- Paint Protection: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom need to assert themselves from the outset tonight when it comes to rebounding and scoring in the paint. The Heat have reasonably talented big men, yet each of them tends to be streaky. The purple and gold cannot afford to let one of them get going as it could provide a ripple effect throughout the entire game. In the last few double digit wins the key has been a greater emphasis on demonstrating their clear dominance in the key, shown by a dramatic uptick in the points in the paint number.
- Bench Contributions: According to Yahoo! Sports Mitch has put the entire Lakers reserve unit on notice as rumors are circulating that all of them expect Lamar Odom are currently on the trade block. Big games like tonight would be the perfect time to emphasize their worth to the defending champs, and potentially sway trade considerations. Overall, this season has been disappointing for the former bench mob. Any player among the group who can begin to show significant improvements will no doubt find favor among the coaching staff and Lakers Nation collectively.
- Battle of Two Stars: Who will reign supreme tonight? KB24 or D Wade. While they may not say it out loud, each player wants nothing more than to have a dominating game versus the other. Look for Kobe to get going quickly tonight and stick it to Wade, while Ron Artest should draw the initial assignment on defense, don’t expect it to last the entire contest.
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