[1) It is Saturday, June 9. Back from my Vegas vacation, now back from my work in Boston. Heat is 0-3 in games I missed this series, and 3-0 in games I covered. Coincidence? 2) The Chargers signed former Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown. 3) Feeling guilty that the blog has been so Heat-intensive lately, but tough to avoid. We'll gradually get back to our familiar, signature variety. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Click on King James Roars for my column from Boston off the Heat's Game 6 win, and thanks for making it the most-read thing on all of MiamiHerald.com. Meantime, you can shop for a small swing in either direction, but most early sports books have Miami favored by 7 1/2 points in Game 7.
G6: HEAT 98, CELTICS 79: KING JAMES, INDEED! MIAMI ONE WIN FROM RETURN TRIP TO NBA FINALS: LeBron James, 45 points on 19-for-26 shooting; oh, and 15 rebounds. Mull those numbers. Savor them. This was one of the great, clutch performances in South Florida sports history, in an elimination that earned Miami a Game 7 back home on Saturday night -- winner-take-all for a spot in the NBA Finals. ..... Original post: Elimination game. Always a daunting, scary phrase in sports, and not more so than for the Miami Heat, which tonight is one loss from seeing its championship dream and ballyhooed Big 3 promise fall short for a second straight season. The Heat, down 3-2 in these NBA Eastern Conference finals, must win -- literally this time -- tonight in Baahston to stay alive and force a Game 7 back in Miami Saturday. I'm up here in Nuevo England for what will be a game column reflecting gloom or relief, no in-betweens. "You really rise to the occasion when the pressure is there," said Chris Bosh of his team. That, my friends, is to be determined. We'll know by around 11 tonight. Clearly as a starting point the Heat will need big, healthy minutes from Bosh, 50-plus combined points from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and stout defense on Kevin Garnett to have a chance. The betting line is a near toss-up (Miami by 1 1/2 points) and, being honest, my thoughts on the outcome are no more defined. Fundamental faith in the Heat -- in LeBron and D-Wade to get it done -- has been rocked pretty badly by three straight losses. That's for many nervous fans, I'm sure, but also for Your Friend the Media, me. Miami has proven to be a team capable of so much, but the thing is, that's a broad spectrum that encompasses the polars of highlight-reel greatness and crushing disappointment. I resist the premature "what's next" scenarios that will bloom with anything less than a championship. You know, will coach Erik Spoelstra and the BIg 3 return intact for another try or are big changes in store? I respect this team enough to not start that already. You don't start an autopsy without a dead body. A loss tonight would commence that, though. We'll all find out together if that happens.
CHAD OCHOCINCO TO DOLPHINS?: Miami's own Chad Ochocinco, cut by the Patriots and available, is a wide receiver. The Dolphins are perceived by fans and media to need a wide receiver. A match? Oddsamkers seem to think so. Bovada has Miami a 3-1 favorite to sign the former (and maybe future) Chad Johnson, followed by Dallas 4-1 and Jax and St. Lou both 11-2. Ochocinco is flaky and past his prime but might be worth a low-cost training camp gamble.
DOLPHINS CHEERLEADERS LIP-SYNCH NEW VIDEO: Click here for 3 1/2 minutes of the Dolphins cheerleaders lip-synching Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." I think they lip-synch pretty well but am not positive because they are dancing in bikinis which tends to be distracting. They could be lip-synching to an entirely different song, perhaps "God Bless America," for all I noticed. We'll never know, but the Dolphins cheerleaders putting out a sexy video right after HBO announced the Dolphins would star this summer in its Hard Knocks reality series seem an unlikely coincidence.
'I'LL HAVE ANOTHER' WON'T HAVE ANOTHER: So much for horse racing's first Triple Crown in 34 years. Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another was scratched from Saturday's Belmont Stakes today with a sore right front leg. Pictured above: I'll Have Another being led by Barack Obama or by a groom who could get work impersonating the president.
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