Coming off of their most impressive win of the young season thus far, the Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Miami Heat at Staples Center on Monday night. It will be the final time LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will share an NBA court, capping off one of the greatest friendships/rivalries the league has ever seen.
The Lakers have fared well against teams above .500, but have tended to struggle against teams whose records fall below that mark. They can’t afford to take any team lightly, though, and if they do so with Miami, they’ll be in for either yet another underwhelming win or could lose outright.
Miami doesn’t offer many of the matchup problems Los Angeles have struggled with, though. Their primary center options (Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo) don’t stretch the floor, so Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee can still use their drop coverage on pick-and-rolls without worrying about paying for it with an open outside shot.
Offensively, the Lakers have played really well using the “give LeBron James the ball and take advantage of the shots he creates” system. They still have to get out and run as their half-court offense is very much a work in progress, but if they get enough stops to get out and do so, they should once again take care of business.
Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo are both still out as they recover from their injuries. So, once again, the Lakers will rely on staggering LeBron and Lonzo Ball so as to have a primary creator on the court at all times. Luke Walton has used lineups where Lance Stephenson or Svi Mykhailiuk work in that role, but only for very short stretches and when circumstances force them into that decision.
Tip-off for the game is 7:30 PM PST and will be televised locally by Spectrum SportsNet.