Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) grabs a rebound against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)


Kyle Barrette

The Heat are heading into their second game of their four-game west coast road trip and the timing couldn’t be worse for the Lakers. The shove heard around the world took place Monday night when the Heat were playing the Nuggets and last year’s MVP felt he was fouled a little too hard and came back with a nasty blindside shove that took Markieff Morris out of the game and got Joker ejected and suspended for one game. The Heat players were obviously upset at this, and there were even unconfirmed reports of Heat players trying to get into the Nuggets’ locker room after the game.

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This team didn’t need any extra motivation, but sadly for the Lakers, they got some. Both teams are dealing with a rash of injuries, with the Lakers’ being more impactful on their starting lineup and Miami being more impactful on their depth. The Heat have also not lost back-to-back games this season and were able to get an impressive win over the Jazz after an embarrassing loss to the Celtics. A fired-up Miami squad will look to cause problems for this banged up Lakers squad when they bring their second ranked defense to the Staples Center. The Lakers’ defense has gone off the rails and is now ranked 28th in the league. With the extra chip on their shoulder and the injuries, this has the makings of a long night for LA.

Before the season, everyone predicted that this team would be nearly unstoppable, but after 10 games, they appear to be anything but. Two double-digit leads on the Thunder, only for them to come back and win the game. Lebron has seemed incredibly frustrated and disinterested at times where he literally stands on one side of the floor and watches his team play with his hands on his hips. We won’t see Lebron in this one, who is out due to an abdominal strain. Without him on the floor, there seems to be a lack of leadership and game planning. The Lakers are 1-3 this season without Lebron and newcomer Russell Westbrook has struggled mightily at times. Against Portland, he went 1-13 and scored only eight points. Down the line, and hopefully at full strength, if these two meet, we could be in for a better game, but LA seems to be in trouble in this one.

Heat vs Lakers the Pick: Heat -4.5

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