The whole of NBA fandom will be watching the Heat take on the Lakers on Christmas in what will rightfully be billed as a possible finals preview.
So it’s a big deal, as Brett Pollakoff tried to get LeBron James to say to FanHouse. And LeBron went nowhere near the bait.
“If it’s against the Lakers or the Suns or the Nets or whoever the case may be, you don’t want to take a step backwards,” James said. “You definitely want to play some of your best ball against the best teams…
“I don’t think it’s a measuring stick,” James said. “It’s another game for us, and we hope to play well, and we’re looking to play well. It’s a building that they’re very good in, but we don’t look at it saying this is the game that can define our season. It’s not, at all.”
Erik Spoelstra was on the same dull page.
“We’re both in different spots right now. [Our team is] trying to improve; we’re trying to get where they have been. We think we’re improving, we think since the first day of the season we’re one of the most improved teams, and we think we’re ready for it.
“In terms of it meaning more than other games, I think it’ll be a special opportunity for the guys to play on Christmas in front of a great environment, also knowing that people will be watching. We have several people in the locker room that love games that really mean something to the fans. We want to just build on what we’ve done the last three weeks … for the fans, it probably has greater meaning than for the teams.”
We are still learning how good the Heat really are, but they have their clichés down like champions.
Does the game mean a lot because of the stage? Yes. Does it tell us anything about these teams come June? No. So enjoy it for what it is.