« Tue pm 4-15: Why Heat preferred No. 2 seed (by a lot); plus Philbin on candid camera, All Apologies, Wade verdict, Bubba's Mastery, Pacquiao & more | Main | Sat pm 4-19: How many games will Heat-Charlotte series go? Poll. Vote!; plus CJ2K-to-Jets a worry to Dolphins?, word to Dabo & more »

April 16, 2014

Wed pm 4-16: Heat isn't as good as past two years. True or False? Poll. Vote now!; plus Heat-Charlotte in 1R, scary saga of Puig, local $$$ list & more

1) It is WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16. Panthers win lottery for No. 1 overall pick in June NHL draft. Here's betting GM Dale "Trader" Tallon swaps it. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Why No. 2 seed is better for Heat, Philbin on candid camera, Nirvana, NHL playoffs, Bubba, Pacquiao & more. 3) Follow on Twitter @gregcote.

Heat open playoffs vs. Charlotte here Sunday: It's Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats in first-round Game 1 here Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC-TV. No need for instant over-analysis; Miami should sweep. Be interesting though to watch Udonis Haslem's defense against Al Jefferson. Miami rest LeBron James and Chris Bosh in tonight's meaningless regular-season finale vs. Philadelphia, a loss. Recently sidelined Dwyane Wade saw limited action and looked sharp, and Greg Oden returned from injury.

DIFFERENT CHALLENGE AND DOUBT CHASING HEAT INTO PLAYOFFS: The Heat love a challenge. Love to be doubted. LeBron James says that all the time. OK, so here's the challenge and the doubt, Heat, and it's 1aa1abig3heatdifferent than in the past: Are they good enough? Simply that. Because the presumption is that this Miami team seeking a three-peat just isn't as good as the teams that won back-to-back championships. A worse regular-season record is the backbone of the presumption but there's more. Of the two big new additions, Greg Oden hasn't played much and might not at all in the postseason, and Michael Beasley has faded out of the rotation. Departed Mike Miller is sorely missed, still. Ray Allen and Shane Battier just seem older. Depth appears to be thinner. Chemistry doesn't feel as rock-solid. Then there's Dwyane Wade's fragile health of course. These things -- not to mention how great San Antonio is -- cast Miami as a somewhat vulnerable defending champ as the playoffs begin this weekend against Charlotte or Washington. Do you buy the basic premise that this Heat team is not as good as the ones that won consecutive titles? Take a dip in our poll and say why.

THE BIZARRE, SCARY ODYSSEY OF YASIEL PUIG: The L.A. Times' Los Angeles Magazine, in its May issue, has a lengthy and fascinating piece on Dodgers star Yasiel Puig written by Jesse Katz. Get it 1aa1apuigyHERE. It reads like a screenplay. It probably will turn into one. It is the tale of Puig's path from Cuba to the major leagues via Mexico, and it is fraught with shady characters, skullduggery and ominous overtones. Read it, understand Puig a little more, and suddenly you'll be less focused on his speeding tickets or his showing up late for a game. The story gives a new understanding and appreciation for his situation. The young man has a lot on his mind. Reportedly his path out of Cuba was underwritten by a Miamian, Raul Pacheco, and involved smugglers -- human traffickers working for a major and murderous Mexican drug cartel. There are allegations that Puig promised 20 percent of his future earnings and that some exceptionally unsavory people may still be looking for their money. If I were the Dodgers and MLB I'd not only take this seriously, I'd enlist the FBI and anybody else who might help. What a scary tale. Forget protecting your investment, Dodgers. Protect Yasiel Puig.

Sad coincidence for baseball: This week marked the 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, and this week there are exactly -- and only -- 67 active African-American players on MLB rosters. 

"MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY ... MON-EY!" (PINK FLOYD, 1973): ESPN has a list of the world's 1aa1amoneytop-paying sports teams, and Manchester United of soccer's English Premier League is on top with an average salary of $8.11 million per player, edging the Yankees' $8.03 million. The Heat check in 16th at $5.57 million, led by LeBron James and Chris Bosh at $19.1 million apiece. Interestingly, among Greater Miami's other three pro teams, the Panthers are next at $1.85 million per, edging the Dolphins ($1.77M) and Marlins ($1.55M).

Click back often. Am constantly updating/adding to newest blogpost...

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451587d69e201a3fcf13df4970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Wed pm 4-16: Heat isn't as good as past two years. True or False? Poll. Vote now!; plus Heat-Charlotte in 1R, scary saga of Puig, local $$$ list & more:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The story implies that Puig may have had someone killed. That adds a new wrinkle kind of makes things like speeding and showing up out of shape look small.

The Heat will win the East again playing vs young but playoff green teams like Toronto or Charlotte.The Heat will lose to the Spurs in the Finals in 5 games as they gain revenge for their heartbreaking loss to Miami last year.The Heat would also lose to OKC or the Clippers in 7 games if either teams oust the Spurs in the Western playoffs.The Heat just do not look as strong as they did in 2012 or last year going into the playoffs.

Sadly only 67? Is there a greater conspiracy at work here as you imply? Doubt it. Fewer blacks are playing baseball and the Caribbean region and a few other countries are exploding with talent. It's always someone keeping the man down with you isn't it Greg.

the Heat are not as strong this year as last years team but they are still formidable, D Wade is the key if he is healthy they can win every single game they play in.

they also have to step up their defensive intensity, as usual defense is the key.

Panthers would likely be last if it wasn't for Luongos bad contract.

Greg,

Your implication that MLB is somehow being run by a secret club comprised of Bubba's good-ole-boys may be the most outrageous position you've ever taken.

Tell us. Is the fact that there aren't any white midgets (excuse me, vertically challenged Caucasians) playing in the NBA, while 78% are black translate to clear, blatant reverse discrimination? Or is it that white little-dude can't jump?

What you should have acknowledged is that the sport of baseball is perhaps the most representative sport in these United States. That our population is 63% white, 13% black, 17% latino 7% other, to baseball's 63% white, 8% black, 27% latino, 2% other.

These realities have zero to do with "inequality," my dear columnist. Unlike in the NBA, or the NFL, where black athletes outnumber all others, baseball requires other skills beyond just running fast and jumping high.

Maybe you should point out the disparity in participation among black jockeys, or the War on Women prize fighter next.

Geeze, buddy!

It's an ill informed outrageous position to even assume anything related to discrimination is happening in MLB. Greg apparently gave up caring what people think a long time ago. This blog allows him to spew whatever liberal conspiracy theories he finds fit on a particular day and we are just along for the ride.

"These realities have zero to do with "inequality," my dear columnist. Unlike in the NBA, or the NFL, where black athletes outnumber all others, baseball requires other skills beyond just running fast and jumping high."

what an INSANE, and ignorant comment.
if speed and jumping were all it took to succeed in football or basketball, MANY more people would be qualified to play.
(and your lakers wouldn't suck).
there is plenty of skill involved in both sports, OC.

Blacks outnumber every other race in both the NBA and in the NFL. That is fact. Do tell why that is not the case in MLB.

... And the Lakers sucking doesn't even enter any argument.

david, we can go 'round and 'round with this BS. Your a die hard liberal. I'm a libertarian/conservative. We agree to disagree. Good day sir!

i agree, but to claim lincoln and teddy as representative of conservatives completely misses what they did, and how conservatives then fought all their expansions of government and laws limiting corporate influence.

david,
progressives/liberals want everyone on the plantation, everyone. Progressive move away from the constitution, capitalism & move toward socialism. jimbo

IMPOSSIBLE, since we INVENTED the constitution, and the idea of a representative government.
you righties are so funny, always taking liberalism to the furthest extreme, (communism), then planting those ideals on our philosophy.
fascism is the furthest extreme to conservatism; ours is not a debate between fascism and communism. making it one completely misses the point.

although with the conservative supreme court emboldening the idea corporate personhood, with plenty of welfare for corporations yet removal of such funds for real people, we are actually closer to the fascism end of the spectrum than the communist one.
there hasn't been a bonafide liberal in power for over 34 years..

this, of course, means you cannot call obama a socialist anymore, since his healthcare law strengthened the insurance market, the stock market is all all time highs, and corporations are getting stronger by the day during his tenure.
doesn't sound too commie to me..lol

"These realities have zero to do with "inequality," my dear columnist. Unlike in the NBA, or the NFL, where black athletes outnumber all others, baseball requires other skills beyond just running fast and jumping high."

Jesus christ....

It may be an oversimplification, granted. But there is no denying that blacks are physically better equipped to succeed in contests showcasing speed, and jumping. Why this should even be questioned baffles the mind.

Al Campanis agrees.

OC...no reason to get your blood pressure up amigo, just go with the flow dude..

Cote will never change..asswipe to the end.

Cubans are way better domino players than all the whities and blacks put together..fact.

better beisbol players too.

my point was, despite the oversimplification, i don't agree that those qualities are what makes successful athletes in those sports.
guys like ray allen and wes welker have made quite a mark in their respective sports WITHOUT blazing speed or jumping ability.
there is way more to both football and basketball than that..

Okay, tell me this. If in the game of basketball, one was prevented from jumping - completely. Would you say that the black participation number would be higher, lower or the same?

I don't know but I hereby coin Brian Hartline "White Lightnin'"

...and yes, there is more to football and baseball than skills in jumping and speed, but even more "other skills" in baseball, which was my point. The more "other" skills required in any given sport, the less significant black domination comes into play. Conversely, the more either of those two skills are relied upon to be difference makers, the more you begin to see a disparity.

One only has to consult the sport of Track and Field and note the last time a white, Latino, Asian dude held tittle to the world's fastest human.

OC, Check out the video of Mexicans at the border video for how fast our amigo's are south of the boarder..
They can jump too...

http://youtu.be/OGjMPZ1J2Us

Cote, please tell your friend LeBatard and his no talent dad to shut their respective pie-holes regarding Donald Trump. I have as much right to silence THEIR racist accusations as they and their so called expert have in issuing false and misleading accusations.
It's to the point, you don't agree with someone, just call him a racist. Well, so Idid. Liberals have ALWAYS been racists pif the most egregious kind.
The southern democrats in the 1930's through this current hideous PC era, their lies, distortions and propaganda have made this country a tinderbox.

I'd love to see Trump face LeBatard one on one, but it won't happen as LeBatard hasn't the guts...or the gravitas.

Anti...I do think we should start a petition right here right now to bring Richie back to the Dolphins...

IMA? slow down and take your hood off..
are you really trying to argue that southern dixiecrats were liberal?
what school did YOU go to?
since when did democrat always equal liberal?
are you completely insane?
stop writing and start reading..lol

You have the right, just not the ability. Because no one cares what you have to say.

OC..
as for participation in sports, it's mostly cultural and social, NOT racial..
when baseball was popular in the inner city 30-40 years ago, there were more major league players coming from that demographic..

FZ, The 4 Million he made last year for a half years worth of work wlll allow Richie to "Chillax" at the beach of his choice,,,,,,

Go Fins..

Oh I get the cultural inner city stuff, that's just the Vaseline that gave it access. But you still haven't answered my hypothetical. More, less, same amount.

David, YOU need to read. I said Southern democrats were racists, starting before Strom Thurmond. The KKK was a democrat party approved organization.
BTW, I'd trade you 10 Lois Lerners for one Mike Lee, or Sarah Palin.

It is YOU who needs to stop accusing folks of wearing a hood, when you wear the dark glasses of an undereducated MSN groupie.

MSNBC

Anti, that's a funny youtube clip. It's as if someone hit a hornets nest. How many poured out of that thing?

Who's the bigger thug, Aldon Smith or Richie?
Who's more Dangerous, the player who KO's his girlfriend in an elevator or RICHIE?

Yet both Smith and the other guy will play again, and this year. Probably not Richie.
I SAY IT'S RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not only that:
I'm just so tired of what Obama and his Chicago thugs have done to this country.

OC, Don't know, but I bet P.T. Barnum was at the boarder sometime during his life...........

Try THIS
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/16/uncovered-emails-show-lerner-talked-with-justice-about-irs-targeting/

Those who don't educate themselves are doomed to post incessantly on a Herald sports blog.

Chris Johnson to the Jets underscores yet another reason to improve the Dolphis LB group.

so someone is playing the race card. right out of the liberal democrat playbook. how ordinary.

Chris Johnson is yesterdays news f the Jets.


"Liberals have ALWAYS been racists pif the most egregious kind."
that was your quote, genius. it wasn't just southern democrats.
you're equating liberalism with southern democratic racism, and you officially win the dumbest post of the year.
then there's the BRILLIANT fox news link; nothing screams "take me seriously!" or slams home an intellectual position better than a fox news link!
at least i take solace in the fact you old righties should start dying off in the next 10 years or so, but for now i'll take the laughs..

now back to sports..
yes, oc. we are on the same page with improving the linebackers, and the Oline..
johnson is a good pick up for the jets, but not enough to hurt us.
defense defense defense.. and Oline.

excited for the heat's run, too. seems we're being doubted again.
that's always exciting.
i wouldn't bet against dwayne wade and lebron james, though.. go heat!

"Chris Johnson to the Jets underscores yet another reason to improve the Dolphis LB group."

Must be that extra bone in his foot, eh OC?!

"...we (LIBERALS) INVENTED the constitution"

Yes we did and don't forget that I invented the internet. Nuff said!!!

pro union, pro abortion, anti Iraq War, KKK member.

You're getting sloppy, Cote.

"MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY...MO-NEY!" (The O' Jays, 1973)

You did get the year right, though.

what our young and sadly uneducated friend in LA does not understand is the framers followed the philosophy of classical liberalism which is not liberalism as it is defined today. the primary emphasis of classical liberalism is securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government. liberalism today promotes a social welfare state, in which the national government has the express obligation to maintain high levels of employment in the economy, to supervise standards of life and labor, to regulate the methods of business competition, and to establish comprehensive patterns of social welfare.

it is this limited government v big government argument that defines the primary difference between "conservatives" and "liberals" today.

Republicans = big government.

Democrats = Big Brother

Liberal Utopia = The Welfare State

They're half way home...

There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.

No going back now. Hillary will make sure the gravy train keeps going.

Those numbers overlap, receiving some form of government benefit does not preclude someone from working full time.

The comments to this entry are closed.