The NBA playoffs are commonly considered the real season. The 82 regularly scheduled games serve as a seeding process, although tonight's 7:30 scrimmage versus the New York Knicks has a tinge of drama because back when the Knicks were a pro-level team, the Heat had something of a rivalry with them. (Remember the bench-clearing brawl during which Alonzo Mourning body-slammed Charlie Ward?) These days this is a battle between the best and the worst. Zo is back, and Gary Payton -- nearing Social Security status -- also returns. It might be up to these bench players because, as NBA champions, the Heat likely will find it mighty difficult to get motivated during the pre-playoff season, especially this early on. It might also be difficult for fans to find motivation to cheer on the champs, especially considering that parking across the street from American Airlines Arena is now going for $30. Yikes. Take public transportation and acquire tickets for $10 to $350 (even the cheapest tix come with an astonishing $5.50 service charge). Call 305-577-HEAT, or visit www.heat.com.
Fri., Nov. 17