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Monday Hotness

  • If you can choose one defender to guard LeBron James for an all-the-marbles affair, whom do you choose? Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak writes that Ron Artest isn't that guy, despite the reputation, physicality and mind games.

  • With the Christmas Day game behind us, Bethlehem Shoals revisits the Kobe-LeBron debate, wonders if it's over and discusses whether it's a reasonable frame to begin with.

  • At TrueHoop, Benjamin Polk on LeBron James: "Maybe what LeBron really, deeply wants is to be absorbed into a genuine team, to be part of something bigger than himself. The fact that we've observed this resolutely human thing and called it cowardly is the most unsettling story of all."

  • After hearing that the Heat's win over the Lakers on Saturday doesn't mean a whole lot because the Lakers have been playing so poorly, Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald concludes the "quality win" conversation is getting a little absurd: "Well, that isn't fair, is it? You can't play that card and also say that the Heat hasn't beaten very many good teams in its stretch of 14 wins in 15 games. What does the Heat have to do, in that case, to be considered legit? Beat only the Celtics?"

  • Chris Bosh's narrative has taken a wide turn, from being saddled with the dreaded "soft" label and the Chillin' incident to becoming the paragon of consistency for Miami. Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post writes that Bosh's performances are so even that it's almost pointless to look at his splits.

  • Avery Johnson says that he's not a fan of the LeBron James Contraction Proposal: "I disagree ... Maybe the league would be better if we didn't have three stars on one team."

  • Chris Perkins of FoxSportsFlorida.com documents life in the locker room for the Heat's Little 12.

  • What happened to Eddie House? Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explains: "The roster has happened to Eddie House. When the Heat signed so many veterans, one or two had to sit. Eddie is the odd man out now and don't expect that to change as long as the winning continues."

  • More great eye candy from Hoopism: An interactive visualization looking at the history of all 30 teams. It shows championship years, playoff appearances, All-Star years and that Keith Askins played a lot of games for the Heat.