By David Dwork

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dwork on sports 2 Dwork On Sports: Dolphins Start OTAs, Marlins Cant Win, Heat Keep Working

With the Dolphins taking the field for the first time today, I thought it would be a good time to get the Dwork On Sports blog going again for 2017.

Today is Tuesday, May 23rd and here are some thoughts surrounding our hometown teams.

DOLPHINS: WE’RE BACK, BABY

There are plenty of key storylines to watch out for as Miami begins their voluntary Organized Team Activities this week.  There will be a total of 10 OTA practices, and the schedule is as follows:

The Dolphins will be on the field beginning May 23rd, 24th and 25th.

Additional on-field OTAs will take place May 30th-June 1st and June 5th-8th.

A week later, the team will participate in a mandatory minicamp which runs June 13th, 14th and 15th.

Some things to keep an eye on are featured here, which include Ryan Tannehill’s knee, DeVante Parker’s potential breakout season and position battles on defense.

For more focus on the offensive line, which may or may not be a strong unit depending on the health of Mike Pouncey and production from journeymen veterans, click here.

MARLINS: ONE UP/TWO DOWN

One guy on the Marlins who is trending up is first baseman Justin Bour.  Over his last 12 games Bour is hitting .375 (15-for-40) with 7 home runs, 10 RBIs and 8 runs scored.

Don’t look now but Bour is inching his way into the MLB spotlight:

On the other hand, center fielder Christian Yelich is in a major funk, with just one hit in 19 at bats to go with seven strikeouts in his last six games.

Also funking it up lately is Giancarlo Stanton. After homering four times in three games May 6th, 7th and 8th he has yet to hit one out in the 12 games since and is batting just .266 during that span with 4 runs and 4 RBIs.

The Marlins begin a brief 2-game set in Oakland tonight, sending Jose Urena to the mound.  Urena has  been a pleasant surprise for Miami while most of his pitching counterparts have not come close to living up to expectations this season.

This will be Urena’s fourth start and despite a 1-2 record, his ERA is a microscopic 1.91 with 17 strikeouts to go with 9 walks.

HEAT: FLAME STILL BURNING

Yesterday on WQAM, Ira Winderman said something that I found particularly interesting.

“The season has been over for a month and guys keep showing up for practice.”

The Heat hasn’t played a game in five weeks, when the regular season ended. But guys are still showing up at the arena to practice, working on jumpshots and conditioning and who knows what else.

The coaches aren’t there… because while the Heat’s season is over, the NBA’s season is not. The offseason won’t officially begin until the NBA Finals are over.

Coaches don’t get much time away from the game to be with their families, and that time is now. They’ll be back soon enough.

But in the meantime, Heat players keep showing up for practice.

It will be very interesting to see how Pat Riley and Miami’s decision makers approach the offseason because of how well this unit played together, and how much a bond seems to have been forged.

It’s clear the players think they have something special and want to see it through, but when the Heat brought in the likes of Dion Waiters and James Johnson last summer, they weren’t part of the long-term plan.

How much have things changed since last summer? We’ll find out.

FINAL THOUGHTS: SILVER PANTHERS, NFL CELLY

-A couple of Florida Panthers returned home from the IIHF World Championships with silver medals.

Congrats to defensemen Jason Demers and Mike Matheson, who helped Team Canada come within a shootout loss of gold medals.

Demers was praised for his solid 2-way defensive play while Matheson wowed with his offensive skills and playmaking capabilities.

Nick Bjugstad had a strong showing for Team USA, as did Denis Malgin for Switzerland.

-The NFL is FINALLY starting to lighten up. Roger Goodell is even using GIFs now!

Earlier today Goodell released a Commissioner’s Letter entitled “Touchdown celebrations: snow angels, group demonstrations and more are back!”

To help describe the rule changes, the letter included a few GIFs showing what celebrations are now allowed (again).

I guess the No Fun League is tired of being known as the No Fun League because it’s loosening its grip on what could be one of the most fun aspects of the sport.

The only thing better than watching Jay Ajayi run in a Dolphins touchdown will be to see the offensive line set themselves up like bowling pins so Ajayi can bowl a strike with the football.

Also, Miami fans have got to love the snow angel reference because, well…Keith Byers:

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