[1) It is Tuesday, June 12. "I am flying to Oklahoma." I never imagined I would say those words and be happy about it. 2) ESPN set cable record for an NBA game with a 9.1 rating for Heat-Celtics Game 7. ABC expects better ratings for Heat-Thunder than if Boston had made Finals. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Bosh poll still open: Should Chris Bosh return to starting lineup in NBA Finals or would Heat be smarter to keep him as best weapon off bench? You can still vote in blogpost directly below this new one.
HOW CONFIDENT, HEAT FANS? PREDICT THE NBA FINALS. VOTE HERE: Our official NBA Finals result poll is below. I'd invite you to separate what you hope happens from what you honestly believe will happen. In other words (to the degree it's possible), try to vote with your gut, or as if placing a bet, rather than with your heart. We did this before the previous two series as well. Against Indiana a plurality of 49.4 percent had it Miami in 5 games, with 8.2% picking the Pacers. Against Boston a plurality of 40.3 had it Miami in 6 games, with 14.2% picking the Celtics. Now onto Heat-Thunder. Poll open!
A FIRST: HEAT BETTING UNDERDOGS FOR FIRST TIME IN BIG 3'S TWO SEASONS: From the first betting prior to last season straight through the Boston series just ended, the Big 3 Heat has been the favorite to win both season titles and every playoff series. Until now. Now Miami has a motivation new to it: Underdog. Mirroring most sports books, Bovada has the Oklahoma City Thunder a 10/17 betting favorite (at minus-17) in the NBA Finals, with Miami at 3-2 (and plus-150). The line for Game 1 (there Tuesday night) moved from 4 1/2 to 5 points favoring OKC. Interestingly, though, Bovada sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley says about 65 percent of the action is laying on Miami anhd that he expects that to jump to 70% -- meaning a lot of people and their money maybe think the Heat shouldn't be underdogs at all. While bettors are torn, the Thunder unsurprisingly have the support of America, according to new ESPN SportsNation results showing 63 percent think OKC will win the title and 61% hope they do. The biggest disparity in the poll is in coaching, with 78% saying they'd prefer OKC's Scott Brooks to coach their team over Miami's Erik Spoelstra. Oklahoma City's perceived strong coaching edge clearly is a driving factor in its status as betting fave. Interestingly, though, their similar four-year career records (combined regular season/playoffs) give an edge to Spoelstra with a .617 overall winning percentage in 363 games to Brooks' .585 in 337 games.
Newest NBA ad: Click here to watch the NBA's latest 30-second spot that will debut on ABC during tomorrow's Finals Game 1.
DOLPHINS SIGN OCHOCINCO: Interesting. Dolphins sign recently cut Patriot WR Chad Ochocinco, the Miamian and the former Chad Johnson. He comes cheap. Smart gamble for a team lacking a premier receiver. Also something that will thrill HBO's Hard Knocks. (You don't think this is because of that, do you? Naaah! No way. Right? Well...)
HEAT FASHION: HIGH HEELS: LADIES, SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND LOOK RIDICULOUS AT THE SAME TIME!: A women's fashion footwear and apparel company called HerStar has come out with a line of "microsuede pumps" (or what I'd call "ridiculous high heels," pictured) just in time for the NBA Finals. Ladies, what says "I am the imprimatur of high fashion and class" more than wearing your team's logo on your shoes? They run $99.99 a pair or, with crystals, $274.99. Visit herstar.com. (Not sure if these come in men's sizes as well).
HEAT FASHION: GLASSES: PROPOSING A DEAL WITH LEBRON, D-WADE: You may have noticed LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have taken to wearing fashion frames without lenses in postgame interview sessions, or what I like to call, "The Poindexter Look." With apologies to Justin Timberlake, they're bringing Nerdy Back. How's this for a deal: They get to wear the absurd frames only after victories, as a reward. Talk about incentive!
MARLINS: HOME NOT SO SWEET: Marlins have slumped to a 16-16 home record. Miami now has the second-worst home record (White Sox are 14-18) among the 17 teams with winning overall records. So much for that new-ballpark bounce.
ON THE PACQUIAO DECISION: I was able to watch only a couple rounds of the Manny Pacquaio fight the other night so don't have a strong opinion on the consensus that he was robbed by the split-decision loss. A thought, though: Maybe Manny should spend less time singing and engaging in homophobic rants and more time training for his upcoming fights.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...