Heat guard Dwyane Wade on Monday shot down a question from a reporter wondering how much of Wade's style of play he sees in Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.
“None,” Wade said. “I don't see none of my game in him. We're totally different players.”
Wade, however, went on to laud the Thunder's floor general.
“Westbrook is a nightmare to prepare for, for any guard with his athleticism, how quick he is, how athletic he is,” Wade said.
Heat forward LeBron James was just as complimentary of Westbrook and teammate Kevin Durant.
“They're two of the best players in the league,” James said. “You don't even have to (say) at their respective positions. They're just two of the best.”
KENDRICK PERKINS HAS NO REGRETS
After Kendrick Perkins labored through the Thunder's five-game NBA Finals series with the Heat last year, it was revealed that he had played the entire series with of a partially torn groin.
But in the days leading up to the initial regular season rematch, Perkins said he has no regrets about playing injured.
“I was out there so I was trying not to make no excuses,” Perkins said. “Just go out there and do what I do. But I don't have no regrets whatsoever. You never know when you're going to make the Finals again so I try not to take it for granted.”
BOSH WILL PLAY
Miami forward Chris Bosh will play against the Thunder after staying home with a cold for the Heat's previous game against Utah on Saturday.
“I felt like crap,” Bosh said. “I stayed in bed for a couple of days, and I was really thinking about how exciting it would be to play at 100 percent on Christmas. So I kind of kept (this Christmas game) in mind a lot.”
Tipoff between the Thunder and Heat will be at 4:30 p.m. Because the game is televised on ABC, there will be no Fox Sports Oklahoma telecast.
Commentators will be Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Hubie Brown (analyst) and Lisa Salters (sidelines). ESPN Radio commentators will be Kevin Calabro (play-by-play) and Jack Ramsay (analyst).
The Thunder is 4-4 all-time against Miami in the regular season…OKC's next game is Thursday at 7 p.m. against Dallas (12-16) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki (knee surgery) made his season debut Sunday night in a 129-91 loss at San Antonio and finished with eight points and six rebounds in 20 minutes…The Thunder is 2-0 on Tuesdays this season and 8-1 in December.
Thunder guard Kevin Martin donated to the City Rescue Mission’s FeedOKCNow program through his youth foundation.
As part of his $5,000 donation, more than 2,800 meals can be served to children and families in Oklahoma City and will put the City Rescue Mission closer to meeting its goal of providing 675,000 meals by Dec. 31.
The Kevin Martin Youth Foundation works to make life better for children and communities and supports organizations that provide means for children to play organized sports. It also fosters a positive environment where they can learn commitment and discipline.
The City Rescue Mission serves Oklahoma City’s homeless population, providing services such as a shelter, meals, recovery programs and a medical clinic. For more information on the FeedOKCNow program, visit www.feedokcnow.org.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “We've earned this right to play on Christmas. I take it as a good thing. The last time we weren't playing on Christmas we were a bad basketball team.”
BY THE NUMBERS
15 — Number of Christmas Day appearances for Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, the most games played on Christmas Day. Dolph Schayes, Earl Monroe and Shaquille O'Neal each played in 13 Christmas Day games.
22 — Most Christmas day wins by a team: New York Knicks (Lakers have 20).
23 — Number of international players on Christmas Day rosters, representing 16 countries and territories.
29 — Number of All-Stars playing: Lakers (5); Miami (5); Chicago (4); New York (4); Boston (3); Brooklyn (3); Thunder (2); Clippers (2); Denver (1).
48 — This will the 48th Christmas Day appearance for the Knicks, who helped tip off the tradition in 1947. The Los Angeles Lakers will play for the 39th time and the Boston Celtics for the 29th.
215 — Number of countries games will air.
217 — All-time number of Christmas Day games played.