Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Prediction
Although the Heat have been a mess to start the season, it cannot be attributed to their core players. Across 24 minutes with Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo on the court together, Miami has produced a 35.2 Net Rating, which means they have outscored opponents by 35.2 points per 100 possessions (per NBA.com). They are an excellent first quarter team too, as the Heat own a 5.9 Net Rating during this period. On the other hand, Los Angeles is routinely starting slow; they have won the first quarter only once in six games and own a tragic -39.2 first quarter Net Rating.
Tyler Herro appears rejuvenated after an off-season of being thrown in trade talks. The Kentucky product is averaging 25.8 points, ranks 27th in usage percentage, and owns the 7th most pick-and-roll ball handlers possessions per game. He faces an underwhelming Lakers point-of-attack defense that has surrendered the third largest points per possession to pick-and-roll handlers and the fourth most points per game to point guards. Herro should ruthlessly hunt D’Angelo Russell here and dominate as a self-created scorer.
Los Angeles is allowing the 11th most pace adjusted open plus wide open three-point attempts because opponents are driving and kicking. Miami can follow this strategy, but Bam Adebayo also has the passing chops to facilitate in the paint. Therefore, expect the Heat to achieve good three-point shot quality against Los Angeles.
On the other end, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are hyper-elite defenders that can limit LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ offensive output. Even if those two see only a slight dip in efficiency and creation, it’s a catastrophic blow to their below average offense (21st in Offensive Rating).
Overall, the Heat’s struggling offense should come alive against Los Angeles’ defense (20th in Defensive Rating), especially Tyler Herro. On the other end, they have the defensive tools to slow down the Lakers’ best weapons. Factor in home court advantage and first quarter trends, and the Heat likely throw the first punch.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Prediction: Heat 1st Quarter Moneyline
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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Best Odds
The Miami Heat enter this contest favored by a mere point, so the books are expecting an extremely close game. Los Angeles needs to win this matchup about 48% of the time for their +105 moneyline to hold a positive expected value. Otherwise, the bet isn’t profitable in the long run.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Injuries
Gabe Vincent, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jaxson Hayes, and rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino are all out for the Lakers. On the other side, Caleb Martin remains out for the Heat, while Nikola Jovic and RJ Hampton are game time decisions. Finally, Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson hold probable tags.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Key Matchups
The Heat are unsurprisingly forcing the fourth largest opponent turnover percentage; this disruption has been a staple of the Erik Spoelstra era. Turnovers frequently lead to transition opportunities with the numbers advantage, which inherently hold a massive expected points per possession. If Miami continues to wreak havoc and jump passing lanes, then they can steal possessions and boost their offensive production, thus greatly increasing their first quarter win probability.
Kyle Lowry & Haywood Highsmith 3PT Shooting
Miami will likely see a ton of kick outs for catch-and-shoot threes, so Lowry and Highsmith have to capitalize on the open space. Lowry is currently shooting a 39.1 3PT% on nearly four attempts per game, while Highsmith sits at a 71.4 3PT% on 3.5 attempts per game. If they continue to knock down their threes, then the Heat are in a great position to win the first quarter.