1) Solid, strong win - it's always satisfying to beat the Lakers. Down the stretch of regulation, Miami watched a seven point lead ripped away from them by a series of almost bizarrely ridiculous calls, and the game threatened to be the most aggravating loss since, well, since the last Lakers game. I don't think we complain much about the refereeing here, honestly, but, man, it is tough to get a call against the Lakers in crunch time. Instead, Miami pulled it out in overtime. The Heat are 31-31 now - only twenty games left, jeez. 12-8 goes to the playoff; anything else leaves the door open. That's the goal, 12-8. Let's run down the heroes of the night, followed by a movie review at # 6. I mean, that's how we do!
2) Hero # 1: The President, Quentin Richardson. Let me ask you a question: Have you seen the follow up to Spike Lee's, ummm, "smash hit" documentary "Kobe Doin' Work" from a couple of years ago? Wait, let's back it up a minute - has anyone actually even seen "Kobe Doin' Work?" Okay, that's okay, no problem, because the sequel, "QRich Doin' Work...in Kobe's Mug," is even better! Ron Artest took the defensive assignment on Dwyane Wade most of the night - more on that in a second - leaving Kobe on Quentin...annnnnnnd Quentin went off! 25 points on 7-11 triples, including one huge rip from the right wing with 20 seconds to go that gave the Heat a 2 point lead - Kobe was late on the closeout. Pres also had 5 boards and 3 steals. He was doin' it all.
3) Hero # 2: Carlos Arroyo. Did get the start in place of the benched Rafer Alston. Carlos is slow, not even quick, really; can't jump; and isn't particularly strong. But he is clever, and can run the offense, and knock down the mid-range jumper. On a two-on-one in the first half with Wade against Ron Artest, with Artest playing the percentages and playing for Wade to shoot, Carlos skipped by the Insane One and scooped the ball right in the basket - clever, veteran play. So many guys would have tried to force feed Dwyane. Also okey-doked Derek Fisher on a big fourth quarter play, earned himself two free throws. Knocked down a huge jumper from the top of the key late when the Lakers played off him. Best game - easily - of the year for Carlos. He finished with 17 points on 6-7 shooting, with 5 assists, and zero turnovers.
4) Hero # 3: Dwyane Wade. Down the stretch, Miami cleared out the top and let him go to work on Ron Artest. Artest tried giving him space, but Wade was around him in one step every time, in the teeth, and creating wide open shots for teammates. Two jumpers for Haslem, the huge three by Q, the jumper by Arroyo, a flip to Jermaino for a layup. He was outstanding: 14 assists to go with his 27 points. Kobe (39 points) almost matched him play-for-play down the stretch. Almost.
5) Hero # 4: Phil Jackson. Maybe it's just me, but after about the eighth straight time at the end of the fourth quarter or in overtime that Wade went by Ron Artest with the bounce like Artest was bolted to the floor, I would have put Kobe on Wade, and left Artest to stand out next to QRich and hug him, which is Artest's forte anyways. Instead, Wade kept whiplashing Artest, the Lakers ran to help, and other guys got wide open looks. It was almost as if Jackson was trying to win doing things the wrong way just to irk Miami - and by the way, I wouldn't put it past him.
6) Movie Review: Well, I am finished with Nazis for the most part, and am now studying Jewish resistance to Nazis, in Britain. By the way, I am uniquely qualified to do this, being of British and Jewish heritage myself. Also, I’ve been to England. Twice. So I was just about to do some research last night when I flipped around channels and saw that Planet of the Apes was about to start. That’s an automatic watch for me – let’s be honest, it’s the funniest movie of all time. Disappointingly, however, it was the Marky Mark re-make from 2001, not the original Charlton Heston “classic.” I’ve seen the Marky Mark version – all I really remember is that it falls apart at the end, like they ran out of time and money and just had to slap together an ending, even if it didn’t make any sense whatsoever, which it didn’t. Anyways, it’s a great film. The first scene is on a giant spaceship with Marky Mark training his pet monkey, Pericles, how to fly a small space pod. I’m sure “Pericles” is some kind of traveler or explorer from the old days, by the way, but I don’t know who he is. So then Marky Mark gets called to the Captain’s deck, where a beefy white guy – the Captain (not our "The Captain" – another, real captain) – tells him they need to launch Pericles out in one of the pods to go check out an electrical disturbance ahead of them. Marky Mark is dubious – “he’s not ready for this, Captain,” but the Captain is rude and insistent, “He’s the canary and that’s the coal mine: he launches at 1600 hours!” So Marky Mark is furious, and goes steaming off to give Pericles some last words of advice – I’m not even making any jokes about his unnatural affection for the monkey, or anything, but who knows how long they have been out there in space? So Pericles gets launched, and inevitably, within, like, 5 seconds, he is spinning out of control and lost in the electrical disturbance. Marky Mark demands to be sent out after him, but the Captain is, again, insistent, No, we can’t afford to lose another space pod, or a man. Marky Mark, in a classic line that would be approximately fifty times better if Heston spit it, ominously goes, “never send a monkey to do a man’s job…” By the way, I think we are all fairly familiar with the premise of the film, so the foreshadowing was, maybe, a little heavy. Anyways, Marky Mark stands there fuming, and then you can almost see the light bulb go off in his head, and all of a sudden he gets really conciliatory, and he says to the Captain something like, “hey, ahhh, I think I am going to go check out the pod launch station, maybe I can figure out, ummmm, what went wrong with Pericles,” and The Captain has apparently never seen a movie, or read a book, or lived amongst other humans, because he is, like, “oh, sure, great idea – I have total confidence that you aren’t going to get into a space pod and immediately launch yourself into space to go get the monkey,” which of course is exactly what Marky Mark does. Seems amazing that he is able to independently launch himself in the space pod in about ninety seconds, by the way – seems like there would be some kind of dual control, at a minimum. Totally great, though.
I only watched one more scene, but it is the most important one of all – the re-enactment of the Charlton Heston running scene from the original, in which a 60 year old Heston, with an arthritic hip, clearly wheezing from emphysema, and arguably drunk, manages to elude between thirty and seventy monkeys for about twelve straight minutes, even though they have him surrounded in an area the approximate square footage of my living room. It is the greatest action scene of all-time. But in the re-make, the scene isn’t nearly as good. Even though Marky Mark is in outstanding shape, if I do say so myself, these monkeys are like Lawrence Taylor-super freak monkeys, jumping twenty feet in to the air, and running ten times as fast as the old monkeys, and they catch all the humans really easily. Note: I just took a break to tell The Real Captain about this scene. He said, “apes,” I said, “what?” He said, “they’re apes, not monkeys;” I said, “what is the difference,” he said, “well, the movie is called Planet of the Apes, for one thing.” It’s a fair point…
Anyways, I didn’t watch the rest of the movie, but for what I saw, I give it a 9.5 out of 10, missing a perfect score only because Marky Mark doesn’t have a sweet beard like Heston does in the original.
Home Saturday night against the ATL - try to have your mind right for the evening, please.