Sports Agenda For Thursday (6/9/11)
Obviously tonight’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals could be the seminal moment in Miami Heat forward LeBron James’ career. Everyone has jumped on LeBron like I’ve never seen, especially Heat fans. I just don’t get it.
Plus, the Marlins are sinking faster than NBCMiami ratings and some epic numbers show just how bad the Miami Dolphins have been.
Time to make the agenda!
Back to LeBron to start out with here in the agenda. Look, this Heat team was barely making the playoffs last year and with LeBron they are two games away from an NBA championship.
He had an awful game. It happens to the best players.
LeBron has been under more scrutiny this year than almost any player in any sport in the last 20 years. When he has a bad game, the entire world jumps on it like stink on, well you know.
But, this is setup for LeBron to finally define his legacy as a champion. If he has two big games and helps the Heat win a title, Game 4 will be forgotten and LeBron will be considered one of the best.
And let’s not forget Miami fans, some of the greatest players ever choked in the biggest games. (Read: Dan Marino)
Heat: (@Dallas Mavericks, NBA Finals Game 5, 9:00 p.m., ABC)
The Mavs, specifically DeShawn Stevenson, have chosen to poke the proverbial bear, to steal a line from the Sedano Show.
Stevenson chose to take a subtle shot at LeBron, but hey, who hasn’t in the last 36 hours.
I can’t explain why, but something tells me LeBron and company are going to come out and play out of their minds tonight.
If the Heat play to their potential, there’s no team in the NBA that can hang with them.
But it’s going to take all of the Big Three playing inside the realms of the offense and attacking the basket for the Heat to come back to Miami with a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals.
The toughest part for the Heat will not be guarding the Mavericks, it’s going to be guarding against falling into the same old formula of letting the Mavs back in the game if the Heat pull away to a big lead.
If the Heat get a foot on the Mavs with a big lead, the Heat need to stand on their throat and choke them out of Game 5.
Trust me, if the Heat return with a 3-2 lead, the series is over.
But conversely, if the Heat are down 3-2 coming back to Miami, they have to win 2 straight against the Mavs and even though the Heat have better, younger players, that’s a tall task for anyone.
This Heat team has been a conundrum wrapped in an enigma in the NBA Finals.
They’ve chose to ride Dwyane Wade throughout and that’s been wise. But now, it’s time for LeBron and Bosh to pick up the slack and push the Heat team over the top to a NBA championship.
If LeBron goes into a funk again tonight, trust me, he’s not going to want to see what happens in the media.
But like I said, I just don’t think that’s going to happen in Game 5.
I’m not saying LeBron is going to go for 50, but I think he’s going to go for at least 20 and 10 tonight, the 10 being either rebounds or assists.
The NBA is happy because they’ve got another game to enjoy the ratings windfall.
Now, it’s all up to the Big Three to make Miami happy and bring a second NBA Championship to the city.
We’ll find out tonight at 9:00 p.m.
Marlins: (vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:10 p.m., Fox Sports Florida)
The Marlins took the Braves to extra innings, but again came up short.
This Marlins team looks like it’s in deep trouble.
The team is constructed around its two best players, Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez.
Hanley will be back, but he’s been invisible all season long, so there’s a big question of what, if any, impact he can have to help the Marlins lineup score runs.
Josh Johnson is the bigger question mark.
Rumors have been spreading that he may be shut down for the rest of the season. The Marlins haven’t indicated anything other than to say the injury is nothing serious.
If it wasn’t serious, he’d already be throwing off the mound in the bullpen. He hasn’t done that and there’s still no timeline to getting him back into the rotation.
Without him in the rotation, this pitching staff is struggling to keep the Fish in games.
What’s worse, the Marlins have dropped two games behind Atlanta in the NL East and just 2.5 games ahead of the lowly Mets in the division.
If they don’t get back in the game soon, it’s going to be another long season of what if’s for the Fish.
Ownership doesn’t care, because all they’re focused on is the taxpayer ripoff new Marlins ballpark and opening it with a bang.
This is sadly a lost season for the Marlins and its fans, because like with the Miami Dolphins every year, it’s always about next year.
Dolphins quick hit:
So how epically bad have the Miami Dolphins been since the last NFL strike in 1987?
The fine folks at Profootballtalk.com put together a quick hit list that displayed the Dolphins futility.
From 1997-2001 the Dolphins made the playoffs, and each year they went out with a MASSIVE THUD!
In 1997, they lost 17-3 in New England. 1998: 38-3 thumping by Denver. 1999: 62-7 demolition by Jacksonville. 2000: Raiders kill them 27-0. 2001: Ravens spank the Fins 20-3. And in the next playoff game in 2008, Ravens again nailed them, 27-9.
Add it all up and the Fins have lost 191 – 25. DAMN!
That’s an average score of 32 – 4.
Now again Dolphins fans, why should the Fins be considered a top team in the NFL.
They’re an also ran who occasionally makes the playoffs and gets slaughtered.