LA Lakers vs. Miami Heat: NBA Christmas, Why We Care, and Who Wins

On Christmas I, like every other rabid NBA fan the world over, am not looking forward to unwrapping presents.

I am not excited about going to church early in the morning (I don't think that's anything out of the ordinary, actually).

I am not eagerly anticipating a standing rib roast and crab legs (those of you who know my first true love to be food writing should be taken aback). 

Instead, Christmas, for this writer and countless other NBA fans, comes in the form of a highly anticipated match-up.

Lakers.  Miami.  Mamba.  The King.  Staples Center.  Christmas, 2 p.m. Pacific. 

So you know I had to do a write-up since, after all, Christmas only comes once a year.

Unwrapping the Subplots and Implications

The game itself has been hyped to be a possible NBA Finals preview, which most of us know is absurd.  Possible, but still, absurd.  The Lakers have dropped a surprisingly high number of games in what has been, statistically, the weakest strength of schedule in the league thus far. 

To give you an idea, the Lakers have played Sacramento, Golden State, Houston, Washington, and Toronto, two times apiece, in the first 24 games of the season.  This game has been called a test for the Heat, who as you might know by now, acquired LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and a bunch of senior citizens over the summer. 

Actually, the Miami Heat will be the first "contenders" to play the defending champions this season; if anything, this game should be a calibration of the Lakers' progress, to see just where the defending champs are on their quest for a three-peat in a game with playoff intensity.

Will the Game Have Playoff Intensity?

Absolutely.  If you don't live in L.A. but you hate the Heat, rest assured that the city of Los Angeles takes a Heat loss the same way they take an L.A. win.  Sur...

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