1) Live, from Detroit: Welcome to 2004's Greatest Hits! Including all the classics, like: Jermaine O'Neal! Ben Wallace! Rip Hamilton! Rafer Alston! Jamal Magloire! Quentin Richardson! Tayshaun Prince! Chucky Atkins! First team to 70 wins!
2) Mike Beasley missed the game with a hyperextended right knee. Forty seconds in to the game, Jermaine O'Neal hyperextended his left knee and hobbled to the locker room. After his first quarter stint, Udonis Haslem put on his warmup jacket, and strapped a heating pack to his back with an athletic bandage large enough to wrap King Tut. Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade sat out the entire 2nd quarter with back spasms. While he was doing so, backcourt replacement Mario Chalmers severely sprained his thumb, played two possessions holding his left hand in his right - while dribbling - then sat out the balance of the game. First game of eleven out of thirteen on the road, struggling to maintain its place in the playoff standings, it looked like the Heat were going to take a bad loss, to a bad team, in a building filled with substantial bad memories for them...
3)...except for this: they went out and got it. It started on the defensive end with Rafer Alston. Skip locked down Piston Dwyane Wade-wannabee Rodney Stuckey (4 pts on 1-6). Then he locked down Piston leading scorer Richard Hamilton (8 pts on 4-14). Then he locked up notorious Heat killer Ben Gordon (10 points on 3-6). Then, for good measure, went back on Stuckey, rose up and viciously blocked his runner from behind, putting an exclamation point on one of the better defensive games any Heat perimeter player has played in a long time. His numbers didn't look great, or even good - 2 points and 7 assists - but Skip was the best player on the court tonight.
4) Dwyane Wade. Limited by back spasms. Played only the first and third quarters. Could. Only. Move. Like. This. Came. Out. In. The. Third. Quarter. Made. Three. Straight. Triples. Pushed. Heat. Lead. From. Eleven. To. Twenty. Ballgame. 22. Points. In. 24. Minutes.
5) There was a third quarter camera shot of a young tween watching the game in a Heat jersey. Eric Reid said he had met the kid before the game and the kid had told Eric that he was born and raised in Miami, but his dad had recently accepted a new job in Detroit, and moved the family there. !!! The kid said it had been a tough choice - his dad had also had significant offers from companies in Phnom Penh, Gaza City, and Kabul - but they had decided on Detroit due to cheap available housing, and the one-half of one percent chance that Rodney Stuckey might develop into a reasonable facsimile of Dwyane Wade, as the Piston organization has been claiming he will for years.
6) New segment: "Thor Ranks Actors." Today: the Ryans. Ryan Reynolds: "Can't stand him." Ryan Gosling: "He's okay, I guess. I don't think I ever saw The Notebook." Next time: old, anti-Semitic Mel Gibson vs. young, anti-Semitic Mel Gibson.