Before the NBA season began last week, a lot of pundits and experts were predicting the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers would have a great shot at meeting in the Finals. Miami isn't showing any signs of a post championship let down, while the reloaded Lakers are in dead last of the Western Conference.
Miami rolled Brooklyn last night in South Florida, 103-73, while the Lakers dropped to 1-4 after a 95-86 loss in Utah. With Steve Nash possibly missing up to a month with a slight leg fracture, it's getting harder to laugh off the 0-3 start by Los Angeles. Dwight Howard continues to miss free throws at a comical rate, and Steve Blake has been awful filling in for Nash.
In Miami, LeBron James needed just 30 minutes to get 20 points, 12 boards and 8 assists. The Heat are 4-1, with their only loss coming to the surprisingly 3-0 Knicks in New York. The Lakers lone win came against Detroit, who is one of the only two winless teams in the NBA.
The Lakers shot 33 percent from the floor last night and hit only four of 23 three point attempts. The new Princeton offense they are trying to work their way into currently has L.A at 15th in the league in scoring with 97 points a game. On defense they're giving up just over 98 a game. Their field goal percentage is fifth in the league, but their free throw percentage (mostly thanks to Howard) is the third worst in the league. When you're losing games by four, five or seven points and missing 18 free throws a night, that is just unacceptable.
Miami is just destroying people, averaging 110 points a game and giving up just over 99 per contest. Just like in last night's blowout, they don't even need to exert their stars at all. Not only did LeBron play just 30 minutes, but Chris Bosh only needed to play 24 and Wade notched 32 minutes. That kind of early season rest just means they'll be that much stronger when the playoffs approach and that thought right now has to be pretty scary for the rest of the NBA.