Top 5 Reasons to Watch Sunday’s Lakers-Heat Matchup


The stars come together Sunday afternoon for a showdown between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers. Miami’s ‘Big 3’ will try to finish their west coast trip with an impressive 10-1 record with a win inside of Staples Center, where the Lakers are an impressive 16-2. A win Sunday would also give the Heat a season sweep of Los Angeles for the second consecutive season. You think that hasn’t crossed Kobe’s mind? Here are the 5 reasons why you shouldn’t be anywhere but in front of the TV Sunday afternoon.

1. LeBron James
Even if you aren’t a fan, it’s hard to argue that James isn’t the best basketball player today in the NBA. The way he can control the game on both ends of the court is something people haven’t seen since Shaq’s dominance during L.A.’s three-peat era. Laker coach Mike Brown, who coached LeBron in Cleveland for five years, knows James’ game better than most. But come Sunday, that won’t matter as the two-time MVP is arguably having the best season of his career. People argue against him collecting his third MVP award this season because of the star power surrounding him in Miami. If you are one of those people, I ask you to ponder this scenario: Take ANY current player in the league and swap him with LBJ. If you think the Heat and/or LeBron would have more wins and better statistics, I suggest you stop sipping the Haterade and enjoy one of the best individual regular seasons this league has ever seen. L.A. has World Peace, but they better bring an army if they hope to stop this guy.

2. Kobe vs. Wade
Without question, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade are the two elite shooting guards in the game today. It’s essentially a 1A- 1B ranking of the two; you really can’t lose with either player. Wade has his team in position for a championship, but Bryant remains hungry as ever for ring number six. And what would an L.A.-Miami matchup be without a little drama? Regardless of what the players say, Kobe’s All-Star Game concussion and broken nose from Wade is like adding gasoline to an already raging fire. Get your food, water, and supplies ready because the level of competition, excitement, and energy these two players are about to bring to the table is going to break the Richter scale.

3. A New Era of “Showtime”
The Lakers of the 1980’s revolutionized the game with no-look passes, acrobatic finishes, alley-oops, and a high level of enthusiasm and intensity that made fans of all ages jump out of their seats. If this 2011-12 Miami Heat team can continue to win and win big, “Showtime” is going to reach a whole new level. We know that the Heat has the defensive principles and strategies necessary to win a title. Offensively, the team has recently practiced philosophies and adaptations from Oregon Ducks football coach Chip Kelly and his innovative spread offense to make the Heat that much more difficult to defend. The way Miami transitions from defense to offense at such a fast, efficient and flashy pace is the beauty of basketball at its finest. With Mike Brown being the defensive coach he is, he can only hope to slow down the game’s most exciting fast-break offense. With two of the game’s best finishers and distributors in Wade and James and increasing chemistry amongst the roster, Miami Heat highlights will be making their way into the NBA history vault for years to come.

4. The Imminent Trade Deadline
The rumors of trading Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum have been hanging over the heads of the Lakers since the beginning of the season. It’s been a topic of discussion for fans, analysts, and even the players themselves. More importantly, it’s caused inconsistent play from both the individual and team standpoint, more notably for Gasol. However, as the March 15 deadline comes closer, the two 7-footers are playing like they don’t want to be traded. Bynum, fresh off his first All-Star Game, has had 9 double-doubles in the past 10 games. In his last five games, Gasol is averaging roughly 19 points and 9 rebounds, numbers that mirror his career statistics. If both big men want to show the Lakers organization that trading them would be a mistake, what better way to do it than by helping L.A. get a signature win against arguably the NBA’s best team?

5. A Team for the Ages

Though the team fell short of a championship last season, Miami still has to be considered the team to beat. With last season’s Finals failure still fresh in their minds, Miami will look to capitalize on a potential second straight Finals appearance. The Heat has all the necessary pieces to become a dynasty, similar to the Chicago Bulls of the 90’s and the Lakers of the 2000’s. Any organization that produces multiple championships in a decade will be known as having one of the best teams in NBA history. This year, if the Miami Heat can start making good on LeBron’s now infamous “not three, not four, not five…” quote, this team has the ability to be one of the most dominant the league has ever seen.