G5: Heat 94, Bulls 91. Miami rallies, advances to Eastern finals!; plus Wade poll, LeBron ranked #2, bad hotel, updated Sad-O-Meter & more
1) It is THURSDAY, MAY 16.Dolphins signed former Richmond QB Aaron Corp, as third-stringer or training camp fodder. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat's Game 4 win, Heat biggest-rival poll, '14 NFL draft, Sad-O-Meter, Jackmerius Tacktheritrix. 3) Join us on Twitter @agregcote.
Click on Wade Strikes Back for my column off last night's game.
G5: HEAT 94, BULLS 91: WILD GAME LEAVES MIAMI SMILING, AND MOVING ON (Heat win series 4-1, awaits Pacers-Knicks winner): LeBron James led Miami with 23, but Dwyane Wade's last six points (of 18) were some of the biggest of the night. Crazy game. Miami led by as many as 18 early, trailed by as many as 11 in the second half but flexed championship mettle late. Eastern finals will open in Miami on Monday or Wednesday. Original post: Evidently the NBA would not allow Chicago to formally concede and forfeit, so the Bulls are here for what should be a perfunctory Game 5 whipping to end this second-round series. We know that Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are once again out for the wounded, limping Bulls and that Kirk Hinrich is doubtful. The only real mystery tonight is whether Dwyane Wade, nursing a bruised right knee, will play or sit this one out. I think he should rest. Lebron and company can win without him. The only people who want to avoid a Game 6 back in Chitown more than Heat players are Miami media members such as yours truly. No cheering in the press box, but for a lot of us it'll be a night of inwardly rooting for our own best interests. Miami would win this series even if Bulls were at full-strength, but as is, save that Game 1 abberation, this matchup has proced almost as lopsided as the Bucks series. It's been more interesting because of the technicals, ejections and bad blood, but not much more competitive. Heat end it tonight, and await Pacers-Knicks survivor.
SHOULD DWYANE WADE AND HIS RIGHT KNEE PLAY TONIGHT?: I know. I Am Not Dwyane's Knee, you are (probably) not a doctor and nobody can be certain about this question. What we know is that Wade's right knee is far from 100 percent, that he is questionable as a game-time decision to play tonight, and that rest would seem to be a pretty logical Rx. Assume that Dwyane insists to Erik Spoelstra that he can play tonight's Game 5. If you're the coach, what do you do? You vote right here! This is a Flash Poll (patent pending). That means limited-time. Voting will shut off around mid-late afternoon so vote now, and say why.
Flash Poll: Call to sit Wade tonight wins by more than 2-to-1 margin. (I think most of us may have been wrong...) Results below:
Poll result: Knicks still biggest Heat rival: We asked and you said Miami's biggest NBA rival was the Knicks at 38.3 percent, followed by the Celtics at 32.4% and Bulls at 23.2. "Somebody else" drew 6.1%.
LEBRON NO. 2 IN U.S SPORTS EARNINGS: Sports illustrated's 10th annual "Fortunate 50," newly out, ranks the top-earning U.S. athletes for 2013 in combined salary and endorsements, and Heat megastar LeBron James is ranked second at $56.55 million. No. 1 is boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. at $90 mill. Rounding out top five after LeBron are Drew Brees ($47.80M), Kobe Bryant ($46.85M) and Tiger Woods ($40.84M). Two other Miami-area athletes ton the list are Heat stars Dwyane Wade (11th, $28.68M) and Chris Bosh (47th, $18.55M).
THE MOST DISAPPOINTING HOTEL EVER: When traveling to Chicago, may I recommend that you avoid the Congress Plaza Hotel as if it were ablaze? I stayed there for Heat-Bulls Game 4. The independent (non-chain) hotel has a rich history. The hotel has an idyllic location, off South Michigan Avenue across from Grant Park. The hotel is otherwise a monumental letdown. I felt like I had been cast into The Shining. When wondering when the hotel was last refurbished, you don't wonder what year, you wonder what decade. Rooms are in disrepair, hallway carpeting is ancient, my floor's ice machine rattled and groaned and took about five minutes to spit ice, neither boarding-pass computer worked, and I couldn't get wifi because the front desk messed up which room I was in. Oh, almost forgot: I was charged $49 for early check-in -- an outrage. I was a registered guest. My room was available. But because I wanted to check in at 10 a.m. instead of noon I wasa charged an extra $57.04 (with taxes). That is the hotel's "policy," I was told. Nightmare. (It was probably a fitting omen that I had to cross a picket line to enter the place. Seriously). When next in Chitown, I'd sleep on a cot under the L before I'd stay at the Congress Plaza again.
THE MOST LIMITED-MARKET PRODUCT EVER: A company called Game Signs produces "enhancement stickers" (see left) for the fingernails of baseball catchers so pitchers as well as sign-stealing opponents can better read the signals. This is a blog, so you know I'm not making it up!
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, four straight losses have brought the S-O-M roaring back as the season hits its one-quarter mark. Updated Sad-O-Meter: Current record, 11-29 (.275). Season projection, 45.55 wins, 116.45 losses.
Click back. Will be updating/adding much to this latest blogpost...