If you’re going to South Beach…

… make sure to read any and all posted signs in a parking lot, then go and look for hidden signs so you avoid the fate that befell myself and a colleague tonight. Apparently towing cars is a fairly popular –and lucrative — activity down here.

Anyway, Elliott is off this week on a well-deserved vacation, so I’ll be taking you through the week. As you’ve guessed, I’ve started this trip out on a high note…At least the weather is an upgrade over the arctic blast we’ve had out in LA the last few days.

After an extended set of games against a dreadful set of teams, the Lakers say they’re happy to be out on the road and facing some superior competition. Fortunately, the Knicks gave them a run for their Monday on Tuesday, which brought out some fight and fire in them.

To win on the road though, they’ll really have to turn up the defensive intensity.

First up on this trip is the Miami Heat, the Dwyane Wade-led bunch which reminds some people of the Lakers of a few years ago

The Lakers landed here in Miami Thursday afternoon and the quarter of the team that’s sick tried to catch some rest and recover from the bug that’s been going around the locker room.

Pau Gasol, who missed Tuesday’s game against the Knicks with strep throat, made the trip but it’s not certain whether he’ll be able to go Friday against the Heat.

Kobe Bryant, on the other hand, was a bundle of energy. Bryant made a surprise appearance at Dillard High in Ft. Lauderdale Friday night to meet with Florida’s 2007-08 boys’ state championship basketball team.

Dillard’s basketball team is one of the premier programs in the state of Florida, garnering four titles in a row from 2001 – 2004, and again this past season.

Kobe does a bunch of these type of events at high schools around the country as part of his community outreach efforts.

Anyway, if I was smart I’d try and convert over to East Coast time now and head for bed. I’ll have an update on Pau Gasol’s status before the game tommorrow.

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