LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 08: Los Angeles Lakers Forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers Center Montrezl Harrell (5) during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 8, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire.
- The Miami Heat travel to the Staples Center on Saturday (Feb. 20th, 8:30 pm EST) to face the Los Angeles Lakers
- LA is coming off a loss to the Nets, while Miami beat the Kings
- Get our odds, preview, and best bet for this contest below
The Miami Heat continue their seven-game road trip on Saturday, February 20th against the Los Angeles Lakers, tip-off is set for 8:30 pm EST.
This will be the first meeting between last year’s NBA Finalists since LA took out Jimmy Butler and co. to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy. However, it’s been a much different start to the season for each team. Miami is severely struggling, while the Lakers are once again favorites to win it all.
Heat vs Lakers Odds
|Miami Heat||+3 (-110)||+124||Ov 213 (-110)|
|LA Lakers||-3 (-110)||-146||Un 213 (-110)|
Odds taken Feb 19 at FanDuel.
Miami Looking to Find Rhythm
Injuries have been a huge problem for the Miami Heat this season, especially with Jimmy Butler. He’s played just 17 of 30 contests for the reigning Eastern Conference champions, which is certainly a massive reason they’re currently five games under .500. Nonetheless, everyone has expected better from the Heat.
Their offense has lacked a spark, sitting 25th in the league. Defensively, they’ve been decent, but their main problem has been getting buckets. Miami is averaging just 107.2 points per night this season, which is 27th in the NBA. But with Butler now back from COVID-19 and injury problems, the hope is that Erik Spoelstra’s squad can find their identity again and make a run at a playoff spot.
Thursday’s win over Sacramento was a glimpse into what we’re all used to seeing from the Heat. Bam Adebayo recorded 16 points, 10 assists, and 12 rebounds, while Jimmy Buckets also had a solid night with his third consecutive triple-double. It was last year’s playoff hero, Tyler Herro who led Miami though with 27 points. It’s been discussed how imperative his development is to the direction of this organization in the coming years.
Tyler Herro tonight:
12/17 FG pic.twitter.com/q2viSS1gfg
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 19, 2021
The former Kentucky standout is having a respectable season with 17.4 points and 6.2 boards, but he has struggled from three-point range, shooting just 34 percent. His efficiency from downtown was a vital reason Miami was so impressive in the 2020 postseason, even setting a record for rookies.
Herro finding his stroke again is just another important ask if the Heat want to get out of the gutter and back to relevancy in the East. Goran Dragic’s absence has also been felt and the hope is he’ll be back from an ankle injury sooner rather than later.
Lakers Plagued by Injury Bug
The bad luck continues to flow in for LA. Frank Vogel gave an update on Anthony Davis on Thursday, making it crystal clear that his star big man will be out for at least a month at this point. Then just before the Lakers’ matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, Dennis Schroder was ruled out due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
Although Los Angeles did end up losing in a potential NBA Finals preview, it wasn’t necessarily the true picture. Having no AD is already a massive blow for Vogel’s squad, but add in Schroder’s absence too and LeBron James basically had to do all the heavy lifting on his own. The King dropped 32, while Kyle Kuzma also contributed 16 points. The rest of the rotation struggled though, with their next highest scorer Montrezl Harrell with just 10 points.
Without two of their top three offensive weapons, the Lakers had little to no chance against the surging Nets. Schroder remains out for Saturday’s meeting with the Heat, leaving LeBron to carry the load once again.
This next month is going to be a serious test for the defending champions. Davis’ injury is similar to Kevin Durant’s from a few years back when he ended up tearing his Achilles, so they need to be cautious. The entire Lakers roster needs to step up alongside James to keep them afloat for the time being.
The Lakers have certainly not been convincing lately and Miami is coming off a solid performance against the Kings where the entire unit chipped in and did their part. The Heat are just 6-9 on the road ATS this season though. However, I actually like the idea of them collecting a victory against a depleted LA team on Saturday, with Jimmy Butler leading the way.
Pick: Miami Heat +3 (-110)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.