NBA ahead: Miami plays at New Orleans on Friday


Friday, 5 p.m. PDT. TV: None.

I know, this is sickening, but if you haven’t been driven off by Heat Hype — USA Today just started “Heat Wave” to counter ESPN’s “Heat Index” — this will be an interesting test.

Miami’s opener at Boston was 10 on a scale of 10 in difficulty, with the defense-savvy Celtics waiting to tear the Heat limb from limb. This is more like an 8.5.


The Hornets aren’t one of the big teams that can overpower Miami but they have Chris Paul, who’s 6 feet tall and may be more dominating than LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard or Kobe Bryant.

It’s also one of Miami’s toughest matchups in a stretch of schedule in which its game Sunday at New Jersey is the only other one on the road of the next nine.

— Mark Heisler