Friday Hotness

  • Two of many things that I love about this video from The Basketball Jones: J.E. Skeets' voice bears an eerie resemblance to Erik Spoelstra's, and a talking Stan Van Gundy floating head suspended above Spoelstra's left shoulder.

  • The Heat scrapped back in the fourth quarter to take a 1-point lead midway through the fourth quarter at Orlando on Wednesday night. With the Magic on the ropes, how should the Heat craft their stretch drive? Aggressive drives to the hoop off pick-and-rolls? Exploits the individual matchup advantages they attacked in the opening minutes of the game? Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post enumerates the Heat's next nine possessions: "[T]he Heat scored 1 point and took 7 jumpers; Bass fouled Bosh on a layup attempt for Miami's only point during that span, and Bosh fumbled away a lob pass in what proved to be the Heat's only inside shot attempt. Zydrunas Ilgauskas missed two open pick-and-pop looks, Wade and Eddie House missed three three-pointers, and Wade and James missed two long two-point tries."

  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert challenges an ESPN report that "shirts or signs that disrespect James or his family member" won't be allowed in Quicken Loans Arena. Gilbert responds via Twitter: "ESPN headline is wrong & silly. Obviously no profanity,vulgar stuff U wouldn't want kids 2 see but we are not going 2 be the Gestapo @ The Q." The headline in question reads, "Cavs ban anti-LeBron James apparel."

  • Like every raw, young big man, Dexter Pittman desperately needs game-situation reps. Ethan J. Skolnick of The Palm Beach Post reports Pittman will get those opportunities as a member of the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce, where the Heat have assigned him. In the same story, Pittman says he's gotten his fill of NBA-style pranksterism while he's been with the big club: "'Yesterday, when he was in the shower, I threw a tub of ice on him,' Pittman said. Wednesday? 'He got me back,' Pittman said. 'I was sitting in a chair, and he slapped me with a wet towel.'"

  • Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops: "The only two games where the Heat attempted more field goals closer to the basket than 16-23 feet away was the first two games. Since then, every game has featured more field goal attempts from that distance than any other area of the court. Most games the ratio of long jumpers compared to short or midrange jumpers is not even close."

  • Why Pat Riley should remain loyal to Erik Spoelstra this season and perform a search for a replacement, if inspired to do so, next summer.

  • Via NBA Off-Season, James and Michael Jordan ads spliced together. The juxtaposition is interesting, even if the contexts are wildly different.

  • Via Hooped-Up, a creepy sketched portrait of James from Cleveland-based artist Oliver Barrett.

  • James up early on Friday with a viewing of The Godfather, Part Two.