Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers Christmas Preview

When the NBA schedule was released many people questioned why the Los Angeles Lakers, a team picked by ESPN to finish 12th in the Western Conference was hosting the defending world champs on Christmas Day and rightfully so. Not to mention this was when guard Kobe Bryant was expected in the lineup, without him this game may get out of hand.

Bryant is out with a fractured knee after missing the first six weeks while recovering from a torn Achilles.

The Heat are looking for its sixth consecutive win as they travel on Christmas, again.

LeBron James is having yet another MVP caliber season, averaging 25.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. James lead Miami (21-6) with 38 points and 6 assists in a win over the Atlanta Hawks Monday night.

As for the Lakers (13-15) they have dropped six of nine overall and got blown out by the Phoenix Suns 117-90 two days ago.

Los Angeles will be without Steve Nash (back) and Steve Blake (elbow). However, Jordan Farmar is set to make his first start after missing the last 10 games with a hamstring injury.

The Heat are dominating the Western Conference, having won 18 consecutive games vs the West this season including six by an average of 14.9 points.

Newly engaged Dwayne Wade will return after sitting out Monday due to rest, Wade is averaging 25.8 points and shooting 60 percent over his last four games.