The Kobe Bryant farewell tour continues Tuesday, assuming he does retire in 2016, as the Lakers make their only visit this season to Miami. The Heat are -12 NBA odds favorites with a total of 202.
First Of A Back-To-Back For Lakers
This is game No. 3 of the Lakers' five-game road trip. They opened it with a 104-98 victory in Brooklyn on Friday but lost 99-95 at the New York Knicks on Sunday. Kobe was treated like a home player in that one, even hearing chants of "M-V-P, M-V-P!" Bryant had averaged 30.7 points per game in his career at Madison Square Garden -- his first NBA point was a free throw there on Nov. 5, 1996 -- but had 18 on Sunday, hitting just 6-for-19 overall and 2-for-10 from long range. He really needs to stop shooting 3-pointers as Kobe is hitting .208 from distance. Kobe missed two shots and fouled good buddy Carmelo Anthony twice during New York's 11-0 fourth-quarter run that turned a three-point deficit into a 98-90 lead.
There will be occasions where Kobe doesn't play both ends of a back-to-back this season and the Lakers (1-5) are in Orlando on Wednesday night. But Coach Byron Scott says he expects Kobe to play in both of those. I'm sure Bryant is looking forward to going up against fellow future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade on Tuesday.
"I know there’s going to be some games he’s not going to play, but that’s not his mindset," said Scott, who added he has not decided whether Bryant will play fewer minutes than the 29 minutes per game he has averaged thus far. "Right now this early in the season, we’ll go with the flow."
Kobe is 4-11 in his career in regular-season games in Miami and has averaged 23.8 points. The Lakers are 2-4 against the spread on NBA odds and 3-3 'over/under.'
Heat Looking For First Winning Streak Of Season
Miami (4-3) played probably its best game of the season on Sunday, a 96-76 rout of a very good Toronto team to start a seven-game homestand. Chris Bosh had 23 points and Hassan Whiteside 20 points and 11 rebounds. Wade had 12 points in 25 minutes. Wade passed Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen (18,940) for 51st place on the NBA's scoring list during the game. But after starting the season with five consecutive games of at least 20 points, Wade is only 8-for-28 from the field the past two games.
Largely Heat reserves put the game away in the fourth with an 18-3 run. And speaking of Heat reserves, guard Gerald Green remains out. He was hospitalized last week but the team is being very vague about what's going on. Miami Fire-Rescue responded a to a call for help dealing with a "combative patient" that presumably was Green. He has since been released from the hospital. Green, signed to a one-year free-agent deal this offseason, has averaged 10.3 points in three games.
The Heat are 4-3 ATS on NBA picks and 1-6 O/U.
The Heat swept the season series for the third year in a row. On Jan. 13 in Los Angeles, the Heat won 78-75 in one of the ugliest games of the year. Miami, which opened the game on an 18-0 run, lost Wade to a strained left hamstring late in the first half. He finished with four points in 15 minutes. Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 19 points, while Bosh had only eight on 4-for-17 shooting. Kobe was 3-for-19 for 12 points and missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left. On March 4 in south Florida, the Heat won 100-94. Wade had 25 points and six assists, while Whiteside had 18 points and 25 rebounds. Curious stat from that game as the Heat's Goran Dragic had 21 points and became the first player since 1993-94 to play against the Lakers five times in the regular season and win them all. Dragic's first four wins last year were with Phoenix; he was dealt to Miami at the trade deadline. Kobe missed that game. So did Nick Young.
NBA Betting Analysis
All four of the Heat victories this season has been by double figures. This will be a fifth. Go Heat and 'UNDER.' The Lakers are 1-7 ATS in their past eight vs. teams with a winning record. Miami is 4-1 ATS in its past five vs. teams with a losing record. The 'under' is 5-2 in L.A.'s past seven vs. the Heat. The 'UNDER' is 8-1 in Miami's past nine after a win.
NBA Picks: Miami Heat -12 & UNDER 201 at The Greek