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Caught in the Web: Lakers-Heat square off on Christmas Day

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--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.

--Fox Sports' Marques Johnson argues Chris Bosh will match up well with Pau Gasol and the Heat will win.

--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.

--AOL Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson sizes up the NBA's games on Christmas Day. He also reports James' contention that his shoes are better than Bryant's.

--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."

--The South Florida Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman believes Miami has enough of a supporting cast to beat the Lakers. Winderman also looks at how close Miami came to acquiring Fisher.

--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

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

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

 
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Since I have the power maybe I will get what I want for Christmas:
Finally my last song for today is a repeat and you know who it's for....Yes, yes, yes!!!! The Fabulous Justanothermambafan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY - All I want for Christmas – Mariah Carey

RCOTD = APPOLO C. VERMONT = OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!! KUDOS!!!!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!!!!

HEAT YOU HAVE KNOW FREAKIN IDEA WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN:
http://tinyurl.com/24gl97s - HATE ME!!!!!!

Thank everyone for the well wishes. There's a lot of talk about whether there should be Christmas Day games. But the way I see it this - this is part of what I signed up and I see it as a privilege being able to cover a game of national importance. I covered Christmas with my family last week and still was able to find time to go to services last night. Growing up, I watched all the Christmas Day games between presents and dinner because I loved hoops and I watched it with my dad and brothers, This is certainly a dream come true

MIAMI HEAT THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BE FACING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyKgaeAoa-g&feature=related

MIAMI HEAT BE AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BE VERY AFRAID!!!!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IfIOswZa1o&feature=related SIMPLY THE BEST

MARK MEDINA, BLOG GOD, The Lakers Nation owe you a debt of gratitude for all you have done to hold this Lakers Nation together and improve it exponentially. Your value to the Lakers Nation is beyond measure. Surely if there is such a thing as a Blog MVP you are it without a doubt. So on behalf of the Lakers Nation I not only say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family but THANK YOU FCM/MM/BLOG GOD!! SO SAY WE ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH by the way MM, that little matter of the ASG and Justa...Make it So!!!
LOL!

WHO THE HELL ARE WE!! ALL TOGETHER:
We’re the World Champion LA Lakers , we’ve won (16) Rings
(10) of the 50 Greatest players played under our wings
We’re on Lakers Dynastiy Number (4) and counting by the way
We have more Dynasties than others have Titles in the NBA
Best Winning Percentage in History is part of Laker Lore
You want Hall of Fame Coaches, Check it we’ve had (Four)
Weve appeared in Half of all the Finals there have ever Been
We’re the Freakin LA Lakers and all we do is Win baby WIN!
We got the (2) Time Finals MVP, Black Mamba Kobe Bryant
He scored more points than an entire team without even trying
He scored 81 points in a game & could have scored More
But Rings not number of points is what Mamba plays for.
With Pau Gasol lending The Mamba a helping hand
The Lakers will continue going to that Finals promised land
We got a man giving up his Championship Ring for Charity
Ron Artest, Great basketball Player & Human Being is He
We got The Logo Jerry West & 1st Great center George Mikan
The Legendary Elgin Baylor & Magic Johnson the Icon.
We’ve had all the great centers like Shaq, Wilt & Kareem
Super Stars Worthy, Goodrich & Silk played on the Laker Team
Karl Malone & Gary Payton, A glove & Mailman we just Leased
(11) time Title Winning HOF Coach, who mastered Zen in the East
Chick Hearn the Broadcasting Legend, Broadcasted Lakers Games
Now he’s Broadcasting from Heaven & is in the Hall of Fame
We got Sports Winningest & Best HOF Owner, Kudos Dr. Jerry Buss
We play for Rings & Rings only , which is why teams FEAR US
That’s just a summary of our Resume, we don’t talk we Do.
We’re The Freakin Champion LA Lakers, Who the Hell are You

***.................WE GOT THIS Rev.2.0
The swagger is back and so is the Style, this dynasty just might last for a little while
With back to Back Titles a 3-peat we can’t miss, As Justa says, WE GOT THIS!!!
No more talk about where is Ariza, Be damn glad that we have The “Thrillah”
Never again question the Heart of Gasol, The Finals gave an answer to all yall
Pau has finese, sure you right, But he damn sure don’t back down from any fight
So if any Lakerholics are still nervous, Tell them what we got Justa : “ WE GOT THIS”
The Heat are all talk just look in their eyes We gone leave them shocked & surprise
We ready for The Heat, ready and how , The Lakers gone leave their @zz with Shock & AWE
With a lineup of Kobe, Pau, Thrillah and Dfish, Even a fool knows that WE GOT THIS
Enjoy this season I say to you, When it’s over History will be written anew
This is the most together team the Lakers ever had, If you don’t like it To Freakin Bad
Maybe being a Lakerholic is not for you, for each blogger that leaves theBlog gains two
Best Blog, Best Owner, Best Player, Best Team, Fabulous pinch me, this must be a dream
A player who donates his ring for his fellow man, This only happens here in Laker Land
This Lakers team feel me with Bliss, OK let me hear it everybody: WE GOT THIS
So savor this season like it’s made of gold, years from now tales of this season will be told
Appreciate what you got in Kobe Bryant, A once in a lifetime true Basketball Giant
Also appreciate the LakersBlog Family, Don’t know about you but it means a lot to me
No other Season will match up to This , I have to smile cause I know that WE GOT THIS
Finally to Lakers Nation MERRY CHRISTMAS, Tell them why Justa WE GOT THIS!!!

Watching the Magic and Celtic's game, appears the Magic's are playing 5 on 8. The Ref's are pathetic.

Hope We get a little love from these BOZO's.

This Magic-Celtics game is making my eyes bleed. Truly ugly basketball from both teams.

I was hoping the Celtics-Magic game was going to be a fun to watch, but I guess I'm not a fan of watching a combination of basketball and Mixed Martial Arts, which is what you get every time you watch the Celtics. Some things never change.

Mamba24

Sir please note the following exchange between JAMF and 888

888 and keen -

Come on you guys. You're both great fans and love the Lakers. Can't you see that you merely have a different way of approaching your fandom? You can agree to disagree, right? The things you both (and we all) have in common are what really matter - we love this team and want them to win.

Simple.

Posted by: justanothermambafan | December 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM
=====

Justa

Are you KIDDING me! You don't only insult me by lumping me in with him, you insult yourself and all Lakers fans. Nope. Until he reveals himself, he will be met with my rebuttals to his constant negative attacks.

P.S.- I don't agree to disagree on anything. I either agree or I disagree.


Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 23, 2010 at 12:23 PM

_________________________

So Mamba, when I say "all I want for Christmas is for JAMF not to insult herself or Laker fans"

Of course I'm saying it in a "defending her honor" way. The "wink wink" should have been your first clue.

You should know me by now, whenever I have an issue with anyone I speak out and it's over (usually anyway). I'm not like some who can't let things go.

I will always defend You, JAMF, or anyone who is wronged or disparaged.

Merry Christmas

TM



The celtics are finding a way to win. Hope we can win ugly too.

Yeah, baby, it's the mamba24 show in here today!

Great, we get to hear the two idiots jvg and mark Jackson all game long.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!

Oddly enough I had a dream last night in which Kobe Bryant came to me for advice. I told, "Just be yourself, because the best is who you are... and that's enough."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

By the way, the latest hatred for LeCreep in Cleveland comes from LeCreep's recent statements that the league should downsize and do away with some small market teams (which could be interpretted to include Cleveland).

People aren't happy about it.

Cleveland will be rooting for the Lakers on Christmas Day.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

REPOST… MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY...
………………………………………………………………………..

DON’T KID YOURSELF, THE GAME MATTERS
………………………………………………………………………..

Kobe and the Lakers may say that tomorrow’s Christmas day matchup against the Heat is just 1 game out of 82 games and KobeMVP888 may be right that the regular season is just for practice and for determining seeding for the real games but something tells me that this time this game really matters. Something tells me that Kobe and the Lakers are going to come out and dominate the Miami Heat.

The Lakers may act like tomorrow is just business but anybody who has watched Kobe Bryant over his career knows that this time it’s personal. It’s about respect. It’s about showing the upstart Heat and other budding super teams that the road to the NBA championship goes through LA and not Miami. It’s about proving once again that Kobe and the Lakers are the best player and best team in the NBA. And like it or hate it, it’s about the Lakers flipping the switch and playing championship basketball.

While the Lakers may be blasé about all the attention the national sports media has paid to Miami and their Big 3, you know down deep they resent the lack of respect shown the back-to-back champs.
And while winning tomorrow’s matchup doesn’t guarantee that the Lakers will win the championship, it will restore the Lakers to their rightful role as the favorite and cast even more doubt to the Heat.

It’s pretty obvious now that the loss to the Bucks was directly due to the Lakers looking ahead to tomorrow’s game against the Heat. I also find it astonishing how the trolls and doubters have much of the blog buying their gloomy doom to the point where bloggers are actually starting to make excuses why losing tomorrow’s game won’t matter. The truth is losing to the Bucks Tuesday night didn’t matter. Beating the Heat tomorrow does matter, which is why the Lakers will come to play.

Bandwagon jumpers and faithless fans need to remember that nothing has changed. The matchups still favor the Lakers. We will pack the paint and force LeBron and Wade to become jump shooters. Kobe will be the player of the game with a triple double. Drew, Pau, and Lamar who will control the paint and the boards and dominate the Miami front court. The Lakers will win in a runaway rout.
………………………………………………………………………..

TOM

Match ups? Did the match ups not favor the Lakers when we lost to the Bucks and Denver and Phoenix and many of the other teams that beat us?

@MM… ROFLMAO. That was an inspired post. I am still laughing. I especially loved the idea of Ron telling LeBron that he finally had won a championship ring. Second best was chalk dust in the face. Merry Christmas, Mark. And thanks again for all the hard work, good decisions, and love for your job. You’ve made the best sports blog in the world even better than it was before your arrival.
…………………..

TOM

LakerTom- Nice REPOST, I agree this game does matter.

Holy, I can not watch this celtics and magic game. How is it possible that Dwight Howard has 3 pts? Heat should easily be winning.. Jeez.

Can't wait for 2pm.. I hope this game doesn't overlap it.

keen observer

Merry Christmas!

If we can limit LeBron to 3 points we win this game. I would take the Celtics performance anyday over our play lately.

We need a game day prayer.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

RazdizzlefoShizzle is in da house, and the Boston Celtics fell to the Orlando Magic.....So far, so great for a wonderful Christmas day!

JON K My brother Merry Christmas to you and your family. Yes we do need a game day prayer. We also need to know if that Lucky bar stool is close at hand. LOL! Been a good year my brother, for all that you do for the Blog Thank You!! Carry On!!!
*
Laker Tom my other Idol, nice repost sir. How are those 3 generations of LakerFans doing? Laker Tom you are one of the Foundations of this Blog and I'd like to thank you for welcoming me to it and doing so much to make it like a family. To you and the 3 Generations of LakerFans MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy Holidays!!
*
@MAGIA32,Merry Christmas sir. May you and your family have a wonderful Holiday season.!!!
*
@DIANDRA, Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!
*
RADIZZLEFOSHIZZLE, Merry Christmas to you and your family sir!!
*
@TrollMan, My Bad sir! You have my apology! Thanks for keeping the Blog honest over the years. To you and your family Happy Holidays.
*
@KEEN OBSERVER, Happy Holidays to you and yours!
*
@KOBEMVP888, Happy Holidays my brother. I hope you are as tenacious in court as you are on the Blog. You can represent me anytime sir! Thanks for all you do in making the Blog what it is. May you and your Family have a blessed Holiday season.
*
@SCOTT, Merry Christmas to you and your Family my brother.


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