Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind

Heat certainty, Dolphins uncertainty head big week

 

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Today: Heat playoffs. Milwaukee is the 15th different team Miami has faced in the postseason, and Sunday will begin the club’s 32nd all-time playoff series. Highest Heat individual scoring averages in one postseason:

Average Player Year (Games)
33.2Dwyane Wade2010 (5)
30.3LeBron James2012 (23)
29.1Dwyane Wade2009 (7)
28.4Dwyane Wade2006 (23)
27.4Dwyane Wade2005 (15)

Note: Other Heat players who have averaged 20-plus points in a postseason are, chronologically: Rony Seikaly (1992); Tim Hardaway (1998); Alonzo Mourning (1999, 2000); Wade (2007, 2011, 2012); and James (2011). Club-record average for an individual playoff series is 34.7 by Wade in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks.


What South Florida sports fans are talking about:

1. BOSTON

Americans unite in tragedy after Marathon bombings: It would have been unheard of only a few days earlier, but they played the Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline” at Yankee Stadium, and the symbolism was clear. The terrorists don’t get it and never will. They think their violent acts will tear us apart, but all they do is bring us together.

2. HEAT

NBA playoffs under way as Miami opens title defense vs. Milwaukee: Four first-round series began Saturday and four others begin Sunday, including the defending champion Heat hosting Milwaukee in Game 1. I happened to notice Marlins betting odds to win the World Series are now 1,000-to-1. “We know how you feel,” said Bucks fans.

3. DOLPHINS

NFL Draft in four days as Dolphins ponder needs, options: Mel Kiper & His Fab Hair predict Miami will select Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker with the No. 12 pick Thursdaynight. Media consesus is that Miami might possibly select any of 48 players at nine positions in the first round, meaning nobody knows anything even if none of us wants to admit it.

4. MARLINS

Yup, the team that Loria ruined looks as bad as we feared: The low-payroll, weak-hitting Marlins were 3-13 (worst in the majors) and had been outscored 75-33 entering the weekend series at Cincinnati. Miami is in the midst of a six-game road trip, meaning attendance at Marlins Park on Sunday night will be slightly lower than normal.

5. PANTHERS

Hockey team enters final week of disappointing season: The youthful, injury-wracked Cats had won only 13 of 43 games, worst record in the NHL, entering the final week of this truncated, can’t-end-soon-enough season. If Panthers fans want something to feel good about, it should be that, if not for the lockout, there would still be 38 games left.

gcote@miamiherald.com

Random Evidence is back just in time after a week’s hiatus. I don’t know if Miami’s two most popular teams can intersect on the calendar with much more combined excitement than the defending champion Heat starting the NBA playoffs the same week the Dolphins — finally seen as ascending, as imbued with some momentum — partake of the NFL Draft.

The two teams’ prospects couldn’t feel any more different, though.

The Dolphins’ draft is wrapped in uncertainty. Whom they will select or even what position they will target remains a mystery — perhaps even to the team itself at this point. The large number of picks — 11, including five in the first three rounds — adds intrigue, with a trade up from the 12th spot looming as a big possibility.

Nobody knows what will happen.

With the Heat, conversely, everybody knows what will happen.

Miami is a heavy favorite to repeat as champ, and this first-round series against Milwaukee starting Sunday night is especially full of certainty. The NBA playoffs include 15 deserving teams, plus the Bucks. They went 36-46. Them winning a seven-game series against the Heat is like me winning a footrace against Usain Bolt.

And, sort of like me taunting Bolt with the promise of him eating my vapor trail, Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings has promised a Milwaukee series victory in six games. Jennings recently also had said Miami was the preferred first-round opponent because “we match up well against them.”

Jennings wears jersey No. 3. He also will be identifiable Sunday night as the guy stuck on the bottom of LeBron James’ sneaker, like a wad of gum.

Call it a four-game sweep by Miami. Oh, and I stand to win big, too, by the way. See, I have invested heavily in the inevitable four-word media reference that stands at the ready, just waiting to be let loose into a thousand headlines nationwide:

THE BUCKS STOP HERE!

• Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, in his predraft news conference, meant to say he would not be “pigeonholed” into narrow thinking, but instead said he did not want to “pigeon my hole.” I don’t blame him. I accidentally pigeoned my hole recently, and it was not pleasant.

• The Dolphins were considering giving up a second-round pick in a trade for Chiefs tackle Branden Albert. I might feel as good about this as most fans seem to if I was not aware that Albert has never made a Pro Bowl yet is seeking more money than the Rams gave Jake Long. Hmm.

• NFL schedules came out and show the Dolphins back in prime time three times this year. Quick warning for Americans who haven’t seen the team in awhile: Yes. Yes, that is a funny new logo.

A class-action suit is under way against the NFL over concussions by 4,200 ex-players. It would be a quick trial if I were judge: Did you know football was a violent sport with hard hitting? “Well, yes.” Case dismissed!

The Miami Herald’s online poll to name the 25 most influential figures in Heat history finally ended, with Pat Riley edging Dwyane Wade for the top spot. I was riveted by the fight for 25th place, and suspect Ralphie, the kid who mops up the sweat on the court, of ballot-stuffing.

• The head of a goat was mailed to unpopular Cubs owner Tom Ricketts at Wrigley Field. Don’t get any ideas, Marlins fans!

• I overheard a couple of baseball fans referring to 42. Turned out they were discussing the new movie about Jackie Robinson. At first, I thought they were talking about Marlins attendance.

• The NCAA responded angrily with its own report calling “merit-less” Miami’s motion for an immediate end to the Nevin Shapiro probe with no further punishment. Chances UM will get its wish? Not be discouraging, but think Marlins World Series odds.

• FIU’s new basketball coach is Anthony Evans. The school settled on a regular guy after failing to find another “name” blueblood to lose nonstop like Isiah Thomas or bolt after a year like Richard Pitino.

• Aussie golfer Adam Scott won the Masters in a playoff. I won, too. Before the tournament, on a hunch, I’d invested heavily in “Great Scott!” media references. The Masters is the only time any man other than Uncle Tipsy on St. Patty’s Day is happily seen wearing an ugly green jacket.

•  Tiger Woods’ Masters chances were ruined by a two-stroke penalty for a misplaced ball drop. It was the second-harshest penalty Woods had incurred, trailing only his $110 million divorce settlement.

• The Masters field included 14-year-old amateur Tianiang Guan, the youngest player ever in golf’s biggest event. My greatest accomplishment at 14 was being adept at faking nausea so I could skip school.

•  Serena Williams leads the U.S. Fed Cup team against Sweden this weekend in Delray Beach. At first I thought the person who told me said it was the “Fed Up team” and I wondered why Serena was so mad.

It was announced an eight-team international soccer tournament would culminate Aug. 6-7 in Miami. Teams will include Real Madrid, which is good. I worried they’d try to fool us by sending Fake Madrid.

•  Parting thought: The Marlins are struggling to attract fans. There is one sure-fire way to draw bigger crowds, but the club has thus far rejected my idea to have owner Jeffrey Loria permanently caged in a carnival-style dunk tank on the main concourse.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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