Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat
July 2, 2022 5:00 pm EDT
The Line: Miami Heat +3.5 / Los Angeles Lakers -3.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat meet Saturday in NBA Summer League action at the Chase Center.
The Los Angeles Lakers roster features 9 rookies, including their second round pick from Michigan State in Max Christie. The strangest part of the Lakers summer league roster is seeing no Austin Reaves, a guy who started 19 games last year but could still use the experience. Sons of NBA legends Scottie Pippen (Scotty Pippen Jr.) and Shaq (Shareef O’Neal) will be given chances to prove themselves. Other notable players include Cole Swider, Mac McClung, Mason Jones and Jay Huff. The Lakers also have two 26-year-old players in Paris Bass and Vitto Brown, and this could very well be their last chance to make progress toward an NBA roster.
The Miami Heat also have 9 rookies on their summer league roster, including first round pick Nikola Jovic from Serbia. Omer Yurtseven, who played in 56 games for the Heat last season, is expected to only participate in Las Vegas summer league due to obligations with the Turkish national team. Haywood Highsmith, Mychal Mulder, Javonte Smart are 3 players who were on the Heat’s season ending roster and Marcus Garrett played in 12 games for Miami last year. Mulder is 28 years old and obviously needs to make the most of these moments. Jamal Cain was the best player in the Horizon League last year for Oakland, and Bryson Williams was a first-team All-Big 12 selection last year for Texas Tech.
The Los Angeles Lakers are going to get the benefit of the doubt, especially from the betting public, but the Heat are just one of those teams that competes regardless of the situation. Summer league, preseason, it doesn’t matter. The Lakers also not having Reaves makes their roster less appealing. The Heat are extremely well coached and don’t know anything but play hard and play to win. The Heat are also the more experienced team here with a handful of guys who saw NBA minutes last season, and players take the court knowing there’s a higher probability of them having a shot at the league in their system given their history with players who come out of nowhere. That helps in performance. With all that to say, I’ll grab the free points with the Heat.