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May 10, 2014

G3: Brooklyn 104, Heat 90: Miami still up 2-1, but now it gets interesting; plus new grade-Dolphins-draft poll (vote now), Michael Sam kisscam & more

1aa1msamkiss1) It is SUNDAY, MAY 11. Openly gay Michael Sam finally is drafted, 249th overall, by the Rams -- seven picks from being 256th and last and becoming the most relevant Mr. Irrelevant in NFL history. TV showed Sam kissing his significant other over the news he'd been drafted (screen grab at right). Good for Sam. Deal with it, America. Apparently second-year Dolphin Don Jones can't. He Tweeted "OMG" and "horrible" when Sam was drafted. 2) Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with Heat and Dolphins going head to head. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins first-round draft with poll, my Mock Draft, Heat-Nets Game 2, Brick In Yo Face, first-place Marlins, David "Beckman" & more. 4) Join us Twitter @gregcote.

Grade-Dolphins-draft poll below!: Scroll down to bottom of this post to vote. I know it's wildly premature and we're doing it anyway, dammit. You have an opinion. Share it. Voting underway below.

We're blogging to you from Brooklyn, where pizza from the original Lombardi's (Spring & Mott, Little Italy) was consumed for lunch, meaning I needed a nap. Heat practicing today at nearby Baruch College. I'll be there.

G3: BROOKLYN 104, HEAT 90: LEBRON HITS 28, BUT 3-POINTS SHOTS THE DIFFERENCE: The Nets made 15 of 25 three-point shots tonight in Brooklyn; Miami made 8 of 24. There's your difference. Although the Nets also outrebounded Miami 43-27. And now the Heat postseason that everybody said was boring gets some needed drama and tension. Click on Welcome Back, Drama for my column from Brooklyn off last night's game. Original post: The dagger is in the Heat's hands, poised to plunge into Brooklyn's heart. Miami is up 2-0 in this second-round NBA playoff series, and all know no team

1aa1miabrookg3 1aa1lebpaul 1aa1g3has ever come from a 3-0 hole to win. The desperation, th erefore, belongs to the Nets. So the question is whether the Heat tonight can equal or better the intensity Brooklyn will surely have. Miami has another notch it has not yet shwon in this series; LeBron James has not yet had even an average game offensively. But the key again may be three-point shooting -- Ray Allen again? -- if the Nets continue to try to deny or limit Miami's penetration in the post. The Heat has won at least one road game in 13 consecutive playoff series. If that number reaches an NBA-record 14 tonight, the dagger will have done its work.

Heat Postseason MVP Standings (updated): We name 'Heat 3 Stars' after every playoff game and award points on 3-2-1 basis. Tonight: 1. LeBron James, 2. Dwyane Wade, 3. James Jones. The updated standings through seven games, entering Monday's Game 4: LeBron James 17 points, Dwyane Wade 8, Chris Bosh 7, Ray Allen 6, James Jones 2, Chris Andersen 1, Norris Cole 1.

Poll result: Dolfans give lukewarm approval to top draft pick: We asked your thoughts on Miami selecting Tennessee tackle Ja'Wuan James in the NFL Draft's first round (you may still vote), and most, 44.7 percent, said "pretty good," while 25.3% said "so-so" and 17.9% called it "disappointing." Only 12.1% called the pick "very strong."

DOLPHINS GO SMALL-SCHOOL CRAZY! THOUGHTS ON ALL 8 DOLPHINS PICKS: North Dakota State. Liberty. Montana. Coastal Carolina. Marist. Your Dolphins have gone small-school crazy!:

1R (19th overall): Tennessee OT Ja'Wuan James -- A reach at 19 who probably could have been had in a trade-down. Second-rounder in many mock drafts. But a bull's-eye on filling a specific need at right tackle. Miami overpaid, but hard to argue targeting team's greatest need.

2R (63rd): Louisiana State WR Jarvis Landry -- Good hands in a slot receiver who'll complement wideouts Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. A solid pick that, like James, is designed to make Ryan Tannehill's third season easier.

3R (67th): North Dakota State OT Billy Turner -- Developmental pick from a small school. A curious choice, considering Miami top-picked a right tackle, where Turner also is slotted. Pretty high pick for a guy you don't expect to be more than a reserve, although a switch to guard is possible.

4R (125th): Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens -- Dice roll on another small schooler. Dolphins looked past a 2010 arrest for possession of stolen property in theft of electronics from a dorm room, which got Aikens booted from Illinois.

5R (155th): Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch -- Almost 6-5, was Bulldogs team captain. Marginal productivity as collegian, but I like they drafted a tight end.

5R (171st): Montana outside linebacker Jordie Tripp -- Third small-schooler targeted by Miami and new GM Dennis Hickey. Said to be an overachiever, a great lockerroom guy. Team captain.

6R (190th): Coastal Carolina WR Matt Hazel: Make it four small-school guys in seven picks. Trend! ESPN, for what it's worth, says Hazel "has a chance to be a steal."

7R (234th): Marist DE Terrence Fede: And Miami's Small-Ball Draft concludes with a fifth small-school guy in eight picks. Like the late stab at a pass-rusher.

GRADE THE DOLPHINS' 2014 DRAFT BASED ON EARLY IMPRESSIONS: Yes, I know. Instant analysis is faulty enough. Instant grades may be faultier still. Vote anyway! Hey it's just a blogpoll. We all understand you are voting just based on a gut feeling, an initial impression. Nothing wrong with that. Yes, we should all wait at least a few years to properly judge any draft, but I'm running a daily blog here, not an encyclopedia. Grade the Dolphins' draft based on the players they selected, when they were selected, the needs they did (or didn't) address, the value in the picks, the trades made -- everything. If you want to factor in the opinions you've read or heard from the various media blowhards, do that, too. The consensus of this vote will tell new GM Dennis Hickey what kind of a job you think he did based on earliest impressions. (I purposely did not include the option of an 'F' grade, by the way. It's fair to be pleased or disappointed or shades in between, but it is not fair to instantly shout "failure!") Anyway, pick a grade and say why.

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