Not even Alonzo Mourning giving his Heat salary to charity is enough to spare Peter Vescey’s wrath. From today’s New York Post.

HEAT vs. NETS: Only someone more cynical than myself would dare to suggest the league gave Miami an extra day to begin this series in deference to Shaquille O’Neal’s thigh bruise and ABC’s (to name one nitwork) sagging ratings.

Had to love the “moxie” of Lawrence Frank’s Nets in season-ending gift wrapped win, especially since there was no way on God’s (A.C.) Green Earth the Raptors would do anything to help Vince Carter get into playoffs.

Nets get Richard Jefferson back, though with Carter putting up points like pre-knee Bernard King, I’m not so sure that’s all positive. Only Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and, of course, Stephon Marbury are savvy and strong-willed enough to keep so many egos satisfied.

I always knew Z(er)o would wind up back in New Jersey. “Heartwarming” does not begin to express my innards

PISTONS vs. SIXERS: The Larry Brown Invitational. Somebody better be prepared to come to his emotional rescue. If squaring off against Allen Iverson isn’t arousing enough, I’m informed Brown is distraught he wasn’t considered for Pope; says it’s been his dream job since he was a kid.

Defending champs hit second season second to none, winning 11 in a row before insignificant last-game loss at Charlotte. Detroit even managed to get Darko Milicic (above) rough and ready, starting each (a first) of last two games and getting 30 minutes. Say this much about Darko, his team has made the playoffs both of his seasons. Joe Dumars deserves a lot of credit for for not trading up and taking LeBron James.

For his part, Allen Iverson has promised to attend all Pistons practices. Philly quietly won eight of last 10, including three of four on the road.

That doesn’t faze Brown in the least: “I’d say right now we match up well with anyone . . . except for Argentina.”