Lakers face Heat in second game of four-game road trip

The Heat shockingly made the NBA Finals last season.

The Lakers move on from their disappointing outing in Orlando to a team that is having a slow start in the Miami Heat.

Away from Crypto Dot Com Arena, the Lakers are 0-3. Some would say that this might be what the doctor ordered. But then again, the Lakers could get the wrong diagnosis because as much as many have counted the Miami Heat out in the last few years or so, they actually do their best when nobody expects them to do anything.

The Miami Heat are 2-4 going into their Monday night showdown with the Lake Show. But they are the best example in terms of they can do anything once they’re in the playoffs. They may not be looked as dangerous until April comes around. But in the meantime, they will do what they can to get themselves there. They did just snap a four-game skid after defeating the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Jimmy Butler is the unquestioned leader and star of the Miami Heat. He is the most fitting player if you want to talk about their culture. Butler’s reputation as a hardass on the court goes well with the extremely disciplined Miami Heat umbrella under the legendary Pat Riley and championship coach Erik Spoelstra. He may deny it multiple times but Playoff Jimmy is a real thing as evidenced by the Heat runs and his performances that become instant classics ever since he got on the team.

Bam Adebayo has now become the captain of the team now that forever Heat player Udonis Haslem has finally called it a career. Also, he continues to be one of the better defenders in the league. Some people laughed when Riley mentioned he didn’t want to put Tyler Herro in a trade package when there were rumors about them going after Damian Lillard but Herro has now become the leading scorer for them.

Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry, and Kevin Love are all holdovers from last season. So is Caleb Martin but he’s not playing in this game. Josh Richardson came back to them over the offseason while ex-Laker Thomas Bryant, who was part of that Denver title team, is now with Miami. They did lose Max Strus and Gabe Vincent (who is now with the Lakers) but Erik Spoelstra can pick up four random G-Leaguers and he’d find a way to make the Heat a dangerous team.

Will they be dangerous on Monday night? Definitely. Like I said, they play their best when no one expects anything out of them. When the Heat beat the Lakers in Miami last year, the Lakers committed 24 turnovers. The Lakers did beat the Heat in the second game when the Lakers themselves were shorthanded. We know that when Miami is at their best, they’ll turn up their defense and make the game into a slugfest. What we want for the Lakers is to take themselves a bit more seriously. L.A. should play really tight defense and prevent the Heat from getting offensive rebounds. Everything else should fall into place should they continue to give energy on the court.

The Lakers are still hunting for their first road win. If they take themselves seriously then the rest of the league will, too. And that’ll happen if the Lakers show that they can win outside of their home court.