Miami Heat

The Heat isn’t slowing down even with playoff berth locked up

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shouts instructions during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Atlanta. Miami won 115-86.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shouts instructions during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Atlanta. Miami won 115-86. AP

Welcome to Bulletin Board, the Miami Herald’s weekday roundup covering everything in the South Florida sports scene. A lot to talk about today. Let’s get right to it.

Heat rests key players, still dominates Hawks

Wednesday showed just what the Heat can do when it’s at its prime.

And the Heat wasn’t even at full force.

Even with Miami resting three pivotal players in Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade and James Johnson, the Heat had no problem drubbing the Atlanta Hawks 115-86 in Atlanta. It was the Heat’s most lopsided win of the season. Kelly Olynyk led the Heat with 19 points, and Wayne Ellington set an NBA record in the process.

With three games left in the regular season, the Heat holds a half game lead over the Wizards and Bucks for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Next up for the Heat: a Friday night road game against the Knicks. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

A closer look at Robert Quinn

He has overcome a brain tumor and already has seven productive NFL seasons.

But Robert Quinn, one of the newest Dolphins obtained in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, is ready for the next chapter of his career. The Dolphins plan to use Quinn, 27, as a hand-in-the-dirt edge rusher, a role he excelled in during his time with the Rams before they switched him to linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

He also wants to prove to the Rams that they made a mistake in trading him.

“All it takes is for someone to rub you the wrong way one time and you keep moving,” Quinn said. “I’ve got a new family down here in Miami, and that’s all I’m concerned about.”

Panthers continue playoff hunt

Fresh off a 2-1 win on Tuesday, the Florida Panthers have another must-win game on hand Thursday when they face the Boston Bruins.

With three games left in the regular season, the Panthers are still facing an uphill climb as they try to squeeze into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. A look at how the Panthers can clinch a playoff spot can be found here.

The Bruins won’t be an easy opponent, though. They defeated the Panthers 5-1 on Saturday in one of Florida’s most lopsided losses since the All-Star break. And don’t forget: The Panthers and Bruins will meet again on Sunday to close out the regular season.

Farewell, Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker IV played a pivotal role for the University of Miami men’s basketball team as a freshman. On Wednesday, he announced his first year would be his last.

Walker will enter the 2018 NBA Draft and is hiring an agent, which means he will not retain his collegiate eligibility. He is projected to be a potential lottery pick.

Walker’s farewell message, in part: “The University of Miami exceeded my expectations. From school, sports, the environment and last but not least, the Canes fans. This city has welcomed me with open arms and supported me at my lowest of lows, but also my highest of highs.”

Two other UM players have declared for the draft — sophomores Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell — but neither has hired an agent, giving each an out to return to school.

More news from the South Florida sports scene

Miami Dolphins

▪ There’s one key factor the Dolphins need to figure out to improve their future (hint: the Patriots do it well).

NFL Draft

▪ Could the Dolphins trade up in the first round? One ESPN analyst thinks so.

▪ The latest NFL Draft spotlight: UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen

▪ A closer look at how the Dolphins are approaching the tight ends in this year’s draft class

Miami Marlins

▪ This is what the Marlins hoped for when they asked this pitcher to top their rotation.

▪ The Marlins didn’t play at Marlins Park on Wednesday. Instead, it served as the ballpark for Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Coral Springs.

Miami Hurricanes

▪ The Hurricanes landed another top commitment, who called UM “home.”

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