Welcome to Bulletin Board Material, the Miami Herald’s weekday roundup covering everything in the South Florida sports scene. A lot to discuss from the weekend. Let’s get right to it.
Can the Heat take Game 2?
This wasn't how the Miami Heat wanted to open its NBA playoff run.
What started as a back-and-forth game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night quickly became a blowout. Philadelphia outscored Miami by 31 in the second half to take Game 1 130-103 at the Wells Fargo Center.
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All around, the Heat had questions. Hassan Whiteside, Miami's $98 million center, was a non-factor even with the 76ers' Joel Embiid sidelined. Whiteside's final statline: 2 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 12 minutes and 26 seconds. He did not play in the final 20 minutes of the game. The Heat acknowledged Whiteside needs to become "a force" if it wants to win the series.
Philadelphia, with veteran JJ Redick and rookie Ben Simmons as the focal points, utilized its speed to dismantle the Heat in Game 1. Redick scored a game-high 28 points and Simmons was a rebound away from a triple-double.
Overall, the Heat showed it has a lot of work to do if it wants to win four of the next six games against the red-hot 76ers and move on to the next round.
Defending the three-point line, contesting shots, improving ball movement, maximizing the potential out of the starting lineup.
That needs to start on Monday when Game 2 of the best-of-7 series tips off at 8 p.m. Otherwise, the Heat will enter the home portion of the series down 2-0, a dangerous predicament for any team in the playoffs.
Standouts from UM spring game
Watch out, Hurricane fans. There are a lot of new faces that could make an impact this season.
Even with a quarterback battle between incumbent starter Malik Rosier and redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry headlining the event, the early enrollees stole the show at Hard Rock Stadium on the one night fans could see their team live during the spring.
A couple standouts in particular: wide receiver Brian Hightower and defensive end Greg Rousseau.
Hightower caught four passes for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one from fellow early enrollee Jarren Williams and the other from Perry.
Rousseau recorded three sacks to continue a dominating spring.
The Hurricanes wrap up spring with three more practices this week, culminating with a scrimmage closed to the public and media on Saturday.
Marlins still looking for first series win
The series started so promising.
A 7-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Fridayfueled by callup JB Schucklooked like it might be enough to lift the Marlins to their first series win of the season.
Alas, it was not. The Marlins dropped the final two games of the series in different ways.
On Saturday, it was the Pirates scoring on a a go-ahead pop-up bunt in the ninth for the 1-0 decision. On Sunday, it was a third-inning meltdown from starter Jose Urena that resulted in Miami's 7-3 defeat.
And the road isn't getting easier for the Marlins, who now embark on a 10-day, nine-game road trip against the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers.
More news and notes
▪ The Miami Dolphins conditioning program that starts today is voluntary, but here's why attendance is important.
▪ Danny Amendola explains why he left New England (Hint: It involves Bill Belichick)
▪ Frank Gore has a plan to mentor Kenyan Drake.
▪ Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen showed Saturday that he wants to make football fun again in Gainesville.