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Sports Agenda for Tuesday (6/19/12)

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(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Miami Heat

Big Story:
The Heat are at home and in position to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals with a victory tonight. What do they have to do to win? Plus the woeful Marlins take the field again tonight, should we expect a win finally?

Quote of the Day:
“People often lament the death of local news and journalism in general. The truth is television programming and news reflect society, despite all the parents who say TV ruined my kids. That’s why stations who put up flashy graphics, use voiceover intros to segments, and give you lots of 20 second stories do so well. We’re a nation of ADD. If you want more journalism, tune out of the Hollywood stories and the flashy graphics. Until then, be ready for an unhealthy dose of all flash and no substance as TV, and sadly news in general, will try to find the lowest common denominator for viewership.” – me

Miami Heat: (vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 9:00 p.m.)
The Heat return to the court tonight looking for a W against the Thunder that will just about seal the series up.
Here’s what the Heat game plan will be tonight.
LeBron – Games 1-3, rinse, repeat Wade – see Game 3.
Bosh – crash the boards on both ends of the floor and work on your mid-range jumper to extend the defense.
Battier – just keep doing what you’re doing.
Udonis – read Bosh.
Mike Miller – we need 5-7 minutes out of you.
Chalmers – hey, yknow the series is going on right now don’t you Rio? How about a basket or two?
James Jones – repeat Game 3
Norris Cole – give us 5-7 minutes and don’t turn the ball over.
Rest of you guys, cheer really loud!
Here’s OKC’s game plan heading into the game.
The offensive end needs a lot more variety.
Get creative with the pick and roll, of course that’s easier said than done with Miami’s fast trapping defense.
Russell Westbrook – if Dwyane Wade is on Kevin Durant…GET HIM THE *expletive* BALL!
The Thunder have to find James Harden as well who has become the invisible man in the Thunder’s offense.
Now, does the Thunder have the ability to do it?
I’m not sure.
In a lot of ways, this series is shaping up a lot like last year’s NBA Finals to a degree.
Miami is the more veteran team against a younger, more athletic OKC team.
With youth, often comes turnovers and mind-numbing play near the end of games.
That’s especially been the case during grind it out games the Heat have started pushing in the Finals.
If you cut off the athletic advantage of the Thunder by stopping their fast break, it can give their offense fits.
Plus, and regardless of what the moronic Serge Ibaka said, the Heat defense is just sick when it wants to be.
FYI, Ibaka said “LeBron is not a good defender. He can play defense for two to three minutes, but not 48 minutes.”
Hmmm….someone who’s been relegated to irrelevancy in the series decides to try to get under the skin of the best player in the game today.
Something tells me that’s not going to work out well for Ibaka.
No matter what, ABC and all of their affiliates are absolutely LOVING the Heat in the Finals.
Thus far, it’s the most-watched Finals ever on ABC through three games. It’s up over last year’s Finals as well.
So who do I think will win tonight?
I think the Thunder are going to come in and play with complete reckless abandon tonight.
They know that if they go down 3-1, the series is effectively over for them.
Miami is going to have to withstand a strong punch in the gut to start the game tonight, as will the crowd at the AAA.
Championships are won with defense, and I don’t think Miami can possibly shoot as poorly as they did in Game 3 for a second straight game.
I’ll go with Miami winning by 4 at the AAA tonight and taking a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

Miami Marlins: (@ Boston Red Sox, 7:10 p.m.)
Ah yes, the Marlins, the other team in Miami still playing right now.
The Marlins are no doubt in their worst slump since last June right now.
The Fish desperately need Emilio Bonifacio’s speed and hitting back in the lineup to get the hitting and base-runners moving again.
Only problem is that he’s not expected back for another 3 weeks at the earlier.
Tonight, the Marlins will toss out Mark Buehrle as he looks for his sixth win of the season against Boston’s Bucholz.
Buehrle has faced the situation before this season as he’s thrown several great games and not gotten victories due to the Marlins’ hitting woes.
Miami has dropped to fourth in the NL East and are six games behind the leaders, the Washington Nationals.
Miami desperately needs a win tonight, but getting one in Boston may be too much to ask of this team.

Follow me on Twitter @timkephart33

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