Let the hype begin!

The buzzer was still ringing Tuesday night (or so it seemed, anyway) and the questions started flying about the Lakers’ matchup Saturday with the Miami Heat. This is bound to be the most-hyped regular-season game in the NBA since, well, ever. Leave it to Ron Artest to plea for a little reality check after the Lakers’ loss Tuesday to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“The fans, they dictate,” Artest explained. “The fans set the trends. The street sets the trends. The street dictates. This is what they’ve dictated (that the Lakers-Heat matchup has some extra sizzle). The media senses something. The media will follow what the fans are saying. It’s something the media and the fans think is important and it’s exciting. The fans think it deserves a lot of hype. But as players, you’ve got to play the game.”