Following the Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Miami Heat on Monday evening, Dwyane Wade praised LeBron James and the young core.
The Los Angeles Lakers continued rolling on Monday evening, defeating the Miami Heat 108-105. It was an emotional evening at the Staples Center as it marked not only the final time that Dwyane Wade would play there but the final time that Wade would face off with his best friend, fellow future Hall of Famer, LeBron James.
Wade and James battled back and forth throughout the evening, with James eventually willing his team to victory. With the win, James pushed ahead in their all-time head-to-head matchup, winning 16 compared to 15 for Wade.
Immediately following the final buzzer, Wade and James embraced, showing how much affection they have for each other.
They chatted and exchanged jerseys. In the post-game interview on the court, they were very complimentary of each other.
The positive remarks did not stop there. Following the game, when talking to Martin Rodgers of USA Today, Wade expressed his optimism that James would accomplish his goal of winning a championship with the Lakers.
“They should be very confident in all they have got on that team,” Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “The way [LeBron] is able to make shots and take over a game, it gives you confidence that you have a threat.”
James has shown that ability to take over a game and will his team to victory multiple times this season. The game against the Heat on Monday was the second time he did it against his former team, as he dropped 51 on them in the first meeting this season.
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There are numerous other examples of James putting the team on his back and setting the tone. The matchup when he returned home to face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time in the purple and gold rings a bell.
Performances against the Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs also come to mind.
However, the Lakers wouldn’t be where they are right now without other helping out James. The young core has looked better and better as the season has gone on and received some praise from Wade as well.
“Then there’s [Kyle] Kuzma, Josh Hart is a hell of a player, the right kind of player,” Wade added. “Lonzo Ball is the kind of player who doesn’t need to score to have a great game. Experience is a key for them, and as the season comes on, they will get there.”
Kyle Kuzma showed Wade first hand how great he can be, scoring a game-high 33 points against the Heat. Hart showcases how important he is on a nightly basis given his versatility defensively to defend guards and big men alike, while also knocking down 3-pointers.
Ball had another solid all-around game against the Heat as well, stuffing the stat sheet while helping out in other areas that don’t show up on a box score. Don’t forget about Brandon Ingram, either, who was sidelined with an ankle injury for this game.
While the Lakers may not be NBA Championship contenders right now, they are certainly not a team people will want to play against come playoff time.
As Wade stated, as long as James is on the team, they will have a fighting chance. If the young guys continue developing and improving, the NBA will be on notice.
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