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May 28, 2013

G4: Pacers 99, Heat 92: Miami's Big 3 must be bigger still; plus LeBron on SI cover, Spurs waiting, St. Elmo's, exploding Sad-O-Meter & more

Me on SportsCenter: Further proof TV is not just for the telegenic: I'll be on ESPN's SportsCenter talking Heat today at 6 p.m.

1aa1jamesl1) It is WEDNESDAY, MAY 29. LeBron James on the cover (right) of the new Sports Illustrated. Timing would have been better had he heroically led a win last night. Guess SI couldn't arrange it. 2) Thanks to Le Batard for the chaotic, awkward radio appearance(s) yesterday. Always fun! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat Game 3 win, Heat how-concerned poll, Dolphins win projection, Marlins Sad-O-Meter. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote and now on Instagram at upsetbird.

Click on Big 3 Must Be Even Bigger for my column from Indianapolis on last night's Game 4 Heat loss.

Sweepin' Spurs await East winner: Impressive San Antonio completed a four-game sweep of Memphis last night in the Western Conference finals and awaits the Heat-Pacers winner. No matter how/when this East series ends, the NBA Finals will start June 6 in Miami. That means San Antonio, last in the Finals in 2007, will have 10 days' rest. (On the other hand, it means the elderly Spurs will be 10 days older).

G4: PACERS 99, HEAT 92: MIAMI SHOOTS 39%, IS DOMINATED ON BOARDS: It wasn't that LeBron James fouled out with 56 seconds left on a very questionable call. That's convenient as excuses go, but I'd sooner look to 39 percent shooting and a 49-30 rebounding differential favoring the home Pacers Tuesday. The Big 3 was not big. LeBron was below his averages for points, rebounds and assists and had little of the low-post presence and force he'd had the prvious game. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were far worse, a combined 6-for-21 shooting. I still like Miami's chances in this Eastern Conference finals now tied 2-2, with two of the next three at home and because the Big 3 have earned the faith to expect a rebound performance Thursday. It just got interesting, though. ..... Original post: Indiana coach Frank Vogel coined an interesting phrase, referring to the Heat's "big fourth." He says Miami is most dangerous, almost 1aa1heatpacersunstoppable when, in addition to the Big 3, someone else arises 1aa1g4offensively like Udonis Haslem did in Game 3. Or like Birdman Andersen has throughout this postseason. Or like Ray Allen or Shane Battier on a night when the 3's are dropping. Then, it isn't just LeBron. Who will tonight's Big Fourth be? Miami is the first team in NBA history to win five straight playoff road games by 10-or-more points. A win tonight by any margin will mean the series is effectively over. The Heat know it. A 3-1 lead with two games left in Miami would give Indy all but zero chance. "We have an opportunity to control the series," coach Erik Spoelstra admitted Monday. Now let's see if they can.

1aa1elmoDESTINATION: SHRIMP COCKTAIL: My mouth waters as I type that I'll swing by St. Elmo's on the walk to the arena today for their world-famous shrimp cocktail with fiery sauce. You talk about a pregame meal! Was disappointed to find the place closed yesterday for Memorial Day. Today, I shall not be denied! [Postscript: Had the 'tail. Sublime!].

LEBRON A QB? NO PROB, SAYS LEBRON: Former NFL quarterback and broadcaster Joe Theismann, 1aa1lebqbbored pimping for a men's bladder-control product, made media rounds this week suggesting LeBron James could be an NFL QB. LeBron, never lacking confidnece and a two-year receiver in high school, took the qauestion seriously when asked Monday. "I have the ability," he said. "I can see and read plays. I know defenses and things if that nature. So I would have been pretty good." Best things about that last sentence? The past-tense.

1aa1bbsadSAD-O-METER: MARLINS NOW OFFICIALLY ON RECORD LOSS PACE: We have this new blog feature we update as long as Marlins' winning percentage is under .300 -- as long as the New York Mets' infamous 1962 record of 40-120 (.250) is within dubious reach. Well, seven straight losses now have S-O-M exploding on record pace. Updated Sad-O-Meter: Current record, 13-39 (.250). Season projection, 40.5 wins, 121.5 losses.

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

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