G4: Heat 88, Bulls 65: Miami owns night, up 3-1; plus name Heat's biggest rival (poll; vote now!), '14 NFL draft, Sad-O-Meter, Jackmerius Tacktheritrix & more
Yes, it's Radio Tuesday: I'll be back in-studio with Le Batard and Stugotz starting at 3 today on 790 the Ticket and FM 104.3, even though, frankly, I'm dog-tired after a late night and early flight back from Chicago.
1) It is TUESDAY, MAY 13. New blogpost coming later today if I can, or early Wednesday. 2) Big Sunday for Tiger Woods fans like me, with his victory at The Players Championship and his adversary Sergio Garcia's embarrassing late collapse. 3) Hope all you good Ma's had a nice Mother's Day! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat G3 win, return of Good Job Good Effort Kid, Heat aviary update, Palm Beach Dolphins, Super Bowl bid, Maxim Hot 100. 5) Join us on Twitter @agregcote.
LeBron earns defensive honor: NBA named LeBron James to its all-league defensive first team for fifth straight season. Other forward is OKC's Serge Ibaka. Guards are Memphis' Tony Allen and Clips' Chris Paul. Center was a tie between Knick Tyson Chandler and raging Bull Joakim Noah. No second-team Heaters. Shane Battier and Dwyane Wade got a couple of honorable-mention votes each.
Chicago redux: Back in Chicago Monday, I paid $49.95 fee for early check-in. Won't ever stay in this Unnamed Rattrap again. On a positive note, on my full Southwest flight, one of only two empty seats on the entire plane was the middle next to me. I credit that to either dumb luck or my ability to secrete a skunk-like stink.
G4: HEAT 88, BULLS 65: SMOTHERING DEFENSE CARRIES MIAMI: LeBron James had 27 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds last night in Chicago, but the story was a defensive effort that limited the Bulls to 65 points on abysmal 25.7 percent shooting. Miami now with a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to Miami Wednesday night for Game 5. The other big story of the night, for me, was the state of Dwyane Wade, working on a shaky right knee and held to six points. Wade's performance the rest of this postseason could be a key to Miami repeating. I explore in THIS COLUMN from Chicago off last night's victory. ..... Original post: Swing Game as defined by me: Miami wins tonight for 3-1 series lead heading back home and the chance of a nice, neat, quick five-games series becomes extremely likely. Miami loses tonight to even things and suddenly the chance of a full seven-game series looms large. Bulls then will be playing for their playoff lives in Game 4, realistically. But talent and health trump intangibles and home court, so I like the Heat once again. The return for Chicago of Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich again seems unlikely, and the return of Derrick Rose seems even more fanciful. Health frustration has got to be the root of Chicago's spate of technical fouls, three ejections and two league fines in this series -- the most recent a 35K slap to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for implying the officials want the Heat to win. Poor Tom sounds like he's expecting the opposite treatment and sympathy for his injuries. Doesn't work that way. Even fully healthy, Chicago would be a clear underdog to the champs. Chitown has no answer for LeBron James. The better team almost always wins in a seven-game series. And the better team -- the much better team -- is winning this one. As expected.
WHO IS HEAT'S BIGGEST RIVAL?: I've always been interested in what constitutes any team's biggest rival. Sometimes it isn't an easy call. I don't think it is with the Heat; hence, a blog poll! For me the answer used to be Knicks without much question (is it still?), then it sort of became Celtics (is it still?). Or is it Bulls now? It isn't just this current series that resumes Monday with Heat leading 2-1; Miami has faced Chicago in the postseason more than any other opponent. "Biggest rival" is a lot about gut feeling. So when I say, "The Heat's biggest rival is...", you say what? Vote now and say why.
MIAMI'S BRIDGEWATER PEGGED 2ND IN '14 DRAFT: ESPN's Mel "It's Never Too Early" Kiper is out with his first top 25 "Big Board" for the 2014 NFL draft, and it is led by South Carolina DE Jadevon Clowney, followed by Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater (pictured), the Miami-born former Northwestern Bull. No Canes, but four other state-school players in Gators CB Loucheiz Purifoy (10th), Seminoles DT Timmy Jernigan (15th), Noles OT Cameron Erving (19th) and USF DE Aaron Lynch (25th). Also of note, slotted 25th: Texas A&M QB and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel (should he enter the draft, of course).
UPDATED MARLINS' SAD-O-METER: 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, two straight losses have brought the S-O-M back. Updated Sad-O-Meter: Current record, 11-27 (.289). Season projection, 46.89 wins, 115.11 losses.
HAVE YOU MET JACKMERIUS TACKTHERITRIX?: Love the comedy duo Key & Peele, and especially love their spoof of football player introductions with a parade of increasingly ridiculous names. Click HERE to watch and listen. With one notable exception all of the names made fun of belong to African-American "players." Key & Peele also are black. Had this same video been done by a white comic I wonder if he'd have come under fire for making fun of blacks? I'm just asking!
Click back. Will be updating/adding much more to this newest blogpost later today ...