[1) It is Wednesday, May 2. The Heat-Knicks G2 pumpup music: Old-school barroom hip-hop from House of Pain, Jump Around. (Warning: Some of the lyrics might offend the easily offended). 2) Newt Gingrich announced he will formally drop out of the presidential race today, surprising analysts who assumed he'd dropped out weeks ago. 3) The new Brooklyn Nets logo appears at left. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
'LIVE CHAT WEDNESDAY' BIDS NON-TEARY FAREWELL: Join us today 1-2 p.m. for the historic farewell edition of Live Chat Wednesday. The Miami Herald is at least temporarily discontinuing its Q&A Chats, a corporate decision, and that means I'll be clicking my heels like a drunk leprechaun doing the final installment today. I'll be the guy in the middle of the Chat Room wearing the pointy cardboard cone-hat. Click FAREWELL, CHAT to magically transport yourself there today at 1, or to post questions early.
Click on A Little Help? No Help Needed for my latest column. It's on the Heat's championship path clearing with injuries to Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and now Amare Stoudemire, but on a Heat team needing no outside help to look, right now, like the best team in the NBA.
G2: HEAT 104, KNICKS 94: NEW YORK IN MAJOR HOLE AS BIG 3 COMBINE FOR 65 POINTS: Miami taking a big 2-0 series lead up to New York now after G2 Player of the Game Dwyane Wade's 25 points and early spark led Monday night's home win. After the loss the Knicks' Amare Stoudemire cut his left hand when punching the glass case holding a fire extingisher and later was seen boarding the team bus with said hand heavily bandaged, his arm in a sling, his status for Game 3 questionable. Defeat + anger + temper = ugly cocktail. This win was as big for Miami as Game 1 even if the margin was not. The earlier 33-point rout could be brushed off as an aberration. This was a more of a "normal" game, one that found NYK more desperate to have, and yet one the Heat controlled. Nice balance and bench tonight for the Heat, and also a second straight game in which Miami was more dangerous from 3-point land, a supposed Knicks edge in this series. Don't call this first-rounder done. Miami has only held serve. But boarding its flight tonight is a New York squad that surely must know (if not yet admit to itself) that the Heat simply is better. And not by a little. [Original post]: The Knicks' desperation in this series entering tonight's Game 2 here is reflected equally by Miami's 33-point victory in the opener and by the talk now of Jeremy Lin perhaps returning from injury as soon as Game 4 -- as if that's the golden ticket. Funny to me that anybody might think the difference for NYK between Game 1 and winning this series is the exhumation of whatever remains of Linsanity. By the way, I think coaching rarely wins an NBA game and didn't in Game 1, but Erik Spoelstra showed some coaching chops with that new-look defense that utterly stymied Carmelo Anthony, and also with the unleashing of his 3-point guys to open up the floor for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Be interesting to see both teams' adjustments for Game 2. The onus is on you, Knicks coach Mike Woodson. Remember, a suddenly available Isiah Thomas is right around the corner ready to step in. (At halftime, if necessary!) Your thoughts on tonight's game and the series are invited.
A LeBron James highlight reel: Click here for a nice 3 1/2-minute YouTube vid that reminds why LeBron James has been this season's MVP. (Heat announcer Eric Reid should renegotiate to be paid by the exclamation point).
Photos of Heat's Big 3 as kids: Passing this along might be considered mean-spirited of me, insulting to Chris Bosh, in poor taste. But since I grabbed the photo off LeBron James' official Twitter site it means LeBron and therefore the Heat find it amusing, and so my passing it along enjoys the imprimatur of good clean fun. See how that works?
Nike's idiot shoe designer: Nike's Lebron James shoe designer Jason Petrie (the two are pictured) mocked adidas client Derrick Rose after Rose's playoffs-ending knee injury Saturday, Tweeting, "you chose poorly." Perhaps Petrie should awaken to find himself Nike's former shoe designer. Of course the ESPN headline read, 'LeBron's Nike designer jeers Rose after injury,' verifying the media's continuing intention to put LeBron front and center even in controversy he has nothing to do with.
Dolfans give team's draft a grade of B, shading B-plus: I asked, in the prior blogpost, you answered, and Jeff Ireland will like the results. Those grading the Dolphins draft an "A" were at 20.5 percent, "B" 57.3%, "C" 18.1% and "D" 4.1%. That's a strong A-or-B thumbs-up from nearly 80 percent. Poll analysis: Results will play out, of course, but from a fan-perception standpoint this was a successful draft. The fact so many fans were predisposed to be pessimistic or anti-Ireland I think makes the approval that much more impressive.
THE DOLPHINS' PUBLIC PLAY FOR POPULARITY AND...: Two more Dolphin draft thoughts: 1) Selecting QB Ryan Tannehill in the first round, drafting two UM Hurricanes (Olivier Venon, Lamar Miller) and now inviting undrafted QB Jacory Harris in for a tryout all feel like decisions made with mending an unhappy fan base in mind. Doesn't make them bad decisions; you know I was for Tannehill. But I think the franchise is beginning to act with fans in mind in a way it hadn't for years. 2) The new wife of Tannehill (married in January, see photo) continues to be just unbearably perky and cute.
EXCLUSIVE! NFL PLAYERS MIGHT BE HIGH: NFL players voted for the current Top 100 that NFL Network has begun annoucing piecemeal, and in the initial blurt of players rated 91st throgh 100th we see Tim Tebow ranked 95th. Titans RB Chris Johnson is ranked 100th. Teams that would rather have Tebow than Johnson: None that I can think of. (No Dolphins in the first wave. Only Jake Long is a lock to be ranked at all).
MARLINS' ONE-MONTH SUMMARY: OY!: Baseball season has ended its first month and the Marlins' first season in the new ballpark has started off great ... if you don't count the disasterous Muhammad Ali buzzkill Opening Night ceremony, the Ozzie Gullen/Fidel Castro nightmare, and the lack of hitting that has sent the team spiraling into the NL East cellar. On the bright side, the Marlins and their MLB-worst 2-10 road record are away for the next eight straight games.
On David Samson, charity and lying: David Samson, the Marlins' president, recently ran 52.4 miles for charity. Also, Samson recently admitted in The New Yorker that he lied about the team's season-ticket sales in the old stadium (not the first lie Samson's critics would attach to him). Dear Dave: Your charitable side is great. Please take as seriously your credibility as Marlins' president.
LONDON OLYMPICS GIRDS TO THWART TERRORISTS: With the London Olympics less than three months away, some residents of the city have been told they will have British troops and surface-to-air missiles on their rooftops. Ah yes, the Olympics: Celebratring international brotherhood!
GOVERNMENT WASTE IN MIAMI-DADE: People complain (still) about how Miami-Dade couldn't afford to substantially pay for the Marlins' new ballpark. And that's fine. But when you read a story like this -- about 298 brand new vehicles bought by Miami-Dade in 2006-07 and never used -- you are reminded there are things more outrageous in terms of waste and dubious spending.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, PET OWNERS MIGHT BE NUTS: Don't get me wrong. I'm a pet owner (dog, cat). But occasionally I see examples of my kind that make me shake my head. When I see a Pomeranian wearing a designer cardigan, for example. Or when I read a headline like this. (Overheard in dating interview: "But no a-- sniffing on the first date," says the female. "I'm not that kind of dog."
DEAR GREG...: "Your blog's OK but would be better if occasionally you would show a photo of the giant rubber duck that is floating around the world to promote peace. Thank you." Dear reader: OK, but I have to warn you. No way this thing gets past the Somali pirates.
THE LIST: HEAT PLAYOFF SCORING LEADERS: LeBron James' 32-point Game 1 got us wondering what have been Miami's highest individual scoring averages over an entire postseason. The top five:
Average Player Year (Games)
33.2 Dwyane Wade 2010 (5)
29.4 Wade 2009 (7)
29.1 Wade 2006 (23)
27.4 Wade 2005 (15)
26.0 Tim Hardaway 1998 (5)
Note: Others to top a 20-point average have been Wade 24.5 (2011), James 23.7 (2011), Wade 23.5 (2007), Alonzo Mourning 21.6 (1999), Mourning 21.6 (2000) and Rony Seikaly 20.7 (1992).
Click back. Will be updating and adding to this latest blogpost...