Sunday might be the biggest sports day ever in the city of Indianapolis, with the momentum-infused Indiana Pacers hosting a home playoff game the same day as the Indianapolis 500 for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, among Heat fans back in Miami, the mood is somewhat less celebratory.
Panic and doubt do not a party make.
Chris Bosh said, “Our backs are against the wall, and I think this is what we need right now.”
Oddly, he might be right.
The Big 3-era Heat was forged from this kind of doubt. First, everybody outside of Miami hated LeBron James and nobody thought he and Dwyane Wade could coexist. Then critics branded the whole thing a failure when a championship wasn’t won that first year. Last season at this time, doubts resurfaced as the Heat trailed in each of its past three playoff rounds.
Now? An NBA Eastern Conference finals tied 1-1 with the next two games in Indiana has more than just Heat fans wringing hands. It’s a holiday for all the old doubters. “Turning point?” asked the ESPN.com headline. Is there “an Eastern shift of power?”
Me, I think all of the consternation is premature and that everything will be just fine.
Unless the Heat loses Game 3 on Sunday.
Then I’ll get back to you.• It’s Memorial Day weekend in America, a time of somber reflection in which we honor our fallen war heroes the best way we know how: with booze-soaked barbecue parties.
• Wade made a surprise appearance to the delight of a local teen who had asked him to be her prom date. Everyone was thrilled, with the possible exception of the boy who actually was her prom date.
• James was the only unanimous choice on the All-NBA first team and it was barely news. As the Pacers’ George Hill said Friday night, “There’s only one person scarier than him. That’s God.”
• Answer: Thunder star Kevin Durant donating $1 million to Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. Question: For real, what NBA player stood tallest this week even though he wasn’t even playing?
• ESPN set a noon kickoff for UM’s Sept. 7 home football game against Florida, though UM lobbied for a night game and Canes fans are upset over the early start. Seriously? Ever hear Packers fans whine about snow?
• The Pittsburgh Penguins were the first NHL team to reach the conference finals. I don’t wanna say the Stanley Cup playoffs take a long time, but the players’ playoff beards are now floor length.
• No horse racing Triple Crown again after Oxbow won last week’s Preakness. I had an idea to finally end the long Triple Crown drought, but officials rejected my idea to let Miguel Cabrera be a jockey.
• Defenders Reshad Jones and Randy Starks missed a Dolphins workday related to contract matters, and local reporters did their best to pretend a guy missing a practice in May was a big deal.
• Answer: Las Vegas puts the Dolphins’ projected over/under line for 2013 wins at 7.5. Question: Any concern Dolfans have gotten too excited by the team’s offseason moves?
• The Dolphins’ FinsWeekend fundraiser was held. Highlight was a tie between the $700,000 raised for local charities and Lauren Tannehill
Don Shula finished fifth in an ESPN greatest-NFL-coach poll, after the network rejected Miami’s idea to reword the question, “Who is the greatest coach to have a Perfect Season?”• Ray Lewis plans to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next month, after previously doing the metaphorical equivalent in his life and career.
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): Receiver Plaxico Burress, who spent 20 months in prison on a gun charge, has come out with a line of luxury men’s socks.
• St. Louis signed undrafted offensive lineman Terrell Brown, who is 6-10 and 403 pounds. “Finally! Somebody who’s slower than me,” Manti Te’o said.
The French Open is under way, with Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal the defending champs. Nadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic appear on the same half of the bracket. That’s what happens when you put Roger Federer in charge of the draw.• UM baseball hoped to attract an NCAA regional host’s role on the strength of its performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Wild guess that 10-0 and 7-1 losses weren’t what coach Jim Morris had in mind.
• The Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery for next month’s top draft pick. Owner Dan Gilbert and his son credit their lucky bowties. I think I’d rather be unlucky.
• Charlotte’s awful NBA team is changing its name from Bobcats back to Hornets in an effort to avoid creditors.
• The Marlins, who have lost nine games by shutout and are 0-12 at home with the roof closed, signed a reliever with perfect surname for a team at the bottom of standings: Duane Below.
• Alex Rodriguez sold his Miami waterfront mansion for $30 million. Reminds me of my own house, other than his being 51,000 square feet bigger and having nine bedrooms, 11 baths and a zen garden.
• Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt says in a new book he once was homophobic but isn’t now. I don’t care about that. I’m too busy wondering how a mediocre middle reliever gets a book deal.
• Sergio Garcia made a “fried chicken” reference to needle Tiger Woods as their discord escalated, rendering Garcia guilty of both a racist comment and a lame cliché.
• David Beckham is retiring. What a big, big loss for the sport of underwear modeling.
• Golf is outlawing those long, anchored putters that many pros use. I wish golf would outlaw the putter I use that’s always three-putting greens.
• Parting thought: The Reds’ Aroldis Chapman blew a save after reportedly eating 18 Cuban pastries before the game. Chapman later tested positive for a PDG, performance-diminishing guava.
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and on Instagram/upsetbird.