackleford February 10, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I’m excited for today’s game. In the commercial construction industry there are plenty of times when you’re completely buried and you feel that you just can’t get your head above water. When I elude to this state of being to my current boss just smiles and says, “Opportunity is knocking.”

    That said, just put Kobe and Ron on Lebron fully devoted and make someone else beat your three man zone. Given the way Lebron is scoring the ball right now is that really even that far-fetched of a game plan?

    On another note – if I could change history I’d put the Cavs in the finals in 2009 against the Lakers. Yes, that was a team completely carried by Lebron James but it would have been the closest to both Kobe and Lebron’s peaks in a Finals matchup possible. It’s just crazy the way things have played out with this never happening.

  11. Tough tough game, no clue what Lakers team is going to show up, the one in Boston or the one from the last 17 minutes on Charlotte, one thing is certain, TOs are a death sentence against this team. Dwight needs to go on Bill Russell mode and stop the bs about touches. On Dwight’s dad i dont know why the media keep triying to stir things up, Dwight’s dad have the same insight that we do, that reminds me of an arricle a couple of weeks back about some ” source” saying that he ” suspected” Howard ” might not ” resign with the team, i mean who decides thats newsworthy?

  12. I agree with D12 in this respect: not addressing his impending FA. reason: it doesn’t matter what he says, it will just give fuel to the rumor-mill. it is more likely than not that he re-signs with the Lakers. the most important thing now is to manage the pain, continue to heal, and make the playoffs. I am pessimistic whether that will happen, but that has to be the focus.

  13. I dont know but Dwight must be out of his mindo to leave 30 mill on the table from the most suscesful and glamorous franchise in basketball and the media capital of the world to go play for say, Mark Cuban if he leaves i rather prefer the Lakers dont do any sign and trade and leg him go 30 mill poorer and a reputation more damaged than it already is.

  14. What we need today, is a competitive game. Not a must win, but we need to at least show we can compete with a very good team on their homecourt. Not very likely we are going to beat this team on their homecourt, but making a good game out of it is very possible.

  15. OK – I have way too much time on my hands. Actually I don’t – but I spend too much time on the Lakers. Anyways – the recent comments by rr, about the first post of the game preview sparked my interest. For the 2012-2013 season to date, the first post “For Warren” has a record of 7-6. This is respectable given the fact that the Lakers are 24-27 (it hurts just to type that). However, the 7-6 record is dwarfed by the first post of the Kobe Alert, which is an incredible 6-2. Robert is not going to take any of the credit for this, but rather I believe that this is just further evidence that: Kobe Rules !!!

  16. Wasn’t Mrs. Glenn Rice the last Laker family member who felt they had to stand up for their man?

    This has been a tough year and really highlights how lucky the Kobe era Lakers have been as per injuries.

    I’m to the point where I’d be OK if Dwight doesn’t sign with us. His level of maturity, his lack of fundamental low post skills,his stupid fouls make me wonder if he someone we can build a new dynasty around.

  17. Did I just hear that Dwight’s daddy criticized the coach? LOL

  18. Dwigh daddy’s comments dont do him any favors with us Lakers fans or NBA fans in general, ohh boy i imagine the broadcast team will not let it go no matter how the game goes

  19. I agree with Joe. Don’t embarrass us like a child who throws up during a school play. That gives all the other teams more confidence.

    Sad then is watching these two teams it’s like a “before and after Subway commercial” Now we are fat Jarod and they are thin Jarod.

    Metta on James could be sad. Maybe Metta will be too tired to launch 13 more bricks. Who replaces Mess with 5 fouls by the half?
    Morris, Eubanks, is Sasha still on the team? How about Rudy LaRusso?

    Also Kobe’s Alter Ego on Wade could be painful as he could hurt his own offense Which they must have(no more zero point half’s).

    Lakers match up today is like a Kate Upton dating Sponge Bob Square Pants. A bit unmatched and cartoonish in nature. Hummmmm if you give Plankton a mustache wouldn’t he kinda look like M——- ah never mind! Make it a game Lakers!

    Think I need to start hiring a comedy writer?

  20. Joe M the time for competitive losses is long over, we are in the win games now mode, enough with the competitive moral victories, we need to start winning no matter what team we face. We lose by one or 30 its just another nail in the coffin.

  21. Good point Robert. Not sure about the Ricky Henderson 1st person “Robert is not going etc”.

    Also as for Warren someone might check if he was first blog up before Manny Pacquiao’s last fight?

    Also the last one to use the press to make a point was Phil “Scoop”Jackson. Kobe’s mentor?

  22. Kobe Alert: KB has been focused on rebounding of late and gathered his 5,000th Defensive Rebound, against the Bobcats. He also moved by Michael Jordan for 64th on the all time list. He needs 6 dimes to catch Larry Bird for 34th all time. He is 538 behind #13. During the Kobe era’s 16 full prior years, the Lakers have 7 trips to the Finals and 5 Titles. The longest that the Lakers have not been in the Finals during the Kobe era is 3 years. We have only missed the playoffs once, and had only one losing record during Kobe’s tenure.

  23. Kooo: I just checked and Kate Upton is undefeated when she is on the cover of Sports illustrated.

  24. Tra is right, of course. James is one of the greatest players of all time, and he is at his peak and on a hot streak.

  25. As an aside of sorts, this road trip was marred by the Phoenix game, much more than the Boston game. Losing to Boston “stings”, as noted, but the PHX game is one that they will look back on if they are unable to make it to the 8th spot.

  26. Absolutely right Fern. But the Heat are a way superior team than we are, especially on their home court. Realistically, we can at least make it a competitive game. We are not going to win every single game for the rest of this season, so my point is let’s at least play well in those games we have almost no chance of winning. And if we do win, then it’s a bonus

  27. I personally think the PHX loss was the worst loss on this roady. That was a very winnable game and they just blew it in the final minutes. If that game was secured we’d be 5-1 on the trip with a small chance at 6-1 after this afternoon game. 5-2 would be an excellent Grammy Trip and while it’s still possible, I don’t count on it in the least. It takes 48 minutes of focus to win a game like today’s and on this trip, even in the wins, we have had long stretches of unfocused play. Lose focus for 5 minutes and the Heat will go on a 22-4 run, game over (BTW, did anyone else grow up saying “grover” when a game was put away?).

    I think a big key will be Nash. He was overwhelmed by the Heat’s pressure last game and had some big turnovers that let the Heat run.

    If Howard goes for only 7 shots on goal while Kobe has 25 again, that will not work. If you ask me, Nash should bring the ball up as quickly as possible and Kobe should set up on the mid-post. See if Wade covers him 1on1. If he does, I have less of a problem if Kobe shoots somewhere around 20. Otherwise, guys like Dwight, Scoops and Clark need to find lanes and make cuts when Kobe gets doubled.

    I’ve heard some people mention that Ron is injured but not talking about it. He has been short on his shot for a few weeks now. I still see him getting lift near the basket, so I don’t know. I’m fine with him taking a few 3s this game but I much prefer he get closer to the basket if possible.

    I would love for the team to get back to LA 5-2 on the trip but right now, I’ll be happy with the team going 2-1 with these last games before the All-Star break.

  28. rr: I can’t disagree that Phoenix was bad, but there are many such games. Such as the three loses to open the season (none really close); Getting crushed by Sacramento on 11/21; Losing at home to the Pacers on 11/27; losing at home to Orlando on 12/02; losing to Cavs on 01/11; losing to the Sixers on 02/01; losing at home to Denver on 02/06; losing to Toronto on 02/20; and of course the complete blowout by Boston. I felt compelled to share as I obviously had to review the schedule today, and I did not want to keep these wonderful memories to myself. Yes – some of these games, we were not at full strength, but bringing the opponent injuries into account for some of these games, only makes things look worse. Bottom line – we need to start racking up W’s in a hurry for this statement not to be true: “This could well be the most disappointing season in franchise history” ( a notable Lakers critic wrote me that statement way back on 11/29).

  29. Will the Lakers go under every screen, try to force them into jumpers and live with the results or will they do that thing where the defender gets stuck to the screener givng the ball handler free reign to do whatever. Will the Lakers make Kobe the primary ball handler so Nash doesn’t get trapped, turnover happy and give Miami fans the show they came to see today. Hopefully they do some kind of game planning to ensure they’re in the game after 3. Should probably put Kobe in the post hoping to get Wade in foul trouble early.

    Dwight is 3 years form 30 and his dad is still trying to fight his battles. I don’t think he can handle 5 years of Lakers pressure especially when he’s the lead dog after Kobe retires.

  30. Lakers are 6-15 when Dwight Howard attempts 9 or fewer shots & 15-9 when he attempts 10+. Dwight needs at least 10 attempts today

    Lakers allow 16.0 fast-break points a game, highest in NBA. Heat allow 11.6 per game, 2nd lowest. (Lakers average 11.1 fast break points a game) Lakers need to limit fast break points today for a chance at the win today.

  31. darius: we got a few moments before tipoff vs miami florida’s heat. a few thoughts based on current laker drama.

    as a parent, i fully sympathsize and understand where dwight’s dad is coming from in terms of trying to defend his son, dwight. having said that of course leads credence that men basically think thru their brains, women thru their hearts. when it comes to our children, regardless their respective ages, we all think thru our hearts. also as a parent, kobe had it right, this is silly, let’s get on with it.

    when half your scoring average is based on lay ups and dunks, it’s easy to see that you belong to that special breed of superstar; gang way here i come and the nba rules allow for it otherwise if you decide to go jungle ball on me like back in the 80’s and 90’s; you will pay dearly. we’re talking lebron james here. the rest of us gotta hand it to you lebron, you milk it for what it’s worth and you have the talent to show dividends, david stern already has by owning the rules committe. can’t wait for his official retirement but the damage(s) have been done to the rest of the league and to the lakers in paricular. just ask mitch kupchak and family; sour grapes and all.

    ok, so we all know lakers have no chance (cause slim left the building) today vs the overheat. miracles such as having lebron, wade and bosh (is he even playing today?) have an off day collectively; appear to be listless and apathetic, the game can turn out to be close, could turn out to be a win for our lakers.

    one could only pray for an unlikely outcome. it’s sunday

    Go Lakers

  32. lakers never and aren’t going to run zone.. they need to run it homie

    I heard Bosh is actually out

    And the loss to Boston was on Nash’s bday sadly.

  33. I dont believe the Heat have a better team Joe, i believe the Heat are playing way better than the Lakers all season long, i dont call this game almost imposible to win because our big 3 are as good as theirs even missing Pau. We need to take care of the ball because they Heat are lethal causing TOs and converting them, and we need Dwight to play with a chip on his shoulders forget about daddy and control the paint, we cant avoid the Lebron torching but we should match favorabily against Wade and specially Bosh. Dont know what to expect but losing by 1 point or losing by 30 hurts our chances the same.

  34. Clippers are fighting Lakers for 9th or 10th without Paul. He and James are the clear MVPs this year. How good on and off the court would Lakers be if Chris Paul was here?

    Never forget Stern.

  35. Koo the thing is that if we got to keep Paul, im convinced we would had trade for Howard regardless. But no use criying over spilled milk.

  36. Spilled 20 year Ararat Brandy in my case. Still crying.

  37. Please dont make me remember that day, i paid too much for this phone to be smashing it against the wall.

  38. Yeah, I am still mad at David who?! CP3 imposing his will on the Knicks.

  39. OK game time!

    Lakers by 7!

    7 of these I mean
    Turnovers
    Metternich missed 3s
    Dwight fumbles
    Blow by against Chambers
    Shots of MD with startled looks
    Negative comments by Magic.
    Shots of z
    Shots of Riley

  40. Ron keeps driving to the hoop. Why?

  41. James elbows Nash in the face … foul on Nash. The amazing thing is, it’s not even surprising. Standard NBA officiating, a different set of rules for its marketers’ favorite players.

  42. Dwight Howard needs to remember that he used to be a dominant player when he got the all a few feet from the basket. He has to start finishing some of these plays, or at least stop whining about not getting the ball until he converts some of these great passes.

  43. Lakers playing 2 and 5 on offense. Dwight and Metta are currently the two worst offensive players in the NBA.Metta is a joke.

  44. ken: they have such low iq’s on offense. Nash, kobe and pau have fit perfectly all year. Dwight is invisible and ron has looked far from the player earlier this year for about a month.

  45. Metta is sick to watch right now. ~_~

  46. Metta has already taken 5 shots. Made 1. Unbelievable.

  47. Some of these foul calls even Jordan wouldn’t get.

  48. Kobe is keeping pace with lebron now when wade goes off that’s when dwight has to step up. Kobe can’t do it all every game.

  49. In spite of another 1 for 5 from The Brick and no baskets from Dwight still a good 1st.

  50. Blake is a player from the 70s. Slow and slower. The 3 point garbage team is now in. Figure it out there coach.

  51. EC doin work!

  52. Playing pretty close to a perfect game right here. ball moving, Kobe not overly taxed. Earl excellent, everybody chipping in. Nash effective. a few bad shots and a couple of TO’s, but other than that very nice to see. Will be very hard to close this with how efficient Miami is now, but very nice team effort right now.

  53. Terrible push off call.

  54. We still take some of the dumbest shots I’ve seen. I don’t know if that’s coaching or just low basketball IQ.

  55. The Lakers are up by 7 against the Champs looking good so far and the whinefest continues on this board.

  56. Lakers are dictating the tempo on this game.

  57. Lakers have played their pace last game and doing the same here. Big 6 minutes here.

  58. Share the ball. Make him pick up some more fouls.

  59. Kooo: I think VG disagrees with you. He just said that DH has a high basketball IQ.

  60. I am as curious as the announcers as to why the Lakers have gone away from Kobe in the post, Miami has not guarded it well yet.

  61. We can’t defend miami. Only way we can win is outscore them.

  62. gary: Lakers can defend them but not disciplined enough to defend them for minutes at a time. Under Phil Lakers would have 5, 6 minute dominate defensive spurts when they needed too. Haven’t been able to do that since 2010 really.

    Lakers only have 4 turnovers which is why their in it Miami hasn’t made a full sportscenter worth of highlights. Keep the to’s down and Dwight get more than 2 rebounds next half Lakers can win.

  63. Need to rebound better our big men injury woes are painfully obvious in this game, Miami was able to tie this thing getting a couple of lucky rebounds. The start of the 3rd is crucial, we cant allow to let Miami starts the 3rd quarter hot.

  64. @kevin so do u think this is a coaching problem since u said under Phil Lakers did better on defense?

  65. Robert. Still speechless on that one.

    Guy with 2nd most shots with 8 is only starter shooting less then 50%. Brick is 2 for 8 is 21% last 5 and under 25% last 10.

    So Stan is that also high basketball IQ?

    They can win this by benching Metta and posting up Kobe.

  66. Good half. Hanging tough. Lakers need to try to convert some of the deadwood on their bench into a serviceable big before the trade deadline.

  67. gary: maybe I think they can still do it they have this season in some spots. That’s all that’s missing from this team are the multiple stops then baskets turning into 20-4 runs Miami and Okc is known for. Hopefully they can hit that switch.

  68. Compared to the TNT crew, jalen rose and his crew are so boring.

  69. Howard is a cancer. I can’t stand the guy. child and not bright.

  70. Finally someone (Van Gundy) calls out Howard for his horrible screens. On one side, you have Haslem setting screens that destroy the Laker defender, and on the other you have Dwight jogging past the defender then wondering why he doesn’t get the ball in the post….

  71. Kobe has been giving us one of those type of plays every game lately. Just a joy to watch

  72. Dwight is moping around a lot. He’s hurting the team by not playing hard. Dwight letting all the off court stuff distract him on the court. Hope he asks for a trade.

  73. Funky

    Dwight is everything you don’t want as a teammate.

    Metta is everything this team needs to get rid of.

    Yet we are still in it due to Kobe.

  74. Great defense by James on Metta by just letting him shoot.

  75. Lakers effort on the defensive end is not good enough…again.

    You would think a team that proclaims that it wants to compete for a championship would go all out on every possession at this point. Nope, lazily defending and getting BADLY out boarded by one of the worst rebounding teams in the league.

  76. Funky: VG also just said DH had a high bball IQ, so I guess if he can’t set effective screens that must be due to effort – true?

    They have us doubled up on the boards – literally 28-14

  77. We need a big man that can defend without fouling and rebound. Howard doesn’t do either part very well right now.

  78. Great plays by Kobe.

    Wonder who Dwight’s dad will blame on his son’s 4 rebounds while team is getting crushed 2 to 1 on boards? Must be Nash’s fault!

  79. Why do I even watch these games with Miami? It’s just pure aggravation. Princess Wade’s primping and preening, LeBron’s whining to the refs despite being the most favored by them in the league’s history (by a wide margin), the array of smug little bitches on the Heat who do nothing but camp out at the three point line, the Heat’s utterly obnoxious PA announcer, the NBA’s policy of favoring the Heat at all times, the fact that the refs will always be the main story due to the expectations (on both sides) arising from the NBA’s policy of favoring the Heat at all times, the announcers fellating LeBron (I’d be “dominant” too if my elbow to your face was a foul on you). An unpleasant experience.

  80. @Robert I hope its effort. That means it might be able to be fixed. You can’t fix low bbiq.

  81. Robert, I complemented VG for calling out Dwight’s screens, but not his comment about Dwight’s bbIQ. Not sure I’ve seen any evidence of the latter….

    But, low bbiq or not, this lineup to end the 3rd quarter is Mike D’Antoni’s dream, and one that cannot defend, rebound, or block shots. How many points did MDA just give up with this garbage lineup?

  82. We are getting outrebounded by one of the worst rebounding teams in the league.

  83. Remind me. Why is Metta Mess on this team?

    Defense?
    Shooting?

    I am confused.

  84. That 3 could be the nail in the coffin, right there. Get a damn board!!

  85. Is MWP defending anybody? asked Beasley.

  86. Miami is last in rebounding and winning that battle today. Second chance points are hurting the Lakers.

  87. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another with this team.

    Last time they played it was turnovers. Now it’s rebounding.

    This team is just unable to get its act together, even when it’s playing overall pretty decently.

  88. See, this is where I have a problem with Dwight. The team only needs him to do one thing today…rebound!! Go after the doggone ball!!

  89. Easily the more
    Frustrating game of the year – sacre should have been in – we had no center vs Anderson or Anthony which directly lead to multiple offensive rebounds and in turn points plus no rim protector against James – these next 2 years with dantoni is going to be hell – can wait for our next coach

  90. I lnow Gary but its not like we have Pau and Hill either, our frontline is in ruins, that said they need to box out those damn miss fts, cant play small ball against this team i would stick Howard out there the whole 4th quarter time to suck it up big fella.

  91. Slowly, the Lakers have beat themselves by failing to hustle on the defensive end.

    This game is all but over at this point, barring LBJ breaking an ankle or something.

    Miami showing championship blood, finding a way to win games even when your usual strengths are not working for you. Still hate them though, but got to respect it.

  92. SVG must use his fingers to count IQ.

  93. We are losing by 4 with our second unit on the floor and the game is over? Please…

  94. Dwight’s not setting screens just sitting down low calling for the ball.

  95. Dwight does take a good beating every night. Heat are just teeing off on him.

  96. Miami just gets into the paint at will. Once there, the interior defense is bad, and if the shot is missed the defensive rebounding is nonexistent. This is not a recipe for success.

  97. This lineup with Dwight and Blake is a loser.

  98. It’s about this time on 3rd game in 4 nights teams falter.

  99. Turnovers…

  100. After everything is said and done, the main difference between Heat and Lakers is passing. Sometimes every pass by the Lakers ends up as a turnover and every pass by the Heat becomes an assist.

  101. Here gentlemen is the difference in 1st place team and a 10th place team.

    Effort and coaching. Another 4th quarter collapsing.

    Lakers will never be a winner with Dwight Howard. NEVER!

  102. Neil

    Please stop. Nash and Dwight are hardly Durant and Westbrook. A 39 year ild and a guy with 8 inch range.

    Really?

  103. Exactly, Ken.

  104. Wade’s highest point total are in 2nd and 4th when Meeks is guarding him. Kobe has outplayed him convincingly head to head. Lakers need another knock down 3 pt shooter bad.

  105. BAD DEFENSE

  106. Dwight left Clark on an island he can’t defend Bosh and Battier.

  107. So far, this game is disappointing defensively because of slow rotations and lack of communication on screens. On the other side, it’s tough to watch the lack of movement. The offense seems so disjointed because the ball stops and players try to force drives and shots that aren’t in their skill set. This is where I miss the triangle.

  108. Very good point about Wade, Kevin.

  109. Game over, another nail in the coffin, stupid turnovers did the team in, and dwight got a lot of touches in the 4th and didnt do anything with them

  110. Once again we wilt in the 4th, this is game the lakers should have won the only person who came to play was Kobe as usual I feel for him Time to get rid of and Metta

  111. Rusty Shackleford February 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Steve Nash turnovers.

  112. 2nd straight game against the Heat D’Antoni has let LeBron run rampant. No adjustments.

    It was Kobe-Shaq, Kobe-Pau late game now it’s just Kobe. LeBron-Wade, Westbrook-Durant are too much for one guy to beat late in games.

  113. Where is the emotion from Dwight???

  114. In 2 games vs. Lakers, LeBron is 29-of-43 shooting including 20-of-22 in paint.

  115. Only thing tradable is Baby Dwight. Make them take Metta Mess and start all over. $8 million and $19 million for that crap.

    Nice effort Kobe. To bad Smush, Walton and Kwame didn’t help.

  116. I see the respect that lebron and Wade have for the mamba postgame they are sympathizing with him that he has to deal wit this mess of a team In the twilight of his career. they both grew up idolizing kobe and I know they want too see him at least be In the playoffs not have this season end like this

  117. Man, if we can’t make the playoffs, better get rid of Metta right now. Sick too watch and he really can’t handle Lebron in any ways.

    Heat played with championship caliber defense in the 4th. Nuff said!

  118. @Kevin_

    You talk as if it’s just another player going rampant on the Lakers, he happens to be the best player in basketball today and he’s going rampant on everyone he’s up against. No shame in that, you have to stop Wade & Bosh from getting big numbers and not essentially give away free points to such a devastating fast-break team.

    What’s up with MWP, he looked woeful again today. Is he carrying an injury or just bad play.

  119. Maybe we were just tired, that’s why all those TO’s trying for a homerun pass without body movement. Good game though, need a win against Suns now.

  120. 4 starter shoot 60%

    One shoots 3 for 11 28%.

    At what point is someone in this weak front office going to read the writing on the big fat wall.

    Dump this guy. Get anything.

  121. Random thoughts:

    1. It’s time to stop calling MWP a defense specialist. Labron and Beasley are laughing their tears out.
    2. Heat is a good passing team, Lakers is a bad passing team. The best thing about Kobe’s isolation play is that it reduces the Lakers passing.
    3. Kobe’s one-on-one isolation play is still at its highest level. Virtually everything else about the Lakers is mediocre at this point — defense, passing, rebound, shooting.
    4. There is no point to force the ball inside to Howard anymore — most of them either became a turnover or missing freethrow.
    5. Not a bad road trip considered how many weaknesses of the Lakers have been exposed.

  122. Depth played a big part in the 4th q. collapse. 3 games in 4 nights will lead to fatigue. No Pau or Hill really hurts. Lakers have got to get some frontcourt help if they are serious about a playoff spot.

  123. Pinch: no adjustments. He’s in a zone right now but playing him straight up all game doesn’t help your chances ethier. Miami started to doubled Kobe and forced turnovers then built the lead late. No saying that same thing happens if Lakers implement strategy vs Miami but it wouldn’t hurt to try.

    It’s so hard to get Dwight involved on offense becaue the entry pass window is so small. Shaq and Bynum were huge and had their man behind them with their hand up. Dwight is almost always tangled up, side by side with his defender with one hand trying to catch the pass one handed. He has to work on his posting up skills to give guards a bigger window. It would start with using his base and legs could learn that from Kobe.

  124. Well Heat are a championship team who have only lost 3 home games this year so the Lakers didn’t do too badly considering they just aren’t very good. Long term, it’s the games they should have won (Phoenix!) that are going to end up hurting them if they miss the playoffs.

  125. Not sure why my comment was put in moderation. No baiting, cursing or trade speculation. Just a reply and what i saw during the game.

  126. Good try by the lakers. Just lost to the better team. Phoenix was the killer this trip, win that and it would have been 5-2. Metta is pretty bad.

  127. So annoyed, but we lost to a championship team. WE will NEVER beat Miami , we are too mentally fragile at our key spots. Where was Howard, how Is he supposed to be a “franchise” type player and NEVER step up when we need him in big games…EVER..but still feels he is worthy of getting touches every possession, I’m so done with him. MAD should not be coaching this team next year, where are the adjustments and game plan???? Like when teams play us they want to crowd kobe, hard double etc, play physical with our bigs, front that post etc. What do we do? Nothing…what is our game plan coach????

  128. Even tho we all expected the Heat to beat us (long road trip, no Pau, Miami’s championship defense), this comment board is pretty apocalyptic.

    Notes on the game (need to watch the recording to confirm)

    1. Metta is a big liability offensively. 20 of last 80 now (basically the opposite of Lebron) And while he has the strength to body up Lebron, I felt Earl should have manned up Lebron during the second half. No one is going to stop Lebron anyway, why not let Earl give it a shot (esp after that sweet block in the second half).
    2. Heat made defensive adjustments when dealing with Kobe on the iso post, and Lakers couldn’t re-adjust to find the right play.
    3. We all knew Nash was going to be a big liability on defense, but not for lack of trying. He is as physical as he can be, and I applaud his effort. Plus his shooting is pretty amazing for this team.
    4 Losing Pau really hurts the interior passing. With Miami’s ability to put pressure on the ball, Pau on the high post would have alleviated Miami’s fronting defense.
    4-3 roadtrip isn’t good enough sadly. Thought they needed to go 5-2 for me to start liking the chances of Playoffs. But that loss to phx AND that loss of Pau makes me very worried that I may not be watchjng Playoff bball this year.

  129. Well, Kobe played an ok game, not great. At least he got Dwight to step it up a notch.
    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-Ad

  130. I was at a kid’s bday party today at a family fun center; unfortunately, they had a TV, so I saw about 2/3 of the game and the entire 4th anyway. Thoughts:

    1. The main thing that I would fault MDA on is the endless loop of Kobe in the midpost/everyone stand around sequences in the 4th. They need to mix in some different looks, particularly sets that get Howard or Kobe the ball on the move towards the hoop. MDA is wasting Nash late, which is just weird. Even as he is now, Nash is a threat.
    2. But the rest of what I saw was personnel. James is playing as well as anyone ever has in the history of basketball, and the Lakers lack athleticism and quickness in the lineup and on the bench, and with Howard as he is, they don’t have the rim protection to cover it. The team’s primary need remains a ballhawking, athletic perimeter player. Miami had 1 TO in the 4th. A guy like that would really help the Lakers even if he shot 0/5 in 20-25 MPG every game. As noted, stopping James right now is like trying to control the weather, so you have to contain Wade and also make Miami pay for the lack of quality size (Pau would have helped today).The Lakers did neither.

  131. A very large amount of positives to take away from that one, for me, don’t know about you guys. Overall a well balanced game, played some very good ball. it’s almost impossible to beat Miami on their court, especially now, when they are just on a total roll. Any many good individual and team moments.

    Its an old story and not the only reason they lost but, you can’t post up Kobe every time down and have him shoot almost every time down and beat these guys. There needs to be better ball movement to get people engaged, to create some different looks for the type of dominating defence they have, and you just can’t beat people with only one guy shooting, as how does anyone else to step up and hit a shot, if they don’t see the ball for 5 minutes. I do recognize that Kobe did attempt to pass the ball at the end of the game, so this is not an absolute, just an attempt to get a better balance.

    I also totally agreed with JVG about his comment about the over playing the concept that this team is “underachieving”. This team was never set up to tolerate these type of injuries to its big 4. And then to deal with the coaching changes and integrating these different styles of play. A huge part of the problem these last 3 games, has been to shift from the way they were playing with Gasol to how they need to play with DH. Given that this version of the team is 3 games old, I think they did a great job overall, of figuring out how to play with DH in the lineup..Now they just need to clean up the hustle plays, the boards, and how to just run a better mix of plays.

    The other thing about the picks with Dwight, is that it seems to me that this is the biggest issue with his back injury. With the way he is feeling, he is shying away from contact, and that has been the biggest issue of him not setting proper picks, or preferring to slip them, and why the Nash/Dwight PNR has been so ineffective.

  132. D12 doesn’t hustle, doesn’t work hard for positioning or rebounding, then has the audacity to yell at Nash. I can’t stand him. KB24 is working his tail off and D12 is just observing while allowing (of all people) Birdman to box him out without so much as attempting to get better position. no effort, no energy, no emotion.

  133. Howard has now earned the name Daddy’s Boy.

  134. 8 Turn overs in the 4th quarter killed the Lakers in this game. Got to give props to Lebron but Lakers lost ghis game due to their TO.
    What I cant understand is why the Lakers turned away from that 1-2 pick and roll between Kobe and Nash that has worked all game long.

    I still think this team is a very good team. They just cant take a break from the injuries all season long. Imagine if these guys played healthy all season long, team chemistry will be very different and their offensive and defensive plays will be much better. If we only have Nash and Blake at the start of the season and now if we only have a healthy Pau, Dwight and Jordan Hill.

  135. darius: not much to say ‘cept another game in the loss column. would have been a good win provided two guys on the heat both happened to bring their so called A games to the table today. Those two guys currently are better than any three on the lakers. needed one of them to have an off day; did not happen but was educational in the sense that lakers are not in heat’s league. with a healthy and able bodied center playing gasol, things could get interesting provided we meet again this season. damn them grammys.

    with the suns coming in this tuesday, time for payback and proof of self worth. chemistry is still a question mark; what we need is a few exclamation marks starting with a couple of wins this week before the all star break.

    have a good evening for tomorrow is another day.

    Go Lakers