Sports Agenda for Wednesday (5/9/12)

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(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Miami Heat

Big Story:
The Marlins fall back down to earth in Houston thanks to their erroneous ways. The Heat look to finish off the Knicks, who are depleted. And I reevaluate my FSU and Big XII prediction.

Thought of the Day:
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” – George Orwell
Kinda like Obama saying he’s against gay marriage bans, but not for gay marriage; or Romney saying he takes credit for the auto bailout.

Miami Heat: (vs. New York Knicks, 7:00 p.m., TNT/Sun Sports)
So you’re the New York Knicks.
Your star power forward is less than 100 perecnt.
Your point guard is Mike Bibby.
And you’re coming to play arguably the best home team in the NBA this season.
Oh, and the Heat have had two days to stew about the Game 4 loss.
This is not going to end well.
The Heat have to do everything they can to contain Carmelo Anthony.
In other words, Hey SPO, Leave LeBron On Him in the 4th!!!!
Here’s some more good news for the Heat….no team that has ever lost the first 3 games of a best-of-seven series has ever won the series and only 10 managed to avoid elimination twice.
For Miami, they really need to close it out tonight to get a few days off to prepare for Indiana.
The Pacers have a formidable front line with David West and Roy Hibbert and a good wing shooter.
West may present the biggest problem for the Heat because he’s a big who can score.
You can probably double him, if you can get Hibbert out of the lane because Roy ain’t gonna beat you with a jumpshot.
If I’m Spoelstra and I’m looking at the Pacers, I might switch out Haslem with either Battier or Miller.
You bring in Battier and put him on the 3 and switch LeBron to the 4 to cover West, or vice versa.
Same with Miller, except he’d have to guard the 3.
It’s a nice conundrum to have for a coach.
Hopefully, the Heat can close it out tonight at home and turn all the attention towards the Pacers.
On the other half of the East bracket, Boston is leading Atlanta 3-2 and Philly leads Da Bulls 3-2.
If Boston wins and Philly wins, then we can start looking ahead to a possible Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals.
That could get ugly.

Miami Marlins: (@ Houston Astros, 8:05 p.m., Fox Sports Florida)
Well, it had to end sometime.
Last night, the Marlins lost for the first time in May.
Cue sad face.
Don’t blame Anibal though, he left with a tied game and the bullpen couldn’t hold it.
It didn’t help that the Marlins only got 4 hits in the game and Omar Infante couldn’t remember how to play in the field either.
But it happens, you put it behind you and move on.
Tonight, the Marlins send up Josh Johnson again as he looks for his first win of the season.
To say Johnson is struggling would be an understatement.
His pitches just aren’t moving enough and batters are just teeing off on him.
Opposing hitters are hitting .359 against him and he’s given up 23 runs in 31 innings pitched.
OUCH.
An 0-3 record and a 6.61 ERA isn’t helping either.
I’m not sure what Johnson needs to do, but he and the pitching coaches need to do something before it gets out of control for him.
He’s still only a year removed from spending the season on the DL, but something isn’t right with him just yet.
Course a game in Houston may be just what he DOESN’T need.
In his career, Johnson is 0-3 with a 5.82 in four games pitched against the Astros.

Florida State & Big XII:
So at least one FSU fan said I was nuts in what I wrote yesterday.
Let’s look at it again shall we?
Remember, in college realignment, conference’s look for a few things from teams they might be inviting:
How successful has the team been and will it elevate the prestige of the conference?
Will it help bring balance to the conference and let us have a championship game?
Will it open up new recruiting grounds the conference has struggled to get a foothold?
And, will it bring in media markets to help make television deals more lucrative?
Does it help the conference’s academics?
Take Texas A&M and Missouri as an example.
The Aggies bring a proud football tradition into the conference and open up the fertile Texas recruiting grounds to the SEC along with the Dallas and Houston television markets.
Missouri’s football team has steadily risen since Gary Pinkel took over and a vastly improved basketball program, brings the St. Louis and Kansas City television markets, and enhances the conference’s academic standing.
So what could FSU bring the Big XII?
A phenomenal football program that is the only ACC school to play for the BCS title. A rising basketball team that won the ACC last year. The Miami, Tampa, and Orlando television markets. And opens up Florida to Big XII recruiting.
So what does the Big XII offer the Noles?
Major cash from the new television deal. Football games will be on ESPN/ABC or Fox only. The ability to play Texas and Oklahoma in successive years.
Not bad eh?
What does the ACC stand to lose if FSU leaves?
EVERYTHING.
Florida will close up to the conference’s member, the football prestige will be gone, and your games will remain on Jefferson Pilot or sometimes on ESPN.
What could the ACC do if FSU leaves?
They have really only one move…
They must get Notre Dame and get the Irish to bring NBC with them.
Notre Dame could still get a catbirds share of the money, but NBC could also strike a secondary deal to air games on CNBC, NBC Sports, even USA.
It would be a win-win, plus Notre Dame would greatly enhance their basketball standing.
If the FSU leaves and the ACC can’t get Notre Dame….they’re in the same boat as the Big East.
A former power conference that has fallen by the wayside as the football conferences take the lead.
Hmmm….

Follow me on Twitter @timkephart33

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