Thursday, December 23, 2010

A temperature Heat reading

Ever since LeBron James announced that he would be "taking his talents to South Beach" back in July, the annual Christmas Day Lakers versus Heat match-up has been all the more intriguing.
All those Nike commercials from last year, where LeBron would bench "2010" in the gym in front of an amused, cartoon-sized Kobe Bryant will somewhat tell the tale of what will play out for the Heat this year.

The Heat have a 1-8 record against teams with winning records, even though they have won 12 of their past 13 games. The 2006 Heat were the same way, but like Kobe said in an interview with ESPN's Michael Wilbon, it doesn't matter.

Well it does, for the team that wins. If the Heat hope to match up against the strong Western conference in a possible Finals preview, this Christmas Day game will be a measuring stick. Bryant is fresh off a frustrating loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, in which he was ejected late in the fourth quarter.

If the Heat look to stand a chance, on the road, against a very good Lakers team, their defense will have to frustrate Bryant. The three-headed monster at center of Erik Dampier, big Z and Joel Anthony will also have to slow down Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

It is just a game, but one of epic proportions for the NBA landscape.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

LeBron's return to Cleveland

The time has come.

LeBron James will return to the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday to face his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. There has been so much talk over what will happen that in actuality, no one really knows.

Will a fight ensue? Will LeBron be safe? Will there be vulgar language? These questions and more have been posed by reporters over the last day and a half.

Personally, I believe LeBron will have his breakout game tomorrow. The intensity that will take place in that building tomorrow will be unprecedented. It won't be the biggest game in James' career (by default because Game 7 of the 2007 East Finals was quite a feat) but by far it will be the most memorable. This is LeBron's chance to show he is still King James, a two time NBA MVP, seven time all star, I could go on.

Anyway, that is all. I'll be watching as well millions of other NBA fans.

Without trying to sound promotional or corny, it begins, LeBron vs. Cleveland, Thursday, 8PM, on TNT.