A Tale Of Two Cities: Miami and Los Angeles, The Journey So Far

Entering the 2010-2011 season, the consensus Finals pick for the west were the Lakers, and the consensus "noisy" team for the east were the Heat. Here, we take a look at their almost divergent seasons—so far.

  The Heat entered the season with high expectations and a certain air of pompousness and pride—feeling almost invincible. Yet they were quickly brought down to earth with their season starting off with an eight-point loss, at one point possessing just a 9-8 record coming off a three-game losing streak.

The media were getting on the "SuperFriends" cases, Heat fans everywhere were panicking and everyone else was smugly smiling at the "hot" mess...before Lebron, Wade and co. exploded and proceeded to win 21 of their next 22 games. Save for a hiccup against an equally red hot Dallas Mavericks team, the Miami Heat had a perfect December, 15-1.

On the flip side of that equation, we look towards the West Coast, to the back-to-back defending champions: the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers also entered this season with some pride, perhaps even cockiness, after winning the title.

They started the season 13-2 before running into some trouble and having their first four-game losing streak. Yet all the attention was still on Miami, and as a result, this warning sign was overlooked.

The Lakers appeared like they were doing fine, but were actually being buoyed by a career month for Pau Gasol and one of the easier schedules in the league. Once Pau began to tire, the Lakers began to crumble and struggle with inferior teams—finishing with a 10-5 December.


Things to watch out for

Heat: The Heat's recent run is certainly impressive, but it can directly be attributed to the elevated play of their superstars...namely Dwayne Wade. Nine of their past 21 victories were by single digits, and they've had to battle into overtime on several occasions.

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