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May 08, 2014

On Dolphins' choice of OT Ja'Wuan James: New poll. Vote now!; plus Miami cruising after G2 win, Heat 3 Stars named

1aa1legend1) It is FRIDAY, MAY 9. I'm back up in Random Evidence Laboratories today inventing Sunday's Sunday notes-column package. 2) This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the Bob Marley classic album, 'Legend,' the track-listing of which I know by heart from repeated listening. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat-Nets Game 1, hot Marlins, Mountain Dew, Cowell cat & more. 4) Join us Twitter @gregcote.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DOLPHINS' FIRST-ROUND PICK? VOTE NOW!: The Dolphins last night 1aa1jawuanjamesselected Tennessee offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James 19th overall in the first round. James (pictured) unquestionably had a solid college career, starting 49 games in the tough SEC. But, also unquestionably, he was a reach at 19 and almost certainly could have been had in a trade-down. Plenty of experts even saw him as a likely second-rounder. Clearly the Dolphins and new general manager Dennis Hickey targeted position need over "best available athlete," a conservative tactic by a rookie GM. What do you think? The poll question means to be all-encompassing. I want to know what you think of who Miami picked based on where he was chosen and the quality of the player weighed against team needs. I also want you to factor in the club's decision to not trade up or down, and the selection made vs. other players who Miami could have chosen but did not. Overall: Your gut feeling on the team's top pick is what? Vote and say why.

IT WAS THRILLING THURSDAY: MIAMI IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rare was the single day, like last night, when Miami's three biggest pro teams all were on a main stage this big, with the Heat hosting Brooklyn in Game 2 of their NBA playoff series, the Dolphins in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the hot Marlins awakening in first place in the NL East. Enjoy, South Florida...

G2: HEAT 94, BROOKLYN 82: MIAMI UP 2-0, IN CHARGE: LeBron James' 22 points, Chris Bosh's 18, Dwyane Wade's 14 and Ray Allen's 13 off the bench led Miami last night. Brooklyn tried to deny the Heat the paint; nothing worked. Click on Benjamin Button for my column off the game, on the spark Miami is getting in this series from a reenergized Allen. Click here for a postgame video with myself and Heat writer Joe Goodman. Original post: Miami's comfortable Game 1 win here Tuesday night will have been relegated all but meaningless unless the Heat hold serve again tonight and 1aa1g2 1aa1heatnets2carry a 2-0 series lead up to Brooklyn. It'll be interesting to note what adjustments are seen, and whether Miami stays with Shane Battier in the starting five. Adjusting is now the burden of Brooklyn, though. The Nets cannot beat Miami playing smallball but have few options, unless the ghost of Kevin Garnett can be the offensive and defensive presence he wasn't in G1. The Nets' 4-0 regular season advantage over Miami is long-gone and irrelevant. Brooklyn must now prove it belongs on the same floor with Miami and can make this the competitive series we thought we were getting.

Attention to Stitches has me in stitches: So before the previous game, in the Heat lockeroom, Chris "Birdman" Andersen is yelling singing the refrain of a song called Brick In Yo Face, by a Miami rapper, 1aa1birdman




1aa1stitches18, who calls himself Stitches. (Read interview with the kid here). The song is basic angry-shout rap, not bad but derivative of hundred things heard before. It's about cocaine, money, guns. The usual. Did I mention Stitches has AK-47s tattooed on his face? Notable here is how mainstream media always swoons over something like this, particularly with local radio mad-scrambling to talk up Stitches and pander for street cred and younger ears. I heard one radiohead today sugges Bird's hype song should be played in the arena. Sure, Pat Riley'd go for that! And maybe Disney should book the Chippendales! My contribution to Stitchmania in this first and only mention is to note that Stitches and Bird (left to right) appear visually to be kindred spirits who but for the age difference might have been separated at birth.

Heat Postseason MVP Standings (updated): We name 'Heat 3 Stars' after every playoff game and award points on 3-2-1 basis. Last night: 1. Ray Allen, 2. Chris Bosh, 3. LeBron James, with honorable mention to Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade. Through six playoff games: LeBron James 14 points, Chris Bosh 7, Ray Allen 6, Dwyane Wade 6, Chris Andersen 1, Norris Cole 1, James Jones 1.

FINALLY, THE NFL DRAFT. WHAT WILL DOLPHINS DO?: Original pre-draft post: The NFL Draft. It's what you've been waiting and waiting for but somehow are already sick of even though it  hasn't happened yet. Am I right?

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1aa1dhickeyAnticipation in Miami is probably luke-warm on the excitement scale. I mean, how amped can you be when your team is selecting No. 19, the big need is an offensive lineman, and the big talk is about a possible trade-down? (Pardon me if I suggest the electricity at the Dolphins' stadium draft party tonight may not equal the concurrent current ricocheting through the Heat's bayside arena). Nevertheless! It's still the Dolphins, the draft and the first round. And we'll be waiting to see if it's a pedestrian or magical night for new GM Dennis Hickey (pictured), the Silver Fox. What you got, D-Hick! So it's big, dammit.

My 23rd annual Miami Herald Mock Draft: My annual guesss-n-pray is out. Click Cote Mock '14 for the entire thing, including exclusive Super Bonus Draft Facts. I ended up getting 25 of 32 first-round picks correct overall but had only three bull's-eyes with exact player to exact team. Here was my full capsule for Dolphins pick:

19. Miami Dolphins: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama -- What I think the Dolphins should do is trade up for Notre Dame OT Zack Martin and plug him in on the right side to fill their greatest position need. But new general manager Dennis Hickey, with only a bare-bones seven draft picks, is not likely to part with 1aa1mosleyany. And barring a trade-up, Miami would be in no-man’s land at No. 19: Draft’s four best tackles all gone and no other O-lineman worthy. A trade-down to then select an OT such as Virginia’s Morgan Moses also is in play. If they stay put, well, ILB is not as great a need but it is a need, and Mosley (pictured) is the best one in this draft, the only one of 1R quality. Miami’s run defense was astoundingly bad or at best erratic last year, and Mosley brings that Alabama pedigree. He also is top notch in coverage, a need for a team that tended to get clobbered by opposing tight ends. Mosley has a bit of an injury history, but if Miami is confident he’s healthy, he would be a great value at 19. He'd be in that “best available” category, with OL needs not forgotten, but deferred to later picks.

State-school draft projections (via ESPN): 1st round--UCF QB Bortles, FSU DT Jernigan. 2nd round--FSU WR Benjamin. 3rd round--UF DT Easley. 4th-to-7th rounds--UM: QB Morris, WR Hurns, OT Henderson, OG Linder. UF: WR Patton, TE Burton, OG Halapio, C Harrison, OLB Powell. FSU: RB Freeman, RB Wilder, C Stork, OLB Smith, OLB Jones. UCF RB Johnson. USF DE Lynch.

MARLINS WIN ON ROAD! MARLINS WIN ON ROAD!: Snap a picture of the standings, Fish heads. (I did,
1aa1standingshere). They showed Miami tied for first in the NL East after a club-record 8-1 homestand that has the team an MLB-best 17-5 at home this season. It's that Loria magic! OK, maybe not. Anyway, that's the good news. The bad news is Miami 2-10 on the road and embarking on a season-long 11-game West Coast roadie starting last night in Padreland. But make it 3-10 now after last night's 3-1 win in 11 innings. Jose Fernandez will have three starts on the trip, so hope lives. First-place Marlins. Man! Might be time to ressurect that "Everybody's Doin' the Fish" song. (Yeah, yeah, yeah!) Sure it was awful. But still better than "Brick In Yo Face." See, everything is relative.

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OOPS. SPELL-CHECK, PLEASE!:
The Miami Herald sent out this week Tweet promoting its latest coverage in the ongoing David Beckham/soccer stadium story. Unfortunately, Beckham's name was misspelled as Beckman. OY!

Click back often. We update and add to these latest blogposts so often it's almost enough to break the Internet...

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