Caught in the Web: Lakers-Heat square off on Christmas Day
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan argues the Heat matchup will be a good test for whether the Lakers can fare well in their upcoming schedule against top opponents.
--The Times' Mark Heisler argues Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are always on the pendulum swing of public opinion.
--The Times' Barry Stavro looks at the Lakers' past Christmas performances.
--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande relishes the Kobe Bryant-LeBron James' matchup.
--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr looks at the hype surrounding the Lakers-Heat game.
--The Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman explains why the Heat believe they're ready for the Lakers.
Laker legends Jerry West and Magic Johnson talk with each other about the Lakers-Heat game.
--The Miami Herald's Israel Gutierrez argues it's misguided to elevate Bryant at the expense of James because he won championships with a supporting cast.
--ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh lists three ways to beat the Heat.
--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin is amused by the cliches surrounding this game.
--The Daily Breeze's Tom Hoffarth rips Andrew Bynum's commitment level.
--ESPN.com's John Hollinger compares the Lakers' Big 3 to Miami's.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky as well as ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz and Michael Wallace have a roundtable discussion on the Lakers-Heat game.
--The Riverside Press Entperise's David Lassen focuses on Pau Gasol's wide range in interests.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin highlights Bryant's media boycott this week.
Bryant does talk about the Lakers-Heat game in the video below to ESPN.
--A panel of NBA.com writers analyze the Lakers-Heat game.
--NBA.com's Shaun Powell believes James will respond well to the contentious atmosphere at Staples Center.
--Fox Sports South Florida's Bill Reiter wonders what would've happened had Derek Fisher gone to Miami.
--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen breaks down the Lakers-Heat game.
--Sports Illustrated looks at memorable Christmas Day performances.
--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears looks at Dwyane Wade's health and why he's fit enough to play despite a sore left knee.
--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford looks at the star power that will define the Lakers-Heat game.
--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks about the game with Lakers assistant coach Frank Hamblen.
--In a point-counter-point story, Fox Sports' Billy Witz lists five reasons why the Lakers will win while Fox Sports' Bill Reiter lists five reasons the Heat will win. Witz also wonders if the Lakers will be excited enough to play on Christmas Day.
Chris Webber and Kevin McHale discusses Miami's recent resurgence for Sports Illustrated's Behind the Mic.
--Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel looks back at James' "The Decision."
--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski argues James' comments about league contractions undermines the players union's efforts.
Yahoo! Sports' sizes up what James needs to do to surpass Bryant as a basketball player.
--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark argues this Lakers-Heat matchup isn't a statement game.
--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore wonders whether it's important the Lakers have home-court advantage.
--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano is intrigued with the coaching matchup featuring Phil Jackson and Erik Spoelstra.
--Lakers Nation's Michael Goldsholl looks at the Kobe-LeBron matchup.
Tweet of the Day: "After playing with Kobe , I do believe he is not human. I think he could have been a scientist! Extremely and individually tough person!" -- RONARTESTCOM (Lakers forward Ron Artest)
Reader Comment of the Day:"It's about time the Lakers show some muscle, I do not care if they play below par against practice teams but with the caliber like the Heat they need to play like the defending champs. Yes, it's also important to win games against sub par teams but you know the Lakers they are not playing but cruising when they play these teams.I just want them to tell the basketball world that we still mean business" -- appolo c. vermont
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Photo: One year ago, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James squared off in a Christmas Day game that the Cavaliers easily won. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times