The most special Christmas gift anyone could possibly receive will be given to everyone with a television set at 5pm — that’s when ABC starts their telecast of the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat game.
The game will start immediately following the Boston Celtics and recently retooled Magic game as they battle for Eastern dominance in Orlando.
The match-up of LA versus Miami boasts some of the biggest NBA stars and promises to be one of the year’s best games.
After a rough 9-8 start for the team, the Heat pulled off 12 wins in a row, a streak that was broken Monday night in a slugfest with the Dallas Mavericks.
Back-to-back league MVP LeBron James has started his first season with the Heat as the team’s best player and obvious on-court leader.
His numbers have dipped slightly from past seasons, but he’s still the game’s premiere talent and he continues to post some of the best stat lines in the league.
Chris Bosh has finally warmed up after a sluggish beginning of the year. Now, he’s back to being a nightly double-double threat and his jumper is falling.
Dwyane Wade has had the most adjustment to make, believe it or not. He’s had some poor games peppered into an otherwise brilliant season.
Mike Miller is back in the rotation, coming off the bench in a key role of three point shooter and versatile defender.
And it seems like the three-headed centre of Zydrunas Ilgauskus, Erick Dampier and Joel Anthony are doing an adequate job defending other teams’ bigs.
James Jones, Juwan Howard and Mario Chalmers are proving to be solid bench players, and Carlos Arroyo continues to be consistent as the their starting point guard.
The Heat are still taking time to gel, and have really only played one full game (in New York) where they looked good in all four quarters.
The team’s potential will always be more important than their present record. This team was made for the late rounds in the Playoffs.
But basketball fans can scrap all of that when matching the Heat against the mighty Lakers.
The back-to-back NBA champions have their big man Andrew Bynum back from injury, giving the Lakers the largest, most skilled and most dominant front line in the game.
Unlike most teams, the Lakers can ‘go big’ — really big — by putting Bynum in the lineup at the same time as Pau Gasol at the power forward position and Lamar Odom in the three spot. That’s three seven-footers.
Their current starting lineup of Gasol, Odom, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher and of course the great Kobe Bryant has the Lakers comfortably in the top three spots in the West.
Kobe has forged through another minor injury, another ailing pinkie finger, to have the league’s third best scoring average with over 25 points per game.
Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown will be joined on the bench by veteran Joe Smith, recently acquired by the Nets in a three-team trade.
The league’s reigning MVP against the league’s reigning champs — two of the best teams in the NBA will be going head-to-head on Christmas day.
Christmas in LA… Heat/Lakers… Does it really matter who wins the game?
The fans will be the real winners. Merry Christmas from the NBA!