MIAMI (Sporting Alert) — Starters for the NBA game between two-time defending champions Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers at AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday night.
Dwyane Wade will again be out for the Heat (30-12), missing his fourth successive game as he continues to recover from his persistent knee troubles.
But Miami coach Erik Spoelstra remains optimistic that the All-Star guard will come back much better after his rehabilitation work.
“Heat Nation does not need to be panicked,” Spoelstra said during Thursday’s team shootaround. “In terms of Dwyane’s health, we’ve said it time and time again: It’s going to be a process. There’s absolutely no way I’m going [to look] days ahead.
“I know he’s feeling much better today to be in there working. That’s a good sign. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Maybe he’ll do a little bit more.”
Ray Allen will start at shooting guard, while Shane Battier also starts for the Heat.
For the Lakers, former Duke Blue Devils star Ryan Kelly continues to start as the power forward, with Pau Gasol starting at center.
MIMAI TEAM: Mario Chalmers (PG) Ray Allen (SG) LeBron James (SF) Shane Battier (PF) Chris Bosh (C)
LAKERS TEAM: Kendall Marshall (PG) Jodie Meeks (SG) Wesley Johnson (SF) Ryan Kelly (PF) Pau Gasol (C)