Wednesday Hotness

  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on the contrasting organizational cultures in Cleveland and Miami and why dealing with expectations will be among James' foremost challenges: "[James] didn’t take well to the pressure a season ago and cracked before everyone’s eyes in that exit series to the Celtics. The Heat are James’ team, and that has nothing to do with who’ll score the most points or who’ll take the most shots, or even the big ones. For better and worse, James fills up the locker room, the team plane, the floor – fills up space – in a way that demands most of the room’s air. He stepped out of LRMR’s kiddy marketing pool this week into the big leagues with a Nike campaign that asks: What should I do? The Heat are telling him simply: Stay in line."

  • Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe: "No grand conclusions should be drawn from the performance of the Heat. They already have lost the player who was going to be their certified sixth man when Mike Miller sustained a thumb injury last week that could put him out of action for at least three months. And last night was the first action of any kind for Dwyane Wade, who has been idled by a combination of injury and the need to attend court proceedings in a contentious child custody suit. The guy who wore No. 3 and shot 4 for 16 last night? That wasn’t the real Dwyane Wade. It wasn’t even a weak preview of coming attractions."

  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie: "You can't just waltz into a season and match the level of intensity that a game like this demanded. You're not ready for it. Every media member that was around for Games 3-through-5 in last summer's Finals turn could not stop talking about how the in-Boston hype and pressure and noise on Tuesday night felt exactly like a Finals game. No team, no player, could rise to meet that sort of scene on the first night of the regular season. Not even Michael Jordan, who lost a massively-hyped season opener in Boston in his last year with the Bulls in 1997. The Heat had no clue. It was obvious to even the fair-weather fans that tuned in to see the gimmick in play. One superstar would zig, the other would zag. Dwyane Wade(notes) would cut baseline, but LeBron James would pass to the corner."

  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert talks with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and turns down an opportunity to air any misgivings he has about The Letter: "My letter was to the fans and supporters of Cleveland. People get a little confused because they think it was a general statement to the world or even to LeBron or to whoever. It really was to the fans and supporters of Cleveland, and I wanted to make sure they knew where I stood and where the franchise stood and how we felt, which apparently was pretty similar to the way they were feeling. No, we don't have any regrets."

  • Miami didn't play a horrendous defensive game, holding the Celtics to 88 points on 91 possessions. But Ray Allen managed to get loose on the perimeter during crucial possessions. It's vintage Allen, whose brilliance as a shooter is as much about his ability to find daylight as it is his marksmanship.

  • Michael Beasley tuned in with a personal interest, as the Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman captures: "Put it this way, it reached the point where Michael Beasley chimed in from his Twitter account in the second quarter, 'Miami ain’t looking good man!' The Heat missing Michael Beasley? Has it come to that?"

  • James' Nike ad builds to a crescendo then sends you off with ... a layup? HoopSpeak's Beckley Mason: "The statement seems to be that LeBron is not a bull in a PR China store, nor a brute on the court. Yes, he has the physical prowess to do this, but he also has the touch and finesse to pull this (and the commercial) off."

  • LeBron James re-launches ... LeBronJames.com. Features include a well-assembled photo scroll of his gameday diet (blackened mahi and quinoa salad), track lists with samples (Jazmine Sullivan and Lloyd Banks) and stills from his commercial shoot.

  • Howard Beck of the New York Times tweets, "Heat-Celtics so big that it led 'SportsCentre' here in Canada. Took them a full 2 minutes to get to hockey, eh."

  • LeBron James: Still not entirely comfortable with his back to the basket, even when defended on the top side by Paul Pierce with plenty of room to operate along the baseline.