Breaking down the numbers on All-NBA snub of Heat's Whiteside; plus your preferred NBA Finals verdict, Hot Button Daily (Sat), The List (Heat draft), new Chuck Berry video & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, May 20. Happy birthday to my eldest son, Christopher! You grew up good, kid. We love you! 2) Our latest Back in My Day video: Click on BIMD: Gas Jockeys to watch. 3) Happen to know any Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century, Fins At 50. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Mock-draft guesses for Heat, Csonka on plight of Buoniconti/Kiick, preferred NBA Finals matchup poll, Jimmy Johnson goes hip-hop, R.I.P. Chris Cornell & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
ON HEAT'S (MAKE THAT WHITESIDE'S) ALL-NBA SNUB: The NBA announced its first, second and third-team All-NBA teams, five players each, two guards, two forwards, one center -- and no Miami Heat player to be found. Not a surprise. We should be getting used to it. The Heat placed 19 players on one of the three teams in a near continuous run from the 1996-97 season through 2013-14, but this marks the third straight season Miami has been shut out. Fair or snubbery? Goran Dragic had a nice season but you can't argue he was one of the NBA's six best guards. Hassan Whiteside had the best argument to maybe sneak onto the third team at center. We compare Whiteside's major stats with those of the three centers who were honored:
Anthony Davis, Pelicans (1T) 75 28.0 .505 11.8 2.23 27.6
Rudy Gobert, Jazz (2T) 81 14.0 .661 12.8 2.64 23.3
DeAndre Jordan, Clippers (3T) 81 12.7 .714 13.8 1.65 21.8
Hassan Whiteside, Heat 77 17.0 .557 14.1 2.10 22.7
Conclusion: Davis primarily plays a power-forward role and his being placed at center did not help Whiteside's cause. Whiteside certainly had a case to be 3T over Jordan, but, even though these are individual honors, team performance often is a tiebreaking factor with voters, and Clippers made the playoffs while Heat (narrowly) did not. Whiteside was not even close to making the third team, alas. He also finished behind Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, Grizzlies' Marc Gasol and Pelicans' DeMarcus Cousin in the center vote -- meaning Whiteside was seventh at the position. Anybody think it's ridiculous New Orleans had two supposed centers getting votes? Consolation? Well, Whiteside is the best pure center in the Eastern Conference, anyway. Heat also is shut out in five of the six official awards categories, with no top-three finalists for MVP, Sixth Man, Most Improved, Rookie of Year or Defensive Player. However, Erik Spoelstra is in top three for Coach of Year, along with Spurs' Gregg Popovich and Rockets' Mike D'Antoni. Awards show airs June 26 on TNT.
POLL RESULT: GIVE US CAVS-WARRIORS ... AGAIN: We asked what possible NBA Finals matchup you most hope to see, and Cavaliers-Warriors won hugely with 54.0 percent, followed by Celtics-Warriors at 22.7%, Celtics-Spurs with 18.0% and Cavs-Spurs at 5.3%. Combining votes, the team you most want to see in the Finals is Golden State 76.7%, Cleveland 59.3%, Boston 40.7% and San Antonio 23.3%.
HOT BUTTON DAILY / SAT 5-20-17: Up to five events on today's sports calendar that interest SoFla most:
1. Preakness, 6:30 p.m.: Derby winner Always Dreaming tries to keep Triple Crown dream alive.
2. NBA playoffs, 9 p.m.: Warriors up 2-0 at Spurs in Game 3 of Western finals.
3. Marlins at L.A. Dodgers, 10 p.m.: Stinkin' Fish have now lost 19 of past 23 games.
4. Virginia Tech at Hurricanes, 1 p.m.: UM baseball regular-season finale prior to ACC tourney.
5. NHL playoffs, 7:15 p.m.: Nashville at Anaheim in Game 5 of Western finals tied 2-2.
Select recent columns: Big Risk For Big Upside: On chance Heat could land Harry Giles in NBA Draft. NFL's Moral Obligation: League must do more for brain-injury sufferers like Buoniconti and Kiick. LeBron And Steph To the Rescue: How a third straight Warriors-Cavs Finals will save a lopsided postseason. The Dolphins' Eight Ifs: Explaining dichotomy of opinion on Fins. On The Team's Terms, Not His: What it would take for a Heat/Dwyane Wade reunion. Not In Our Stadium: N-word at Fenway and fans' responsibility. The Kid From Pampa: Why Dolphin draft's late rounds matter. Right Pick For Right Reasons: Fins' first-round choice Charles Harris. Home Run For Miami: Bush/Jeter group as frontrunner to buy Marlins. The Jose Statue's Positive Purpose: Controversy over Marlins' planned Fernandez memorial. An American Tragedy: Suicide of Aaron Hernandez. History Breathes at UM Sports Hall: Tour of a little-known campus gem. Spo's Greatest Challenge -- And Triumph: strangest of Heat seasons. Is There A Team Brave Enough for Kaepernick?: A curiously unemployed QB. Thank You, Mae Riback: My oldest fan. Also: A Ghost Tour of Miami's Sports Past, The Miracle of Liberty City and Thank You, Edwin Pope.
THE LIST: BEST HEAT DRAFT PICKS BELOW 14TH: Miami selects 14th overall in the June 22 NBA Draft. How much impact can be expected? Here are the club's most successful draft picks below that 14th spot, based on number of career games (including playoffs) played for Miami. These are the only eight with at least 100 games:
Games Player, College Selection Heat span
479 Grant Long, Eastern Michigan 33rd/1988 1988-95
360 Kevin Edwards, DePaul 20th/1988 1988-93
235 Eddie House, Arizona State 37th/2000 2000-03, '10-11
223 Dorell Wright, no college 19th/2004 2004-10
204 Rasual Butler, LaSalle 53rd/2002 2002-05
196 Matt Geiger, Georgia Tech 42nd/1992 1992-95
159 Sherman Douglas, Syracuse 28th/1989 1989-92
119 Josh Richardson, Tennessee 40th/2015 2015-current
CHUCK BERRY'S FIRST-EVER VIDEO: The rock 'n roll founding father died in March at age 90. A posthumous album, simply named CHUCK, is to be released June 16. The first single from it, "Big Boys," also features Berry's first-ever official video, presented below. I like the song, though it is a blatant retread of the familiar guitar licks Berry leaned on his entire career, delivering a propulsive, driving beat. The video is sweet, too, though it would have been greatly enhanced (assuming it was made before his death) by a cameo from Berry himself. Anyway ... enjoy!
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