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Sports Agenda For Monday (3/11/13)

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MIAMI, FL - MARCH 8: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat rises for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 8, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – MARCH 8: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat rises for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 8, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins

Big Story:
We’re a little more than 24 hours from the beginning of free agency so we’ll assess where the Fins are. Plus, the Panthers still stink, the Marlins still stink…But man is the Heat good or what? Plus, we’ll check in with the U fresh off its first regular-season conference title EVER. And my choice for dunk of the year!

Quote of the Day:
“He hurt so bad like a soul breaking; but he never said nothing to me; so say hello to heaven.” – Chris Cornell, in the song Say Hello 2 Heaven
The song has a special place for me as it was the first song I heard the night my father passed away.

Miami Dolphins/Free Agency:
Yknow, you have to love the NFL, only they can make something as simple as free agency this big of a deal.
Anyways…
Let’s look at the Dolphins’ needs heading into free agency:
Wide Receiver – Speed, Speed, and more speed. That’s all the Fins need at this point. But a speedy route runner would be nice.
Left/Right Tackle – depending on where the Fins line up Jonathan Martin; my guess is a right tackle will be needed
Tight End – unfortunately, Michael Egnew has some sort of mental block preventing him from blocking, so an upgrade is needed.
Defensive End – the team needs someone opposite Cameron Wake not named Jared Odrick.
Cornerback – The perennial position of need because let’s face it, if the Fins are lining up Nolan Carroll again, the offense better be able to score 70
So that’s what the Fins need heading into free agency with approximately $30 million in salary cap space.
Remember though, they don’t have to address all of those needs in free agency.
The Dolphins also have 5 of the first 100 picks and around 9 picks total in the upcoming NFL Draft.
So what should we expect over the next 24 hours?
I expect the Dolphins will throw a pile of money at wide receiver Mike Wallace to get him to sign.
The Fins have already been in contact with Wallace and my guess is he’s doing his due diligence seeing if any other team will cough up the cash.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Fins find a way to land Wallace in a mind-blowing contract that will be voided in three years.
Reportedly, the Fins also have an interest in tight end Jared Cook, who is a solid receiving tight end.
Pairing Cook with Brian Hartline, Wallace, and Davone Bess and all of the sudden the Fins have a lineup that can move the ball through the air.
Now, if you add in Eric Winston at right tackle, this is a completely redesigned offense.
It would allow the Fins LOTS of flexibility to move up or down in the first round depending on the needs.
It would probably allow the Fins to look at moving up for a cornerback or defensive end to pair with Wake.
Do all that and this team is suddenly a real playoff contender.
Yes, I just wrote playoffs and Dolphins in the same sentence and didn’t refer to how they came up short again.
Behold…the end is nigh!

Miami Heat: (off Monday)
The Heat sent a message to the NBA last night: 18 down…WHO’S NEXT?
Seriously, the Pacers were the only competition for the Heat in the Eastern Conference and Miami disposed of them with ease.
I’m looking at the Heat schedule and assuming they play to the level they are right now…
I don’t see a possible tough game until March 18 in Boston and then after that it’s not until March 27th against Chicago and March 31 in San Antonio.
FYI, the longest winning streak in NBA history is 33 straight games.
For the record, I don’t think the Heat will win 33 straight games.
But if they did, the 34th victory would be I believe against Milwaukee on April 9, so circle that game on your calendar if you’re hoping for history.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the Heat in person…go and see them.
Miami fans should understand just how much history they’re seeing with this franchise and just how good LeBron and Wade and company are.
This is a once in a lifetime chance to see a team this good represent the home town.
So go see them.

Florida Panthers: (off Monday)
On the flip side, if there’s a team you really don’t want to watch right now…it’s the Panthers.
I hate to write that because I love seeing hockey in person…but this team is just brutal to watch.
They got spanked again last night by the Canadiens and now prepare to welcome in the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Yikes. Yikes. And Double Yikes.
Here’s what you need to know about the Panthers.
They’re in last place…not just in the Eastern Conference, but the entire NHL.
Overall, the Southeast Division has the three worst teams in hockey and the division leader would only lead one other division currently.
Wow that’s just awful.
But on the bright side, the Panthers should get a good pick in the NHL Draft.
Hey, don’t laugh, they picked Jonathan Huberdeau third overall and he’s working out pretty well.

No time for the Canes today, but we’ll get to them as the ACC Tournament beckons this week.

Finally, it’s my candidate for Dunk of the Year….It comes to us from Lob City and an alley-oop from Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan who just flat-out abuses Brandon Jennings…poor guy.
http://youtu.be/NTkN2q6sUUk

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