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Friday Hotness

  • How good has the Heat's defense been so far? When the opponents run an isolation set and are guarded by one of the Big 3, they're shooting a putrid 16.7 percent. Should we be surprised? Among the 77 players who defended at least 125 isolation plays last season, Dwyane Wade ranked first in the league in field goal percentage allowed. LeBron James was 5th and -- here's the biggest shocker -- Chris Bosh was 7th among 77. (Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info)

  • Rashard Lewis appears on Miami-based 790 the Ticket and expresses bewilderment over the hate for the Heat: "[I]t is most definitely mind boggling to hear that they are the most-hated team maybe because the one guy made that decision to go there."

  • John Krolik of NBC Pro Basketball Talk with a meta-discussion of "The Rise." However rehabilitative the ad was, the thing that will always engender the most love and devotion from the public is James playing his best basketball: "There are probably millions of people nicer or humbler than LeBron James. Only a handful of people have ever played basketball at the level LeBron is capable of playing it at. That will always be what’s really important about LeBron, and the sooner LeBron people reminds people of that, the better."

  • Anthropologist Grant McCracken also weighs in on the ad (hat tip: Ben Casnocha), zeroing in on the central question, "What should I do?": "What's clever about the spot is that it drives us towards an answer for this question. We end up thinking, 'Well, James has the right to do whatever he wants to do. Fans have the right to be unhappy. But finally, we don't have the right to say where he plays or finally who he is.' And this means the ad turns, almost inaudibly, on the cry of individualism. This is one of the bedrock convictions of our culture: that the individual has the right of self-determination, of self definition. It's not for elites to tell us who we are. It's not for ethnic groups, local communities or corporations. It's not for parents. Nor for teachers. And it's not, James is pointing out, for fans."

  • At NBA Playbook, Sebastian Pruiti documents -- with video -- James' 17 turnovers over his first two games. Pruiti classifies which miscues are "true turnovers" born out of carelessness and which are just random acts of bad luck.

  • At Hardwood Paroxysm, Matt Moore launches a new experiment in blogging that will stir memories of blue books and standardized tests. Writers have exactly 30 minutes to pump out a post on James. Check out the results here.

  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie takes down Bosh for his comment prior to Tuesday's opener that, "[I]t's all about being on TV at the end of the day."

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel: "For now, as coach Erik Spoelstra methodically installs the offense, the Heat mostly is feeding off matchups, with Bosh possibly positioned for his breakthrough Friday against Orlando's Rashard Lewis."

  • Carlos Arroyo's phone won't stop ringing for ticket requests for tonight's game (for which there are still a few hundred upper bowl seats available). Arroyo says that there's been a huge surge in interest in south Florida's Latino community: "To me, it's different ... The Hispanic community and latin community approach me and they're all over the place [saying], 'Hey Papi, are we going to win this year or what?'"