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Weekend Hotness

  • Sixers head coach Doug Collins (via Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel) on the Heat's propensity to "turn down the screen": "Miami's perimeter guys, especially Wade and LeBron, probably do as good a job as any team, or any two players in the league, as to what I call 'rejecting' pick-and-rolls ... They'll get you leaning toward the screen, and then they'll go away from it. And when they do, you're in peril." In the same post, Winderman enumerates the rather large amount of cash the Heat will extend to guys who ultimately didn't make the final roster.

  • A wise column by Dan Le Batard in Sunday's Miami Herald about LeBron James: "Some people have a bad habit of turning athletes into either unicorns or demons, one-dimensional, painting with a nuance-less brush that doesn't allow James to be, like all of us, selfish in some aspects of his life and unselfish in others. But it can't be denied, no matter how angry and emotional you are, that he has given up more to get closer to winning than any superstar ever has." LeBatard reminds us that James' salary ranks him behind Michael Redd and Rashard Lewis.

  • At the Palm Beach Post, Ethan Skolnick writes that in a league with a number of high-profile, often eccentric owners, Heat owner Micky Arison is a rare breed. In the piece, James comments on Arison: "[T]hat's part of the reason why they were one of the teams that was able to have an opportunity to speak to me during the free agency period, because I knew the history of Micky and his business and his team, and Pat also. Like you say, he's not like Mark Cuban, not saying that's a bad thing, or like Prokohrov, those are great guys, great owners also. But he's great for this team, he's great for this league, and I'm happy to be a part of it ... What most appealed to me was the whole family-oriented thing ... You look at him and his son (Nick), and Nick's grandfather all the way back, I mean, when they talk about family, they really mean it. And you can see it, it's hands-on here."

  • Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball on the Heat's jackrabbit start to the second half on Friday: "The Heat made it look easy on offense during that timeframe. On James three-point shot, Howard flashed on Bosh along the baseline and double-teamed him. Thus, Bosh kicked the ball out to Carlos Arroyo on the perimeter, who proceeded to make a touch pass to James and allowed him to make a three-pointer in rhythm. On Wade’s back-to-back threes, Carter sagged off of him too much on the perimeter for fear of letting him penetrate into the lane. On Bosh’s free-throw attempts, they came about after James executed a 3/4 pick and roll with him. Lastly, James got his points in the paint from dribble-penetration. It’s the type of offensive display that shows it’s going to be nearly impossible for the Magic to slow down James, Wade, and Bosh."

  • Zach Harper at Hardwood Paroxysm: "Their perimeter defense is scary good. Think about the fact they’ve only been playing together for three games and it looks this good in the key stretches of games. What’s it going to look like in February? May? June?"

  • Raul Takahashi of Hot Hot Hoops on Eddie House's curious hygienic decision during Friday night's game: "Eddie House used his jersey as storage for his mouthpiece, taking it off while shooting a technical free throw and digging for it afterwards to pop it back in. Not a pretty sight for germophobes worldwide."

  • "In the Air Tonight" got little traction on the U.S. Singles chart when it was released back in 1981. Back then, Phil Collins was primarily an Anglo-act who didn't become a recognizable figure in the American mainstream until the mid-80s. Nearly 30 years later, Collins' single is the soundtrack for the 2010-11 Miami Heat player introductions video. (Hat Tip: Peninsula is Mightier)