Greg Cote

Heat, Panthers are at top South Florida sports topics

1. HEAT

Miami closes out home schedule still jockeying for playoff position: Heat plays home finale Sunday then ends with two on road still unsure of playoff foe. Meantime, Hassan Whiteside says he won’t campaign for defensive player of year while mentioning he has more blocks than a Toys ’R Us.

2. PANTHERS

Regular season done, Cats await playoffs: Cats might not know until late Sunday if they’ll host the Rangers or Islanders in a Game 1 that would be no earlier than Thursday. But this is known: Florida — unlike the entire country of Canada — is competing for the Stanley Cup.

3. MARLINS

Fish try to bounce back from rough start: An 0-2 start at home and end of Jose Fernandez’s record 17-game Marlins Park win streak wasn’t the launch Miami hoped for, especially facing six road games in a row. But the one certainty thus far is that team’s broadcasts really miss Tommy Hutton.

4. GOLF

Final round of Masters rolls Sunday at Augusta: World’s No. 2 golfer and top American Jordan Spieth led the way entering weekend. He might be The Next Tiger. Meanwhile, the Original Tiger, who last won a major in 2008 and still is out injured, can only watch as golf moves on without him.

5. EQUESTRIAN

World-class show jumping ends in Miami Beach: Thousands will swarm Miami’s ocean sands Sunday for the finish of the Global Champions Tour of Olympic-style show jumping. I’m betting on Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani, a Qatar royal, because I hear his family bought the event to assure he’ll win.

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