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G1: Heat 107, Brooklyn 86: LeBron's 22, big 3rd quarter lift Miami in series opener; plus Heat 3 Stars named, LBJ routed in MVP, miracle Marlins & more

It's Radio Wednesday: I'm in-studio with Dan Le Batard Show today, 3-7 p.m. on 790 & 104.3 The Ticket, 4-7 on ESPN Radio. Ears welcome.

1) It is WEDNESDAY, MAY 7. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat-Nets preview and series poll, LeBron overload, Seantrel, LeBapod, peanut shell art, Crocodile Chop & more. 2) Join us Twitter @gregcote.

Durant routs LeBron in MVP: Kevin Durant ended the two-year MVP reign of LeBron James in voting announced yesterday. No surprise. But the margin perhaps was. Durant had 119 first-place votes to James' six.

G1: HEAT 107, BROOKLYN 86: LEBRON, ALLEN LEAD BALANCED MIAMI ATTACK: [Click on Miami's Time for my column off last night's Heat win. It isn't the regular season any more, Brooklyn]. LeBron James led the way with 22 points but Ray Allen's 19 off the bench were just as big last night in Miami's 107-86 win. Chris Bosh also came up big with 15 points, 11 rebounds and a particular spark in the third quarter, when Miami's 33 points busted open a tight game. So much for Brooklyn's 4-0 season record against Miami, by the way. See our Heat 3 Stars of game below. Original post: You thought it started with the regular season? It didn't. You thought it started with the first round of the playoffs? It didn't. The Heat's run for
1aa1ag1 1aa1brookmiaa three-peat begins tonight, for real, for all intent and purposes. The regular season was an elongated walk-through.
1aa1round2The first-round playoff sweep over Charlotte was perfunctory and drama
free. Now it begins! Real playoff ambience and intensity will visit the downtown bayside arena for the first time in this postseason tonight in Game 1 of Heat-Nets. Brooklyn brings personalities, including

1aa1lebronpierceformer Celtics thorns Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Brooklyn brings starpower. Brooklyn also brings a team capable of beating Miami based on that 4-0 season mark favoring the Nets. Granted, three games were decided by 1 point and the other in double-overtime. Still, 4-0 is 4-0, although I suspect that as much as anything fuels the Heat here. If 4-0 makes Nets overconfident or invites doubt about Heat, well, that is what LeBron James and company feed on. The first quarter tonight should be especially torqued up tonight as the Heat fight off the natural rust of too much rest and try to make an early statement. Can't wait! My series pick: Heat in 5.

Poll result: You say Heat in 6: We asked for your prediction and most, 41.4 percent, said Heat in 6 games, edging the 37.3% who said Heat in 5. A Heat sweep drew 7.3% and Heat in seven drew 5.5%. Remaining 8.5% have Brooklyn in an upset. Interesting to contrast this round and last. With Brooklyn only 44.6% say Heat in any easy series (4 or 5 games). Versus Charlotte the easy-series factor was 87.1%.

Heat Postseason MVP Standings: Last night in Game 1--1. Ray Allen; 2. LeBron James; 3. Chris Bosh. Overall through five playoff games: LeBron James 13 points, Dwyane Wade 6, Chris Bosh 5, Ray Allen 3, Chris Andersen 1, Norris Cole 1, James Jones 1. (We name 'Heat 3 Stars' after every game and award points on 3-2-1 basis).

ON THE MARLINS' STREAK: Marlins on a nice little 7-1 after last night's win, now a nifty 16-5 at home and only a half-game back in the NL East. Miami's plus-28 run differential, fifth best in MLB, suggests a real-deal contender. Perspective, though: These kind of little streaks happen every year, even in down years. Marlins were 6-1 from June 23-July 1 in 2013; 7-0 from May 1-7 in 2012; 7-1 from April 13-22 in 2011; 9-1 from July 6-18 in 2011; and 6-1 from May 10-16 in 2010. The key is to avoid the comparable slumps such as the 8-game losing streak just a month ago, April 6-14.  

MOUNTAIN DEW'S MUSIC RIPOFF: The sound of the Mountain Dew TV commercial entitled "Kickstart Your Night" currently airing is suspiciously derivative of Jack White. It's a song called "Repetition" by a group called The Willowz, but the vocal and music are such a Jack ripoff it ain't funny. Aside to Third Man Records: This is why lawyers were invented.

1aa1cowellcatDEAR GREG...:
"...Your blog's OK but would be better if occasionally you would show what would happen if X Factor judge Simon Cowell were a large house cat. Thank you." Dear Reader: Let me see what I can do.

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