Lakers – Heat Preview

Assistant coach Jim Cleamons joined us yesterday back in L.A. to preview the team’s three-game road trip, starting with Thursday night’s contest in Miami. After the video (below), Cleamons added that the Lakers will look to improve their post entry passes, a problem in the team’s first match up when the Heat fronted the post, try to expose Miami’s more-frequently-used-of-late zone defense and limit Dwyane Wade’s penetration.

The Lakers PR staff provides a good deal of information in the Game Notes for each game of the season, including a connections page that details the playing history of Miami and L.A. Here are some of the more interesting notes:

- The Lakers lead their season series with Miami 1-0 after defeating the Heat earlier this season (12/4/09) on a Kobe Bryant one-foot, running, bank-shot three from the top, left side of the arc as the buzzer sounded.

- The Lakers will be looking for their second sweep of the Heat in the last three years, having taken the 2007-08 series 2-0 and splitting last season’s series 1-1. This will be the 44th meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers holding a 29-14 all-time lead.

The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 meetings with the Heat but have won 5-of-their-last-6 overall. In Miami, the Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 games after Bryant’s jumper to tie the game rattled in and out at the buzzer in their last trip to AmericaAirlines Arena (12/19/08).

- Lakers forward Lamar Odom played one season for the Heat, averaging 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in 80 games. Following that season, Odom was acquired from the Heat by the Lakers along with Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a future first round draft pick in exchange for Shaquille O’Neal.

- Heat guard Dwyane Wade played alongside Kobe Bryant on the gold medal winning US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Heat guard/forward Quentin Richardson played three seasons alongside Lakers forward Lamar Odom with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2000-03 while Lakers forward Ron Artest played from 2002-06 with Heat center Jermaine O’Neal in Indiana. Heat guard/forward Yakhouba Diawara, a native of Paris, France, played locally at Pepperdine University from 2003-05.

From Miami’s Game Notes:
- Miami has limited its opponents to just 44-158 shooting (.278) from three-point range the last eight games.

- Miami is 20-0 when holding opponents to under 90 points and 16-0 when holding opponents under 40.0 percent shooting from the field. The Heat is also 28-5 when leading at the half.

- Dwyane Wade recorded his sixth 30/10 game this season with 35 points and 12 assists on 3/2 vs. Golden State, Miami’s last game; Carlos Arroyo scored a season-high 14 points on 3/2 vs. the Warriors, and tied season-highs in rebounds (five) and steals (two); Jermaine O’Neal’s 14 points on 3/2 vs. GSW marked the sixth consecutive game he has scored in double-figures; Over his last 11 games, Dorell Wright has shot 50.0 percent (32-64) from the field and 44.0 percent (11-25) from three-point range;