Heat players watched last nights Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics Game 7 with a clear rooting interest they would never admit Miami thoroughly dominates the Sixers but knowing either opponent would be a huge underdog in the NBA Eastern Conference finals starting here Monday night.
Celtics or Sixers? Thats like telling a hungry pit bull he gets the toy poodle or the shih tzu. Fine with either, thanks. No wrong answer.
The Heat owns the 76ers, with an 11-1 record vs. Philly the past two seasons including a first-round playoff sweep last year. The Sixers are younger, healthier and more athletic than Boston and also are blessed with a strong bench. What they are not is a team with any individual players who really scare you. Miami matches up exquisitely with Philadelphia, which is so offensively challenged that 76ers often reflects their point total.
Boston? The Celtics won the season series with Miami, 3-1, yeah, but dont let that fool you. The wheezing Leprechauns are old, hobbled and dont have the athleticism to run with MVP LeBron James and red-hot Dwyane Wade in a long series. Kevin Garnett still leads the NBA in scowling (the Alonzo Mourning Cup) but otherwise is a man in decline, as are limping Paul Pierce and the ghost of Ray Allen. Rajon Rondo must take over games for the Celtics to have any chance vs. the Heat.
No matter who won last night, then, the next opponent didnt figure to give the Heat even as much trouble as the recently dispatched Pacers.
Celtics or Sixers? No problem.
Thats like telling me Ill get either steak or lobster. And Im fat n hungry.
• Random Evidence is happy to return from a weeks hiatus. I spent the time off angrily yelling at my boss in the hopes it would work for me like it did for D-Wade.
• As Dolphins return to practice field on Tuesday, owner Stephen Ross said he thinks Matt Moore will start at quarterback this year, at odds with coach Joe Philbins call for an open competition with Moore, veteran David Garrard and top rookie Ryan Tannehill. Seems whenever Ross opens his mouth publicly, clarifications follow.
• Urban Beach Weekend is happening in Miami this long Memorial Day weekend. Or, as I like to call it based on all the rapper-wannabes: Beach Blanket Blingo.
• The Volvo Ocean Race yachts departed Miami after 11 days in port off Bicentennial Park, and not a moment too soon. Id just about overdosed on breathless media prose reverently romanticizing the trials and travails of Heroic Man vs. Raging Sea, every story inspiring me to go out and book a cruise ship.
• That reminds me. The Volvo in-port race in Miami was won by Abu Dhabi. Not sure if thats the name of a boat, a country or a person, but congratulations.
• The underappreciated French Open is getting under way. The bigger tennis majors, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, tease the French Open mercilessly whenever they get together. Its how bullying started.
• Also now under way: the WNBA, for those basketball fans seeking a calming, sedative-like break from the excitement of the NBA playoffs.
• Miami Beach police arrested the Knicks J.R. Smith for an invalid drivers license. He should have been arrested for his first-round performance against the Heat.