LA Lakers vs. Miami Heat: Positional Preview of the Christmas Day Showdown

The long-awaited showdown is finally here.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh travel to Los Angeles to take on Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending world champions for the teams' first matchup of the regular season.

After the Heat signed the big three in the offseason, they were seen as the odds-on favorite to take home the title. But wait a minute, what about the Lakers who had just won two straight titles? 

When the Heat got off to just a 9-8 start, many thought they were going to have trouble playing together all year long. Then, the team rattled off 12 straight wins, and they were once again favorites for the title.

On the other side, the Lakers are struggling to find the same dominance that they enjoyed last season. Looking surprisingly mediocre by their standard this season, the Lakers have already lost to lesser teams like the Suns, Pacers, Grizzlies and Bucks.

But at this point, the regular season is just an extended version of the preseason for the Los Angeles squad as they know that a playoff spot is virtually guaranteed barring something drastic.

Despite the shortcomings that each team has had thus far in the early part of the season, the Lakers stand at 21-8, third in the Western Conference, and the Heat at 22-9, second in the Eastern Conference. With this being perhaps the biggest regular season game in NBA history, it's much more than just LeBron vs. Kobe. It doesn't matter that each superstar is saying it's just another game, because frankly, it just isn't.

Point Guard: Derek Fisher vs. Carlos Arroyo

Neither team relies heavily on its point guard to dictate the flow of the offense, but each could be a bigger contributor than most expect. With each team keying in on more offensively threatening players, there should be plenty of wide open shots for each point guard to take if they so choose.

Arroyo is a career 33.7 perc...

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