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May 09, 2012

Indiana next as Heat eliminate Knicks; plus Heat PA announcer under fire, vote your faith in Spoelstra (with poll), Marlins pitching surge, 2013 mock draft & more

[1) It is Friday, May 11. National Teacher Day was this week. Great teachers are some of the best people on Earth. Thank you Cheryl O'Connor-Place, wherever you are! 2) 800-Pound Bride Fitted For World's Biggest Wedding Gown. 3) Wouldn't want to be John Travolta right now. Here is why. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Pacers await: The Heat will play the Indiana Pacers in the second round, with Game 1 scheduled for Miami this Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Heat apologize for announcer crack: The Heat has apologized after PA announcer Mike Baiamonte said Amare Stoudemire had been "extinguished" from last night's game after he fouled out. The Heat in a statement called it a "lapse of judgement." I thought it was mildly clever and Stoudemire said he wasn't bothered, but it was off-key in the context of the Heat considering itself a class-first organization.

G5: HEAT 106, KNICKS 94: NEXT, PLEASE! SPOELSTRA HAS THE BEST (AND MOST THANKLESS) COACHING JOB IN AMERICA: LeBron James scored 29 points last night and Miami dispatches New York, 106-94, to move onto second round vs. Indiana. Click on Keeping The Doubters At Bay for my column off the game. Click Coach No-Win for my previous 1aa1spocolumn on the Heat's Erik Spoelstra (pictured) as the luckiest and unluckiest coach in the NBA at the same time, and for the same reason. He has the Big 3. If Miami wins the championship it will be because of them; talent rising. If Miami falls short again it will be because, somehow, Spoelstra failed to make it happen. The Heat is the only team in the playoffs not allowed to fall short, and therefore Spoelstra is the only coach who must win. The players profess confidence in the man they call "Spo." But do fans? Do you? Express your level of faith in Spoelstra in the following poll. Vote now, and say why you feel as you do.

HOW 'BOUT THEM MARLINS! (TOLD YA SO): Marlins last night completed a club-record 8-1 road trip and the reason for the recent surge is clear: consistently strong starting pitching. A couple of weeks ago the Marlins were stuck in a losing 1aa1carloszstreak and couldn't hit and I wrote in a blogpost I liked where the team was at despite it all, because of the starting pitching. You're welcome! Three nights ago a complete-game, three-hit gem by Carlos Zambrano marked Miami's seventh win in a row, all on the road, and everything seemed to be coalescing. Zambrano is pictured, pointing up to where things are looking for the Marlins. Two nights ago Anibal Sanchez pitched well enough to win if not for Omar Infante's one defensive meltdown. Last night saw an encouraging start from a struggling Josh Johnson. Defense has mostly been solid. Giancarlo Stanton is en fuego with the long ball, and Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez are picking it up offensively as well. As for that starting pitching, when Johnson is (as of now) your weakest starter, you are a playoff-caliber team.

Marino swamps LeBron in 'most impressive' poll: We asked, you answered. Who's more impressive, Dan Marino in his prime or LeBron James right now? You had it Marino by 57.4 percent to LeBron's 28.1%, with 14.5% saying too close to call. Poll analysis: The Marino mythology lives! Marino by a 2-to-1 margin is way over the top, considering James is having an MVP season (it would be his third) and is seen as the best player in his sport. Took pains to express the poll was not a popularity vote, but not sure all of you were listening.

EXCLUSIVE: GEORGIA LINEBACKER TO DOLPHINS IN 2013 DRAFT: Yes, the 2012 draft just ended, but 1aa1jarvisjonesTodd McShay's first 2013 NFL mock draft is  out for ESPN (God but I only wish I were kidding) and he has Miami selecting Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (pictured) in the first round, eighth overall. McShay projects no Hurricanes in the 1R, and three QBs: Southern Cal's Matt Barkley (6th), Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas (17th) and Oklahoma's Landry Jones (19th). Somewhere in Iowa, a caterwauling infant has just tossed his snipped umbilical cord across the delivery room. McShay has just projected him as the top quarterback taken in his first 2033 mock draft.

1aa1mexicanPOLITICAL NUDES OUT OF MEXICO: A Mexican Congressional candidate, Natalia Juarez, decided that a campaign revolving around herself posing nude (pictured) would be the way to go. Story here. I would advocate this as a trend I'd like to see spread to the U.S., but then I picture Madelaine Albright and quite frankly have second thoughts.

1aa1trexIDIOT CHANGES NAME: A Nebraska man named Tyler Gold, 23, pictured left, has had his name legally changed to Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

THE LIST: MARLINS COMPLETE-GAME SHUTOUTS: Carlos Zambrano this week pitched the Marlins' 55th complete-game shutout in their 20 seasons. The most recent five that included allowing three or fewer hits:

Date   Pitcher (Hits)

5-7-12   Carlos Zambrano (3)

9-10-11   Anibal Sanchez (1)

7-29-10   Anibal Sanchez (1)

8-19-08   Ricky Nolasco (2)

9-10-06   Dontrelle Willis (3)

Click back. Will be updating and adding to this latest blogpost...

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