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Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat in the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Posted by on November 11, 2019

I’ve been to Lakers games in the past when they had the Championship Lakers of Shaq and Kobe and then Kobe version 2 (after Shaq left and then new stars came in: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, etc.) but now I get to see the post-Kobe era of the next wave of Lakers superstars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James! With Kobe’s retirement several years ago, it was sad to see the Black Mama (Kobe’s nickname) go off into the sunset to finalize retre but I suppose it’s only fitting to see Father Time eventually be the victor over us frail, fragile humans… with the exception of Lebron James who seems to be ageless for the time being. Thanks to his continued standing as one of the best players in basketball, the Lakers obtained through a trade: Anthony Davis! Known also as “AD” by his initials, he’s one of the best players in the NBA as well! So to pair LeBron with Anthony Davis gives the Lakers, one of the most famous basketball teams, become contenders in winning the NBA title again.

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The world famous Staples Center in Los Angeles coupled with the close-by LA Live. With Los Angeles being known as an entertainment venue thanks to Hollywood and the film industry, the Staples Center and LA Live have added even more to that entertainment vibe. It’s definitely worth to walk around and see what’s going on.

The Miami Heat team has been one in transition ever since LeBron James left the Heat after winning 2 NBA titles in Miami. The same could be said about the Los Angeles Lakers who has been trying to get an identity ever since Kobe retired. But now… the Lakers are threatening to be amazing again thanks to the power duo of LeBron James (who joined last season) and Anthony Davis (who got traded to the team). Both players were exceptional in my presence at the Staples Center, home arena for several teams: the Lakers, the Clippers (another NBA team), and the Kings (NHL / Hockey).

So if you’re in Los Angeles, aka LA, aka the City of Angels, then this is one of those things that you have to do: catch a Lakers game at the Staples Center. The city has embraced the team and the team has embraced the city that even the other professional sports teams based in Los Angeles have a hard time trying to get the fans in LA to support them such as the NFL implants of the Rams and Chargers. So even if the other teams such as the Dodgers (baseball), LAFC (football), Angels (baseball), Kings (hockey) do well, I still think it’s a Lakers town.

Kyle Kuzma warm-up practice threes 3s three pointer shot jumper jacking the rock lakers la los angeles staples center heat game

Like with any sporting event, go there early to avoid the traffic and enjoy the view of the players warming up. You get a rare glimpse of what they are paid to do day-in, day-out. Here, you have Kyle Kuzma, one of the younger Lakers players practicing his three-point shot.

In this game, it close during the first 2-3 quarters of the game. Both the Lakers and Miami Heat were battling it out with the score being close with the Lakers initially leading and then later traded leads with the Heat several times. What was interesting was that the Miami Heat started playing a 2-3 zone defense which slowed down the Lakers offense and players. Eventually, the Lakers figured it out by putting Anthony Davis near the free throw line meaning either he would be wide open or he’d get double-teamed so a teammate would get wide open shots. As the Lakers got more and more used to the zone, the players pulled away in the fourth quarter with a sizeable lead that they never gave away. The Lakers were just too powerful with 2 giant superstars in both Lebron James and Anthony Davis understanding how to beat the zone and once they were in a favorable match-up where they had an advantage, both players would attract so much attention that teammates would be wide open. Adjustments are needed in the game of basketball in order to win.

lebron james passing to anthony davis forward lakers heat game 2019 staples center big crowd

Both players, Lebron James and Anthony Davis, played pick-and-roll plays well to where they could fake doing it and then just take off from there.

Goran Dragic waiting to check in and watches Lebron James driving dribbing to the basket for a dunk

My recommendation is to buy tickets as close to the action you can. That way, you are able to see the action up-close and see what make these guys top of the world. Don’t forget to look in the crowd as well – several celebrities were in. For example, Dwyane Wade, former Miami Heat player and good friend of Lebron James, was sitting near the Miami Heat bench.

Note: When going to games in LA, ensure that you leave very early. You just don’t know how bad traffic will be as even being 1 mile (1.6 km) away might take 1 hour to drive there! Public transportation is still what I’d call a work-in-progress as the subway still being worked on continuously to expand service all over Los Angeles so that’s another reason why you might want to leave early to go anywhere in Los Angeles. One idea is to use public transportation: light rail. You need to purchase a TAP card but like with London’s Oyster card, you place your card by the reader and it deduces an amount so it makes things easier to board without having to mess around with coins or money.

javale mcgee talking with anthony davis center forward lakers discussion strategizing power rebounds points

I thought that this was a funny moment as both Anthony Davis and Javale McGee talk about something during the game while Davis was about to shoot some free throws.

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