NOTE TO READERS: You all know our blog has been largely disabled the past day-plus because of an attack on our host site, Typepad. That is why the number of comments is down. Anyway, we're back up, finally. Check back Tuesday morning for a new blogpost. We have much to say.
1) It is MONDAY, MAY 19. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with Heat-Pacers. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat-Pacers preview and prediction poll, Michael Jackson sings about Indiana & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Instagram and Vine.
Click on No Panic for my column from Indianapolis off the Heat's Game 1 loss.
G1: INDIANA 107, HEAT 96: PACERS WIN WIRE-TO-WIRE: Heat fans should not be real discouraged by this Game 1 loss. Miami in the big 3 era is 7-0 in the next game following a playoff loss of 11 or more points, and 4-0 in Game 2 following a series-opening loss. A win Tuesday night may be expected. The Heat can not play much worse than tonight. Miami went to the free-throw line 22 fewer times, shot 6-for-23 from 3-point range, played horrible defense and got next to nothing from Chris Bosh. Actually, Dwyane Wade (27 points), LeBron James (25) and Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Ray Allen off the bench were the only players who did anything for Miami. Expected a bounce-back in Game 2. Ajust-and-respond is what the Heat do. (Watch for my column off Game 1 posting online soon, and my Heat 3 Stars of the game here later tonight). Original post: Miami sets out today trying to be the first NBA team to win consecutive Eastern finals over the same opponent since Detroit (over Chicago) in 1989-90. Indiana made a point of the No. 1 seed and home court edge all season with Miami in mind. Now let's see if we get the team that had a 35-6 home record during the season or the Pacers who have gone only 3-4 in Indy in the postseason. It also will be interesting to see if Miami goes small at times, because Atlanta and Washington both had some success on 3-balls vs. Indiana inthe first two rounds. My series pick: Heat in six.
WHAT IS HEAT'S MOST DISLIKED OPPONENT?: What opponent should the Heat and Miami fans dislike most? Oh the candidates are many! Indiana must be considered not only because it is right upon us. I'd have have said that even before the Pacers' Lance Stephenson implied on Saturday he'd be trying to run Dwyane Wade into the ground in this series to exploit his knee issues. The Pacers were irritants even before that. But let us not forget how we felt just a week earlier about Paul Pierce and Brooklyn. Let's remember how much we love to boo Joakim Noah and Chicago. And, of course, Boston, New York and even Detroit are great rivals of long-standing in the love-to-hate-'em category. Heck, maybe Mark Cuban's Dallas even qualifies? Is there even a difference between "biggest rival" and "most disliked"? I'm not even sure. You decide. Don't be just in the moment. Factoring everything, history to present, what is the one Heat opponent you most dislike? Vote and say why.
Poll result: You like Heat over Pacers in six games: Overall, 84.5 percent of you picked Miami to win. The breakdown--Heat in 6 at 56.5%, in 5 at 16.6%, in 7 at 8.5% and in 4 at 2.7%. Indiana backers had it Pacers in 7 at 9.1%, in 6 at 4.8%, in 4 at 1.4% and in 5 at 0.2%.
GAME OF THRONES/NBA EDITION (WITH BOSH THE MAGIC DRAGON): I sort of think these parodies have run their course, but they still have a bit of entertainment value. In this latest one, LeBron says (ominously) to Pat Riley, "Dynasties must fall, Lord Riley." Chris Bosh plays a dragon. And Gregg Popovich plays a vampire. The usual.
REALLY, CANES BASEBALL?: Don't take this wrong, Miami Hurricanes baseball. Lova ya, Jim Morris. A nice regular season is not nothing, and you all finished strong and deserve to feel good. But throwing CHAMPIONS around? Do that after you win the ACC Tournament, or better yet, after you win the College World Series. (I feel the same way when I see teams hanging CHAMPIONSHIP banners from the rafters or flagpoles based on division titles. C'mon, man!)
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