Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dwyane Wade: Icon

Every NBA playoff season or so, an iconic moment presents itself to the viewing public. It is shown on constant highlight reels and is continuously discussed on talk radio, water coolers and neighborhood parks everywhere. It is seared into the sports public consciences for generations. It becomes a part of the NBA culture and it becomes a part of the rich history that defines this great game.

Magic’s Jr. Sky Hook against the Celtics in the ’87 Finals.

Jordan’s switching of hands shot against the Lakers in the ’91 Finals.

Larry Bird’s in-bounds steal against the Pistons in the ’87 Conference Finals.

Jordan’s jumper against Criag Elo and the Cavs.

Jordan’s jumper against the Jazz.

The list is endless.

And now, the list has added a new play and a new star.

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade has just contributed to the profusion of jaw dropping moments of the NBA postseason with his Game 4 aerobatic three point play against the Pistons. The play defines the player, like no other. It is at once heroic, awe-inspiring and standard operating procedure. It’s what we’ve come to know on a nightly basis as Heat fans. And it is what gives us the faith that we can beat the best team in the East and make a run for championship glory.

Wade sprinted past the Piston defenders, arching his body up towards the basket, only to get fouled and thrown off course while still in mid-air. And yet, just like Jordan and Dr. J before him, Wade seemed to defy gravity (or maybe he slowed down time itself), as he flipped the ball over his shoulder for a perfect shot down the basket. Dime Mag said it best in this re-cap of the play: “… We can’t even say the shot was Jordan-esque, because we’ve never seen anyone do anything like that."

The play doesn’t shock Heat fans. We have been in awe of D-Wade since he stepped onto the court three seasons ago. But the play seems to be the talk of NBA Nation today. And folks are finally realizing that Wade is right up there with his fellow young stud, LeBron James, as the Next Star of the NBA. James has been given the "The Chosen One" moniker and has his very own, multi-million dollar Nike ad campaign telling the world that we're all "Witnesses" to his greatness. All for the sake of finding that next NBA Icon that Jordan's (last) retirement seems to have left behind.

Yet, what few have failed to recognize is that Dwyane Wade is far more advanced, has accomplished far more and is far more of a polished player than James is at this point.

In his first three seasons in the NBA, Wade has led his team to three consecutive playoff appearances, including two consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. And now, he has his team on the brink of the NBA Finals, against the same team James and his Cavaliers could not close out. And with all the Jordan-James comparisons made by the World Wide Leader In Hyperbole, ESPN, there is simply no denying that Wade is far more Jordan-esque than James is.


While the media is trying to force fit James into the Jordan mold, Wade seems to be doing it by himself, almost seamlessly. His nightly highlights are complimented by his fourth quarter heroics and his peerless ability to take over games and hit game-winning shots. He is fearless. And, at the same time, makes everyone on the opposing side fearful. And that, more than anyting, is Jordan-esque.

Yes, he has the luxury of playing with Shaq, and yes James’ day in the playoff sun will come soon. But for right now, Dwyane Wade is the "Jordan" everybody seems to have been looking for.

Or maybe, to paraphrase Dime Mag, he’s not Jordan at all.

He’s Dwyane Wade. And no one has ever seen anything like him.

And he’s the latest to become a part of the NBA Playoff Iconic Pantheon ...

Witnessing Dwyane Wade [Mr. Irrelevant]
Thank God For Wade [The Basketball Jones]
Wade's Big Fourth Quarter [ESPN]
Wade Takes Over [Sun-Sentinel]


Heat 89 - Pistons 78

Tom Brady's favorite NBA team is one win away from the Finals!

Hubie Brown is disgusted.

More coming later... Work sucks...

For Your Reading Pleasure:

Say Goodnight, Detroit [Deadspin]
5 More Wins [SporTech Matter]
Pat Riley Is Rebooting Two Franchises [YaySports]
Pat Riley Looking Like A Legend Again [The Herald … yes, I know it’s Le Batard, but it’s a pretty good piece. Just pretend your grandma wrote it to keep the happy thoughts in your mind …]


Monday, May 29, 2006

Game 4 Tonight

Have A Happy & Safe Memorial Day!

Game 4 Tonight



Sunday, May 28, 2006

Overloaded on Turkey, Heavy Gravy & Wine, The Exhausted Pistons Beat Themselves Again As The Heat Take A 2-1 Series Lead

Insider Information you’ll only get here at the MSD (and most Detroit area newspapers): Pat Riley prepared his team by giving each player two cans of Red Bull with a colada chaser. Meanwhile, the Pistons were served warm milk and Big Macs for their pre-game meal. How else can we explain the Heat’s 98-83 win Saturday night? There is no other explanation. Right?

Shaquille O’ Neal did not dominate. Ben Wallace was just fatigued. You know, all those hours on a privately chartered plane from Detroit to Miami can take its toll on a guy.

Dwyane Wade scored 35 points only because Tayshaun Prince was drowsy. The inter-planetary system he resides from is 3000 light years from earth. The trip itself has no scenery whatsoever and the tolls are a bitch.

Chauncey Billups almost pulled the Pistons through as he had the hot hand in the 4th quarter. He pulled Detroit within one but because he was so fatigued and exhausted from carrying that large head of his on his shoulders all day, his legs simply just gave way. This tends to happen to people who have overly large craniums and no chins.

Rasheed Wallace was simply drained from all the talking he’s done throughout the course of the season. His overworked jaw muscles would not allow his arms to fully work, forcing him to only go 4-11 in the game.

Rip Hamilton was downright worn out. That mask of his is just too heavy, turning his legs into frail, feeble spindly rubber, thus allowing the Heat to actually score more than two or three baskets! Damn sweaty-creepy mask!

So, once again, the somnolent, drained and worn out Pistons just could not make their shots, allowing the obviously well rested and wired-up Heat to make theirs. Hell, at one point, all five Pistons starters fell asleep on the court. And that damn Miami crowd would not let them nap. But Flip has a plan, we’re sure.

Series: Heat 2 – Pistons 1
Game 4 Monday Night.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

ARRRGGHH!!!!: Heat-Pistons GAME 2 REVIEW

A Five Part Game 2 Review (With Pictures!):

I. First Quarter: Twelve Points? TWELVE GODDAMN POINTS????

Here are some highlights:

-Jason Williams missed Jump Shot
-Antoine Walker missed Turnaround Jump Shot
-Antoine Walker missed 3-pt. Jump Shot
-Dwyane Wade missed Turnaround Jump Shot
-Udonis Haslem missed Jump Shot
-Dwyane Wade missed Jump Shot
-Gary Payton missed Driving Layup
-Antoine Walker missed Layup
-James Posey missed Layup

II. Role Players: A Combined 11-37 ... How’s Flounder going to stick up for Toine on his Friday show, I wonder?

This is what I wrote in yesterday’s post: ”The Heat’s role players will remember that they are, in fact, inconsistent, and will shoot at a much lower percentage than in Game 1.”

That is so true it is profoundly sad.

Antoine Walker goes all Antoine Walker on us and goes for a very Antoine Walker-esque 3-12.

How’s Flounder going to stick up for Toine on his Friday show, I wonder? (By the way, in case you missed it, Flounder Le Batard called us Heat fans who boo Antoine Walker, stupid. That’s right. His words. It happened during one of his sweat induced, spit spewing, 20 minute apologist rants on his show on Tuesday. It’s a wonder why the entire sports loving nation cannot stand Dan Le Batard).

Here are the role-player’s numbers. Try not to vomit in your mouth:

Antoine Walker: 3-12
Jason Williams: 3-8
Udonis Haslem: 1-5
Gary Payton: 1-6
James Posey: 2-4
Alonzo Mourning: 1-2

Inexcusable! We can’t be held at the mercy of our role-players playing inconsistently in a best of seven series. They have to be held accountable for their shoddy play in Game 2. Enough of this garbage already!

III. Surfing With The Alien: Tayshaun Goes Off

Prince shoots lights out and goes for 24 points, leading the charge for the Pistons’ Series-tying win. How is this possible? Seriously. The man looks like a malnourished Nephilim (ah, I went all Dennis Miller on yo ass there). So Shaq is Superman, Wade is Flash and they both just got beat by Plastic Man? C’MON!!!!


IV. 1980s: The Bad Boys ... Present: The Whiners

Number one reason I despise the Detroit Pistons: I have never seen a more whiney, complaining, grumbling, moaning, crying, wailing bunch of pussies in my entire life of watching sports.

In all my years of watching NBA basketball, I’ve never seen a supposed championship squad behave like these jack-asses.

Every single call by the referee is met with utter surprise and shock. Every whistle is met by the stunned, flabbergasted face of a Detroit Piston. And I mean all five starters. They throw their hands in the air with their dumbfounded look of absolute wonder and astonishment. They contort their faces with an open jawed look of absolute stupification. Because, as we all know, these Pistons have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever committed a foul. No way, no how. That’s outrageous and preposterous!

You ignorant officials! How dare you call a foul on Rasheed or Rip or Chauncey or Ben or The Alien! That is outrageous, outlandish … ludicrous!

Anyway, more than them being a really good team. More than them being in the way of the Heat’s goal of getting to the NBA Finals. This is the reason I hate the Detroit Pistons. Just shut the F%$# up already!


V. The Hero: Dwyane Wade

Alas, Dwyane Wade’s heroic 32 point outpour was simply not enough. He finished 11-20, 2-4 in three pointers, 8-8 at the free throw line 2 steals and a blocked shot after starting the game off slow. His three pointer with 9 seconds left brought the Heat within 2 points. But it wasn’t enough.

We know we’re going to get that effort from D-Wade every night. The role players have to take their thumbs out of their asses and give the man some help or else that Game 1 win and ensuing celebration will be short lived.

Conclusion: Home Cookin’

The Pistons did what they had to and, frankly, were expected to do – win a must-win and avoid losing another home game. And in the end, the Heat got what they were after: home court. Winning Game 2 would’ve been a nice topper. But, like I’ve been saying here on my posts – the Pistons were going to come hard in Game 2 and they did.

And yet, one can’t help feel the frustration of what could have been. The Heat’s late game rally was commendable but fell well short. Where was that effort in the previous quarter? Where was that effort in the first half? And D-Wade was his usual self, putting up a heroic effort in trying to push his team over the hump. Coming back to Miami, the role-players need to step it up. We can’t keep relying on Dwyane Wade for everything. Cleveland did that with LeBron James and got bounced quick.

Games 2 and 3 must be ours for the taking. Let’s protect home court. Let's go back to Detroit up 3-1.

Don’t panic, Miami. We’re still in control here.

I'm still sticking with my original pick: Heat in 7.


A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Game 2 Preview/Predictions

Game 2 tonight. The Heat are expecting a vastly different Pistons team than what they saw in Game 1.

So am I.

So, here’s my Game 2 preview/predictions:

-For starters, Stephen A. Smith is going to be doing a lot of shouting again in the pre-game. And, "at the end of the day," say a whole lotta nothing in the process.

-They’re going to keep showing that T-Mobile commercial where Vince Carter tells somebody that his dog is bulimic.

-The Pistons are going to shoot at a much higher percentage than in Game 1

-The Heat’s role players will remember that they are, in fact, inconsistent, and will shoot at a much lower percentage than in Game 1.

-Despite Detroit’s double-teaming, and frustrating of D-Wade, he’s still going to manage to score 20+ points. The only real question will be how many of those are going to come in the final minutes of the 4th.

-Shaq is going to continue to dominate the paint as he seems to have figured out how to move around without Dick Bavetta’s whistle up his ass all the time.

-Alonzo Mourning will continue his superior play as he looks rejuvenated, in rhythm and healed from that pesky torn calf muscle. “Torn calf muscle, bad! Argghhh!!!”

-Udonis Haslem will turn around his porous offense tonight. He has to.

-Chauncey Billups will be very aggressive and Jason Williams will not be able to handle it.

-Rasheed Wallace will get called for one technical tonight. He will also bitch, moan and whine about 3 different fouls called against him.

-Flip Saunders will prove that he is not, in fact, a mannequin.

-All in all, tonight is a golden opportunity for the Heat to once and for all, crush the Pistons under foot and take a 2-0 lead back to Miami. The energy will be high tonight. But the Pistons were made for this kind of game. A balls to the wall, do or die situation. It’s why they’re the two time Eastern Conference champions and it’s why they’ve been the favorites to win it all again. I think Detroit takes this game and ties up the series. But the damage has been done, and all the Heat will have to do from here on out is protect home court and win every game in Miami.

Still, even with this loss, I predict the following:

1.) All prior NBA championship talk here in Miami will immediately cease. Followed by a strong sense of anger and resentment over why this team can never win. This will mean good news for all Miami Dolphins websites as hits will triple in the next 24 hours ...

2.) The talk radio calls on Friday will all consist of people panicking and wanting to throw Pat Riley into the Miami River in a sack, hang Antoine Walker off the Freedom Tower and wanting to trade old man Shaq to the Knicks for whatever younger center they have (even though they have no true center. But, hey, it's Miami, we're allowed to be stupid.)

This, in turn, will lead to folks showing up late to Game 3 on Saturday. But, hey, they’ll look good. And that’s all that really matters.

Anyway … we real fans (all 50 of us) know the deal. If Miami pulls it off tonight, we’re that much closer. If not – and none of us will be surprised if Detroit wins tonight – we know it’s still a best of seven series and that our boys did what good teams are supposed to do: win on the road and take back home court.

Let’s Go Heat!

SporTech Matter Preview
An Open Letter From Flip Saunder's Turtle


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Heat-Pistons Game 1: The Dude's Notes

When the Heat win a game, I'll probably do this. When they lose, I'll probably be too pissed off to post anything at all. Anyway, here are my Game 1 notes for your wasting-of-time enjoyment ...


-The ABC pre game analysts are going over game plans and strategy. Scottie Pippen is speaking about how the Pistons need consistency on defense to win this series. Tim Legler discusses the importance of Pat Riley’s direction and leadership. And Stephen A. Smith is shouting. There’s nothing quite like some in-depth pre game analysis from a 6 time NBA champion and a guy who shouts a lot. Seriously, can we just speed up time and get to the end of Stephen A. Smith’s 15 minutes already?

TV Commercial: The Omen
Oh, that Damian ... What a cute, rambunctious, rabblerousing little kid! Nothing like a heartwarming coming of age summer time movie … sigh

1st Quarter

-The Heat are off to an 11-0 start. The Pistons have missed all first 6 shot attempts. Better yet, the refs are actually letting Shaq play! Excellent sign of things to come!

-Four Words: D-Wade Is On Fire! (D-Wade counts as one word, right?). Is there anyone in the NBA better at finishing at the basket than Dwyane Wade? Ah ... no. And that includes the Chosen-One-Witness-Nail-Biting-King-Bron-Bron.

-J-Dub and Antoine are off to good starts. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

-So far, all the foul calls are going the Pistons way (Pistons 6-Heat 1). Detroit is within reach thanks to the refs. Detroit’s 6th Man of the Year.

-The quarter ends. But not before Toine throws up a patented Toineward lay up from the top of the key. This would only be an issue if we were losing. But we’re not. Only Toine would attempt a lay up from the top of the key ... It’s just Toine being Toine.

Heat 33 – Pistons 25

2nd Quarter

-Sheed throws up his first Hail Mary three pointer. And misses. Still, the Pistons mount a heavy comeback and the Heat lend a helping hand with turnovers and horrible shot selection. So much for the hot start. Detroit is within 6.

-Foul called on Rasheed and – what??? No crying or whining??? This is a monumental sports occasion!!! If ABC’s Wide World of Sports was still on the air, this moment would be the featured spot. Maybe it’ll make the George Michael's Sports Machine.

-Detroit is making another strong run. Did we expect this to be easy in any way? The crowd is getting lively.

-More than any other Piston, none scares me more than Antonio McDyess. The guy can be a starter pretty much anywhere else in the NBA. I wish he played for us. Damn it.

-More turnovers. More bad shots. That’s the Miami Heat I know and love! Detroit is within 2.

-Turnovers!!! #%$@^ turnovers!!!! 4 in the 2nd already and Dwyane Wade just got hit with his 3rd foul and has to sit. Time for Toine to step up. Shit.

-But, hey, look everybody – Gary Payton has arrived! Solid outing from GP, who keeps us from completely imploding.

Time Out: The TV shows Bill Lambier in the front row and he is completely shitfaced. “Did you guys see George Clooney trying to solve that thing over there?”

-The half ends flatly. Zo is pissed because he didn’t get the final shot. Nobody passed him the ball even though he was one-on-one with Ben Wallace. Zo is grunting and stomping around and angry. Like Frankenstein. His teammates are the angry villagers with torches and pitch forks as they usher him into the locker room. Still, I’m with Zo.

Heat 48 – Pistons 44

3rd Quarter

-The Heat start off hot again. But, again, turnovers and fouls are keeping Detroit in this.

-Shaq just fouled Ben Wallace with an elbow to the face. The report says Wallace has his two front teeth loose. THAT’S FRIGGIN AWESOME!!!

-Wade just picked up his 4th foul! What the hell?

-And with that, the Pistons take the lead for the first time tonight. Still, the fans are not as loud & cheerful as they should be. Maybe it’s because they just remembered that they live in Detroit. Oh snap! Ok … back to the game.

-Udonis has been solid getting rebounds and playing defense. But he’s 0-7 on offense. He's trying desperately to snap out of his oh-fer. Here’s my solution for you, Udonis: PASS THE BALL!!!!! This is neither the time nor the place to try and shoot your way out of a personal slump. That’s what February is for.

-Walker is fouled by Tayshaun. Tayshaun pleads his case like the alien who has just been assigned to perform the anal probing on the human subject who has just been picked up hunting in the woods. (Seriously, the guy looks like an alien)

-The Heat come back on the tippy toes of our boy, Toine. His three ties it. Next possession, Posey’s three puts us back ahead. 63-60.

-Miami finishes the quarter on a nice run. Gary Payton thinks he’s still living in the 90’s. But tonight, he’s playing like he’s still living in the 90’s. And I’ll take it! Quick! Everybody hide your iPods!!!! For the love of God, don't let Gary see your iPods!!!!

Heat 66 – Pistons 61

4th Quarter

TV Commercial: The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Hollywood has officially run out of ideas.

-We start the quarter 0-2 and a turnover. But Gary hits a three. The man is playing possessed. C’mon Seattle!!

-Wade returns. The Pistons are struggling with their shots. At home. We must take advantage of this!!!

-Sitting out has not affected Wade in the slightest. He’s gone 9-10 tonight. 9-10! The Heat are up 77 – 67. BUT …

- … Sometime in the remaining 5:48, the Pistons WILL make a run and the Heat must withstand it.

-What’s this? The Heat play Hack-A-Ben? Interesting. He misses both free throws. Interesting? No. Friggin brilliant!! Side note: The sideline reporter tells us she asked Riley before the game if he would play the Hack-A-Ben. As if this was something they did often? They've NEVER done it. But between you and me, I think Riley stole this idea from her. Riley: "No, we're not going to do the Hack-A-Ben. It's not something we do (Hack-A-Ben? Why didn't I think of that??? That's brilliant!). So, I doubt we'll do it tonight."

-The refs calls are keeping the Pistons in this.

-Detroit makes one final push. They call a timeout with 50.8 seconds left.

-Rip Hamilton attempts a lay up. But from seemingly out of nowhere, Wade blocks his shot. He does not fear your creepy sweaty mask!

-Wade blocks shot. Wade seals game. I AM A WITNESS (NIKE SWOOSH)

-The Heat take Game 1! In the immortal words of Marv Albert: “YES!”

Final Score: Heat 91 – Pistons 86

Heat lead Series 1 - 0

GAME 2, THURSDAY: Expect the Pistons to come out with guns a-blazin'.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

“Do You Stand For Goodness Or For Badness?” A Heat – Pistons Series Preview

Golf and basketball have nothing in common. I suppose except for the object of the games, which is to get a ball onto a hole. Unlike most of you, I’m not a big golf guy. I’ve been golfing once or twice and I sucked at it and that was that. But in honor of the Heat and in honor of one of my all time favorite movies, and for no other reason but to amuse myself as I preview this series, I give you the Eastern Conference Championship Series Preview Through Lines From Caddy Shack

1. Point Guards
“A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a danish”

Last season, the Heat had no real point guard to speak of. We had to endure Damon Jones as our primary point guard. There was nothing like watching him take the full ten seconds to dribble the ball down the court backwards before setting up the offense. And there was nothing like his 1 point in Game 7. This season, Pat Riley got Jason Williams to command that role, as well as Gary Payton to fill in. J-Dub is excellent at getting the ball down court and, being the pure point guard that he is, is a vast improvement over Jones. Still, he has always been and will continually be a defensive liability. We can’t expect too much from J-Dub when he guards Chauncey Billups and we can only hope Payton can help slow Mr. Big Shot down. Still, I like going into this with Williams and Payton over Jones.
Edge: Pistons

2. Shooting Guards

Without Eddie Jones in the lineup, it’s up to Dwyane Wade to step up and play defense against Richard Hamilton. Look for Rip to be aggressive against Wade, whose defense has been very suspect in these playoffs so far. James Posey will step in and help from time to time, but Rip is too quick to be contained by either Wade or Posey. So it will come down to which two guard ends up with the most points, really. Rip is a great player. But never bet against D-Wade.
Edge: Heat

3. Small Forward
“Remember Danny, two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left.”

The question of the ages here is Which Antoine Walker Will Show Up? Toine has been lights out this post-season and has kept the Heat boo-birds largely at bay. But Toine has never had success against the Pistons. He’s gone 4-19, 6-19, 5-14 and 4-10 in the last four games against Detroit and now will have the tall task of slowing down Tayshaun Prince, who seems to be playing very un-Tayshaun Prince like lately (translation: he's been scoring a lot). Prince will probably be called to guard Wade most of the time, but he will also be all over Walker. So as to not boo Toine, let us go into this thing assuming he’s not going to have a good series. And let’s just leave it at that.
Edge: Pistons

4. Power Forward
“Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.”

Rasheed Wallace has a height advantage over Udonis Haslem. But U plays him tough and he plays him smart. Haslem will probably only guard Sheed in the paint, leaving Posey and others to guard Wallace’s three point attempts. What Haslem must do here is attack the boards and draw fouls from Wallace. Even though Rasheed Wallace has never, never, ever, in his entire life, ever actually committed a real foul. Ever. One of Haslem's strengths is his foul shooting, which could favor Miami down the stretch. It could also frustrate Wallace and get him in Technical trouble. Also, Wallace is playing with a slight ankle sprain and has not had avery good playoffs so far. This means a lot more of Antonio McDyess and he is always a handful.
Slight Edge: Pistons

5. Center
“Then how do you measure yourself with other golfers?” “By height.”

Shaquille O’Neal has pretty much owned Ben Wallace in one on one matchups, which is how the Pistons usually guard Shaq. Look for Shaq to get his numbers and for him and Alonzo Mourning to do serviceable jobs against Wallace defensively. There are only two real concerns here. One will be how the refs call each game. Shaq will, without a doubt, be the go-to-guy in the Heat’s offense and they will need him to stay out of foul trouble. The other concern will be rebounding. Wallace is usually the main reason the Pistons get multiple shot opportunities off misses. Shaq, Zo and Haslem will have to be like wild dogs when crashing the boards. Rebounds is what ultimately did in the Cavaliers. Still you gotta go with the Daddy-Diesel over the Crazy-Ass-Fro
Edge: Heat

6. Coaching
“I have to laugh, because I've outsmarted even myself.”

Flip Saunders easily has the cushiest coaching job in the NBA. His only job requirements is to get Rasheed Wallace to shut up against referees, get his guys to play like they care sometimes, and call in substitutes when the situation calls for it. Saunders received a lot of flack for Detroit’s struggles against Cleveland and will have the glare of the Detroit media if the Pistons lose this series. Likewise, Pat Riley used the off season for precisely this series. He traded away Eddie Jones and got James Posey, Jason Williams and Antoine Walker for this. He too has come under a lot fire for these moves. So something will have to give. Still, who in their right mind would pick Flip over Riles in a coaching matchup?
Edge: Heat

7. Bench

“Don’t sell yourself short, Judge. You’re a tremendous slouch.”

The only real threat off the Piston’s bench is McDyess. The Heat have Alonzo Mourning, James Posey, Gary Payton and, lest we forget, MICHAEL DOLEAC!!!
Depth always comes in handy during this time of year.
Edge: Heat

8. Prediction
“Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid!”

Most have the Pistons winning this series in seven. It will be a big blow to lose this opportunity for the Heat. They’re getting older. The window of opportunity is closing fast and younger, up and coming teams like Cleveland, Washington and Chicago are getting better with each passing season. This may be Miami’s best and only chance to advance to their first ever finals. It’s going to be a barn burner. So, as a homer I’m picking the Heat. But I'm also picking them because I think the Heat just want it more. I know that doesn’t translate into numbers and the Sheer Desire theory would make Boog Shiambi and Dan Le Batard both have brain aneurisms if they read this (and is that a bad thing, really?). But I think the Heat are hungrier to win this and I think Riley, Shaq and D-Wade will do everything they have to, to push Miami through.

Heat in Seven


Monday, May 22, 2006

Get Ready To See A Whole Hell Of A Lot Of THIS Guy’s Annoying-Ass Mug

After flirting with the possibility of seeing Bron-Bron in the Conference Finals (and having to endure all that media hype fest crap on the Chosen One, King James, Witness, etc.), it wasn’t meant to be. The Pistons finally became interested again and took care of the Cavs yesterday.

And that’s the way it was supposed to be anyway, wasn’t it? All season long, everyone knew it would come down to this. Heat-Pistons.

I’m just glad the Cavs took them the distance. Wade’s leg needed the rest as did Shaq’s body and Zo’s calf. And don’t hand me that “rusty” and “out of rhythm” crap either. Our boys will be ready to play.

As the game winded down yesterday, the TV showed a Detroit fan holding a sign that read: “BRING ON THE HEAT.”

And you know what? HELL YEA!

LET’S GET IT ON! (Game 1 Tuesday)


Friday, May 19, 2006


In my previous post, I wrote about how one of the exciting parts of the night was seeing Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper at the Heat-Nets game. I wrote a quick blurb about him acknowledging the crowd on the jumbotron and how everybody went nuts when they saw him.

What I edited out of that piece, really because I was saving it for its own piece, is the way Culpepper “acknowledged” the masses. Now, I’m a little perplexed that no one else really caught on to this, and it’s been a bitch trying to find a photo of it (alas, I don’t think one exists). But the fact remains that I truly believe that Culpepper flashed all 20,000 Heat fans in attendance Tuesday night, “the shocker.”

It was either the shocker or Culpepper is now part of a street gang (or a Wichita State fan).

He didn’t wave. He didn’t point. He gestured. Now, this isn’t the West coast, so I know he didn’t do the old “West Siiiiide” signal. And Culpepper is from Florida, so he has no immediate West coast roots that I am aware of. But clearly, there were three fingers and, even more damning, the screen quickly turned back to the on-court festivities which was, mainly, nothing but roving TNT camera crews. The Heat jumbotron guys knew what was going on.

A woman in her late 30’s sitting in front of us complained when Culpepper’s image was abrubtly cut off as we were all in mid-cheer. I said, rather enthusiastically, “I think he just gave us the shocker!” She looked back at me like I had a lemur sitting on my face. She was obviously unaware of the term and said, “The what?” I did not answer. I would be like having to re-visit the experience of explaining to my Dad why people call each other “dawg." It would just be too time consuming, exasperating and futile.

Now this is all conjecture, mind you. I could be wrong (I say this only because I have no hard evidence. I have only my mind’s eye.). But I must attest to the fact that I had not yet gotten drunk that evening. And I sort of feel like the one guy who actually spotted Sasquatch in the woods but had the lens cap on the camera while taking the picture. But I saw what I saw. There has to be evidence of this somewhere. A cell phone pic. A video camera. Something. This is the age of the interweb dammit!! Where you can get pictures of just about anyone doing just about anything (or anyone)!!

Not that it matters to me at all. It doesn’t. I love Culpepper and I love that he’s our quarterback and I think he’s going to rock the house. And, in fact, I would LOVE it if he did the shocker as a TD celebration instead of that "traveling violation" thing he usualy does. ("Hey Tom Brady, I just threw my 5th touchdown against your sorry defense, bitch. Heyyyo!!")

It’s just that the whole “Love Boat” thing is becoming a bit more clear to me now. And I also find it hilarious that I woke up this morning and saw this headline on a website: Culpepper Making A Favorable Impression

There’s a sweet irony to it all. And I like it.

If you have a photo proving or disproving this, or if you have video or even if you can verbally back me up on this, please drop me a line at MiamiSportsDudes@mail.com

We are offering no prizes. We can only offer you MiamiSportsDudes immortality and will always praise your name on this blog for thousands to see.

And in case you’re like over the age of 35 and stuff and have like no idea what the hell I’m talking about, here’s a helpful article.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

THE HEAT ARE IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS … A Journal By A Hung-Over & Happy Miami Sports Dude

You’ll pardon me if this report is late … after the Heat’s 106-105 win over the Nets, ensuring entrance into the Eastern Conference Finals, Tek, Gordo and I went out to celebrate at Tobacco Road. What follows is a journal of the game, which is all true. The bottom line here is that, at the end of the night, the Heat won and a girl gave me her number. Life is good.

The Dude’s Heat-Nets Game 5 Journal:

7:00 PM: We arrive and realize our seats are in the 400 section. With the help of two sherpas and a mountain goat, we find our seats. They are actually up against the wall. We decide this is no good so we – and I do not advocate or condone this behavior – decide to find some empty seats in the lower level. We wait for the game to start before heading out.

8:45 PM: We slowly begin to realize that Dwayne Wade is struggling. He’s missed his first 4 shots miserably. The Nets are up by ten. The arena is eerily silent. We decide to make our move. The First Quarter is about to end.

9:15 PM: We find ourselves in new, very awesome, seats. The trick with sneaking into better seats at the arena – and again, we do not advocate or condone this – is to walk into the tunnel without making eye contact with the security. It’s helpful if you put the cell phone to your head and pretend to be involved in an important conversation. Also, make sure you act as if this is your section. Don’t waddle. The slightest hesitation will get you sent back to your 400 Level Nose-Bleeding Purgatory. Also, it helps to have a sense of humor about it. If you do get busted or if the actual owners of the seats show up, grin and walk out with a shrug. It’s embarrassing, but you don’t have to make it so. Try to muster some dignity, even if most of it has been sucked out of you while 200 onlookers stare at you with laughter and mockery. And don’t sweat the security. More often than not, it’s a high school kid working a minimum wage job wearing a jacket that says STAFF or SECURITY on it. Every now and then you’ll get a jack ass who thinks he’s Walker Texas Ranger. But, for the most part, they’re sort of like animals in the wild. A bit daunting but, really, more scared of you than you are of them.

9:20 PM: Antoine hits his first three off a nice assist from Wade. The game seems to be turning a bit. Alonzo Mourning comes in for a foul troubled Shaq and makes a nice mini hook shot. The fans are getting into it again. Shades of Game 1 are beginning to disappear. You see, changing seats actually gave the Heat some new life. If the real owners show up and kick us out, the Heat are doomed to lose this game. And who knows? They might just free fall into a four game losing streak and lose the series all because they didn’t let us sit here as the basketball gods deemed that we should! But no one kicked us out … and we all know how the game ended. (However, I do have one complaint. There was this woman sitting directly behind us who obviously knew very little about basketball but kept screaming – and I mean at the very top of her annoying little lungs – “WE’RE GONNA WIN!!! WE’RE GONNA WIN!!!” She did this regardless of what was happening on the court and she did it all the way to final buzzer. This led to Tek shouting “Shut up!!” But it didn’t faze her. In fact, I don’t even think she noticed. It then led him to saying, “Why do they allow women into basketball games? They just take up seats!” He was mad. Please don’t send me angry e-mails. You know I love you, ladies.)

1:55 left in the half … one of the best parts of the night: The jumbo screen shows Daunte Culpepper and Ronnie Brown sitting in the front row. The fans go absolutely batty. Ronnie points Culpepper to the screen; he looks up and smiles, making the crowd even crazier. Culpepper acknowledges the cheers and now you can feel the walls and floors vibrate. It was awesome. Proof positive that this is a Dolphins town first and foremost – a Dolphins player who has yet to play a single down gets the loudest ovation of the night. Let’s Go Fins!!!

Now … mmmmmmmback to the Heat …

A word on Antoine Walker: I have had my share of Toine Bashing on this blog throughout the course of the season and, yes, I’m still waiting for the real Toine to show up and chuck 25 bricks into the air … but for now, I give the man his props. He’s truly been Employee Number 8 again these last four games and he bailed us out more times than Marcus Vick’s lawyers. He bailed us out when Wade and Shaq dealt with their struggles and bailed us out with his 3 pointer with 2:00 left in regulation to ice the game (so to speak).

So here’s to you, Antoine Walker. You brick laying, Young Frankenstein dribbling sonofabitch … we love you man! (At least until your next 2-23 performance).

FAST FORWARD … 4th Quarter

1:08 Left in Regulation: The Heat has made a furious comeback. And while the crowd is getting upset that Shaquille O’Neal, the most dominant force in the history of the National Basketball Association cannot, for the life of him, hit a goddam free throw to save his life, we’re still feeling a little confident.

1:03 Left: After a timeout, Vince Carter makes another uncontested lay up. Again. This is what happens when you feed the dog people food!! Or, when you fail to guard the paint. It's times like these that you actually miss Eddie Jones ...

.44 Left: Antoine misses a three point attempt. Damn you Toine!!! I take back everything I just said!!! The Nets grab the rebound and score quickly. 106-105, Heat. On the outset, this looks bad. But what led to that lay up has been overlooked. Every pass made after that TO was to a Nets player standing outside the three point line. Richard Jefferson, who had been killing us all night, was standing all alone at the tre spot. When he received the pass, James Posey leapt over to defend the shot, leaving Vince open for the lay up. In essence, they gave up 2 points for a wide open-sure-fire-Jefferson-three that would’ve tied the game and sent it into overtime with Shaq and Wade both in foul trouble.

.2 Left: After a FULL time out, this is the play that we went with: Gary Oldman Payton taking the craziest, most off balance jump shot you ever did see. And, of course, he misses. SIGH … We just have to accept that Gary thinks he’s still living in the early 90’s, we’re in Seattle and Pearl Jam’s TEN is playing on the speaker as apposed to 2006, in Miami with Reggeaton playing on the speaker … come to think of it, I wish I had Gary Payton’s dementia …

Nets take a full time out. There’s a wave of nervous energy in the arena. Tek has his hands over his eyes. Gordo is standing and clapping. I am leaning against my seat wondering what Coach Riley is saying to his guys. Lungs is yelling, “WE’RE GONNA WIN!!! WE’RE GONNA WIN!!!” behind us. NBA basketball. It’s faaaaantastic.

.2 Left: New Jersey makes the inbound pass. And, wouldn’t you know it? It had to be … it had to be FLASH who saves the day. He jumps in front of Vince and steals the ball, runs up court and launches it into the stands, right in front of Culpepper.

The arena erupts. Media storms the court. Tek hugs me and yells into my ear “WE’RE GONNA WIN!!!” He’s such a jack ass. Gordo screams, “We’re going to the Eastern Conference Finals baby!” And I just lift my arms in the air and yell, “Yes!” I even managed to high five Lungs. She smiles as if she knows her yelling gave the team good karma. It gave Tek a headache, that’s for sure. Hey, whatever works.

On the way out, we discuss the details of how much rest the Heat will get now that Detroit has to play at least two more games. We agree it will at least be 5 days. We hope the Cavs-Pistons go to 7 games. We hope even harder that the Cavs can pull off the upset against Detroit.

We head off to Tobacco Road and celebrate with other locals. The bar is full but not packed. We have grilled chicken nachos and watch the Suns-Clippers game and wonder how the hell the Clippers made it this far. We see Jack Nicholson in the stands and we all boo (What a bandwagoner! Great actor. Terrible sports fan. He’s also a Yankee fan. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was a Notre Dame fan.)

We get a little buzzed and, at the end of the night, head off. Tek gives his number to one of our pretty waitresses. I head off to take a piss. When I come out, the boys are in the car waiting for me. The waitress walks up to me and says “Have a great night,” and stuffs something into my front pocket. I get into the car and check the pocket. It’s her name and number. Tek, who’s driving, tells me he gave her his number. I show him the napkin. “She gave me hers.” I say. Gordo begins to crack up in the back seat. The rest of the way home, Tek tries to convince me she gave it to me to give to him. Despite the Heat winning, it’s been a rough night for my boy, Tek.

This morning, I awake with a headache but I’m happy.

The Heat are in the Eastern Conference Finals.



Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Heat-Nets Game 5 Preview … under water …

In case you don’t live in South Florida or if you do live here but were too busy getting hammered and kicking a cop in the groin, or if you did live here but you’ve been eaten by an alligator: we’ve been covered under a storm of Biblical proportions down here the last two days. And it sucks.

This means that getting to tonight’s Game 5 between the Heat and the Nets is going to be wet, dirty, nasty and terribly slow, thus making it all quite sucky. Torrential rain and South Floridian drivers – it’s what makes this place so friggin awesome to live in, doesn’t it? They better win dammit!

Anyway, the Dude and his buddy Tek will be leaving the office at around 6:25 PM to beat the kayakers and hover crafts to the AAA. That's right. We're braving the downpour and the I-95 traffic because we're Heat fans goddammit! Now get the hell out of the way!!!

Meanwhile, looking ahead, we see that the Piston’s Rasheed Wallace’s “guarantee” ranting with the media was, in fact, just ‘Sheed really taking a dump into a box and stamping it ‘Guaranteed.’ Bron-Bron’s Cavs tied the series last night and that bodes well for Miami. And it’s why a win tonight would be great on several levels:

1.) Clinch the series and get plenty of rest. Because we’re going to need it against Detroit. And let’s face it – Detroit is winning this series. Wade is a bit banged up and we don’t want to repeat last season’s Game 7 sad outcome 2.) Make a statement. While the Pistons struggled against a weaker opponent, we beat the No. 3 seed in four straight games. 3.) Game planning. Give a coach like Riley enough time to game plan and we’re all the better for it.

The Herald says the Nets will likely single-cover Shaq tonight. Lawrence Frank basketball. Say what you will about Doogie Houser, but the guy has balls – even if he does look like a balding 13 year old.

And I expect the Nets to come out strong tonight. Jason Kidd has already pulled out the “our backs are against the wall,” and “we need to win out,” and “we’re not done yet” clichés – which means the Heat need to match their intensity. The Antoine of Game 4 needs to make an appearance. As does the Udonis Haslem of Game 4 and the Gary Payton of Game 4, but only the Gary Payton that shot the game sealing three pointer, not the Gary Payton that took 12 ill-advised shots prior to that three pointer (again, Gary, we love you because you wear a Heat uniform … but this is NOT 1995).

The Heat’s defense is still allowing way too many points in the paint. And Vince Carter is having his way with them. I am not sold on Vince being a super star. He’s a glorified Dominick Wilkins without the Hall of Fame credentials. James Posey needs to get physical with him while Udonis needs to be all over the boards tonight.

And as for this rain … stay safe, stay dry and know that it should be gone soon. Like in the next couple of days. It is South Florida and it is May, after all.

Either that, or it’s a sign of the end of times … which means Jason Kidd will hit 9 of 17 shots for 22 points including 4 threes again tonight.



New Mexico In South Beach ... Send All Bicycle Units To Area McDonalds Restaurants, Immediately!

I am one of Nick Saban’s biggest apologists … I turn into Dan LeBatard when it comes to Saban, and that's not very easy to do ... well, then again, yes it is. It's easy to turn into a douche bag if you really try hard at it. And it doesn't take all that much effort, really ...

Anyway ... I have come to Saban's defense in just about everything he's done. I mean I have a man crush on the guy and have defended his every move with the ritual chant of “IN NICK WE TRUST!”

On Monday, Nick signed Marcus Vick to a free agent contract.

Here’s what Saban said about it: “I want to make it very clear that we will not condone any behavior issues in the future relative to Marcus Vick.”

In other words: “If Vick holds up a, oh I dunno, a McDonalds or a Burger King, then we will not excuse it. Or if he stomps on the leg of an opposing player, then he will not be pardoned. But we signed him anyway because, you know, we're cool like that …”

I’ve read through some other blogs comments on this issue and I gotta say, as much as I respect most of these commentators and fans, I am not in agreement with the coach on this one.

Call me a skeptic, call me a negative person … but New Mexico is trouble. The guy has always been trouble and we’ve just invited him to work and live in South Beach! The guy got in trouble living in Blacksburg, Virginia for crying out loud! I mean, really, what's a Hokie to do but tip cows and chuck corn? Imagine Vick on Ocean Drive.

I’m all about second chances, but New Mexico has exceeded those chances and this is just something we don’t need on this team.

I don’t subscribe to Saban’s disclaimer of “Marcus acknowledges that he has made some mistakes, all of which has resulted in severe consequences for him.”

Sounds a lot like Jimmy Johnson when he spoke of one Cecil Collins: "Cecil admitted he made a lot of mistakes, stupid mistakes. But he wants to put his life back in order. "

I believe Cecil is currently serving time in the Corn Hole Poker Hotel.

It's what cops call a "habitual offender."

New Mexico in South Beach is a mistake and, really, a move we could’ve made without.

So here now, Dolfans, is your QB depth chart:

Daunte “Bad Knee” Culpepper
Joey “Noodle Arm, Brain Locked, Happy Feet” Harrington
Cleo “I'm So Good They Had To Trade for Harrington And Sign New Mexico” Lemon
Brock “I’m Just Happy To Be Here” Berlin
Marcus “New Mexico” Vick

In Nick We Trust?


Friday, May 12, 2006

The Diesel & The Wookie

Random Thoughts As I Sit Around And Wait For Game 3 To Start ...

-The Net’s have lost Cliff Robinson for the remainder of the series. C-Rob was busted for violating the NBA’s drug testing policy. Will he now head for Canada too?

-The loss of Robinson looms large for New Jersey. No, seriously it does. Their interior defense is now even more suspect. The vaguely known Lamont Murray and the Who-The-Hell-is-That-Guy? John Thomas will likely get a lot more playing time. We HAVE to take advantage of this, no? Shaq, Zo, Udonis and Doleac need to dominate.

-The big questions going into Game 3 are: How will the refs call Shaq’s game? and How will the Daddy respond if the whistles are blown frequently? That’s right refs … keep on blowing. It’s what you’re best at.

-D-Wade needs to continue his aggressive play tonight and Shaq needs to be, well ... Shaq. He’s already anticipating the Nets defense will look to flop and flounder against him. But Shaq ain’t worried. No man can guard him. No Wookie can guard him either.

-I think D-Wade is going to have a big game tonight. I anticipate a lot of double teams and defensive swarming (like in Game 1) but I also anticipate Wade carrying over his great performance from Wednesday night. While Shaq will be the center of each possession, Wade is and always will be The Man. Richard Jefferson is still hobbled, so Wade needs to take advantage.

... And in other SoFla Sports News: Matt Millen finally realized he has no power over the Nicktator and went ahead and traded Joey Harrington to the Fins for a 6th round pick next year.

My thoughts on this are simple: We needed a backup for Culpepper and a 6th round pick is just right in this situation. Harrington is an okay QB. But quite frankly, I hope to High Heaven that he never plays a down for the Fins unless it’s pre-season or we’re up by 45 points in the 4th quarter of a regular season game. I liken Harrington to insurance. It’s a pain to make those payments and you hope you never have to use it … but it’s nice to have. Culpepper’s knee, after all, is a liability.

Let’s All Pray for Dr. Andrew’s hands … Let’s all pray we never see Joey in a game.



Thursday, May 11, 2006

“Hello. My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.”

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

Last night’s Heat-Nets game was a mirror image of Game 1, except this time it favored the Heat. Here’s a sample:

-Dwayne Wade came out of his shell and scored 31. D-Wade went 12 for 19, including 3 for 3 from the three point line and 4 for 4 from the stripe.

-Shaq once again abandoned his juggernaut style and played with a bit more finesse. The Daddy ended the night with 21 points. Lost in the stats was that he was never called for a defensive 3 second violation, which means the Diesel was constantly moving.

-Udonis Haslem had a solid night with 11 points as did Old Man Payton. How? U stayed out of foul trouble and Payton finally realized that we're no longer living in 1995.

-Best of all, our boy Antoine Walker didn’t screw things up. He hit two threes and – more importantly – only took four of them the whole game. He also only took a total of six shots. I’m beginning to think that Toine’s best contribution comes from the defensive side of the ball. Too bad he doesn’t think that as he will undoubtedly return to shooting 20 three pointers a game (18 of them ill-advised) some time during this series again.

But today is not Bash-Toine Day. It’s a day to be happy and know that our boys have not given up so neither should we. The series is tied at one game apiece heading into the Chemical Manufacturing Capital of the World and that’s a good thing.

So the analysis of this game is simple. If the guys do the exact opposite of what they’ve been doing lately, they’ll win. That’s it.

See you Friday.

Let’s Go Heat!!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Heat-Nets Game 2 Preview


1. Shaq says he isn't going to change his game to adjust to the way the earthlings are calling fouls on him like they get paid per whistle blow. He's just going to keep being the Diesel. And you know what? We like it that way!

2. Richard Jefferson is doubtful for tonight's game. And when he does play, he could be severely limited by the injury. Which means he'll be slow to go to the basket and slow to defend. Which means that D-Wade needs to go off. This is a two man team. Everyone knows that. So, let the two men handle this. D-Wade needs to go for 40 points, 20 assists. Shaq needs to go for 25 points, 13 rebounds and several "yes! yes! in-de-face!" slamma-jammas. Not just a win. Not just a 1-1 series tie. A statement.

3. If Jason Kidd goes off the same way he did in Game 1, I'm going to grab myself a cardboard box, a big red sharpie and walk around downtown with a sign that reads: "Repent! The End Is Nigh!" Because if J-Kidd does that again, then it's clearly the 5th sign of the Apocalypse and we're all going to die.

4. "I don't hate Antoine Walker. I have plenty of friends who suck at basketball.
Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week and don't forget to tip your waitress."
Seriously, Toine's awright with me ... it's just he seems to be the Poster Boy for this team. His game can be brilliant one night and be an absolute suckfest the next . His defense can be solid or it can be crap (depending on the player he defends, like for example, oh, I don't know, let's say ... Richard Jefferson). His threes can be all net, or air balls. When he's on the court, he either hits his potential with a great game or looks like a guy who's just been told there's a bee buzzing around his neck. In other words, he is the embodiment of this entire team. And he is the embodiment of Riley's terrible off season moves. With that said, I think he's going to have a 20+ point game tonight. It's just the kind of thing he would do ...

5. And finally ... Listen up, because I'm talking to you ... We Miami fans are constantly made fun of by other fan bases because of our blase' attitude towards our sporting teams not named the Miami Dolphins (i.e. your 2 time World Series Champion Florida Marlins).

And even then, there's something to be said. Grant it, the Heat gave us nothing to cheer for in Game 1 between our 2-0 lead in the 1st quarter and the 4th quarter pseudo-rally that fell painfully short. But tonight is a must-win game, people. The Heat travel to New Jersey after tonight for 2 games. They cannot afford to do that down 0-2. So get off your goddam cell phones, stop looking for the jumbo-tron cameras to show everybody in the AAA how pretty you are, how bouncy your fake boobies look on TV, how well trimmed your Adam Morrison mustache is, how well waxed your chest is, how nice your pre-beat up $500 Diesel jeans are ... and get off your South Beach-loving, art-deco-trendy-dead-tech-post-modernistic asses and start cheering. Loudly! Let's make Vince Carter's ears bleed. Let's make Lawrence Frank collapse in a fetal position.



Monday, May 08, 2006

Nets Hand The Heat Their Ass ... And The Heat Have Their Heads All The Way Up It!

I'm too pissed off to write about the Heat's 100-88 Game 1 loss to the Nets. So, I'll have Al Pacino report on what was a frustrating night:

"Al Pacino here ... reporting from the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami. The New Jersey Nets just exposed the Heat for what they are: a collection of stiffs who cannot defend the perimeter and whose game is slow and one dimentional. The Nets ... like the Bulls ... enjoy a sort of run-and-gun type of tempo, while the Heat like to slow things down and post up Shaq.

"Only one problem with that ... ready? ... here it is ... IT'S ... NOT... WORKING!!!!!

"Do you realize the Heat just got the crap beat out of them by New Jersey? New Jersey. Hey Vince Carter, you score 27 points against us, this whole place stinks with your farts for a week; How much you just ingested. Oh, what a big man you are! Hey, let me buy you a pack of gum. I'll show you how to chew it.

"And is anyone else tired of the refs taking Shaq out of games? Now refs, I don't care whose games you've officiated before ... Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dr. J ... their spirit is deaaaad ... if they ever had one. So take the WHISTLES OUT OF YOUR MOUTHS! LET THE MAN PLAY!

"And is anyone else on their last thread with Antoine Walker? I've had to listen to the radio heads at 790 the Ticket constantly stick up for Toine all year long. Spewing out stats. Calling out the critics. Well ... I ... AM ... SICK ... OF... IT!

"I gotta message for Toine. I'm angry. I'm very angry, Toine. You know, you can start the games if you want to. You can dribble the ball like Young Frankenstein if you want to. You can pass the ball like it's been doused in anthrax if you want to. BUT YOU DO NOT ... GET ... TO ... SHOOT ... THREE ...POINTERS ... ANY MORE!

"And while we're at it, will someone please tell me what is the deal with that guy playing backup point guard? Is that Gary Payton ... is it George Burns? No ... it's the Crypt Keeper!

"And I'll tell you this -- even if this team should manage to exploit Richard Jefferson's ankle injury and somehow win this serires and escape to the Eastern Finals, it's really all just an excercise in futility! It's merely a date with a DARK DESTINY!

"This team cannot beat the Pistons. No! It cannot beat the Spurs. It cannot beat the Mavericks. We're only prolonging the inevitable here! Another wasted season for Shaq and Alonzo Mourning, both who are looking more and more like players in their twilight with each passing month! In any case. Much like my acting career, in any case.

"And it's time ... Oh it's time. Time to look at Riley for what he is: Hall of Fame coach ... HORRIBLE GM!!!

"And I got one more message to the refs ... Anyone in this league lives on his wits. What you're hired for is to help us. Does that seem clear to you? To help us! Not to fuck us up! To help men who are going out there to try to earn A LIVING ... you fairies. You company men. I'll tell you something else, I hope Shaq calls you out again. I can tell our friend David Stern something might help him to catch you. You wanna learn the first rule you'd know if you ever spent a day in your life? You never blow your whistle till you know what the shot is."

Thanks, Al. Game 2 is on Wednesday. Already it's a must win. Now excuse me while I go douse myself in anthrax ...


Heat-Nets Series Preview: Flash vs. The Chucker

We all know what Vince Carter did to the Heat during the regular season. And chances are he's going to take 99.3 shots per game in this series. But the way the Heat defends the perimeter, wouldn't you try and do what Vince-anity has done?

Still, I like the Heat in this series. It's just a vibe. Homer? Yes! But I really think the Heat match up well against New Jersey. And forget the Bulls series. Miami just ran into a young, spirited, scrappy team -- and eventually woke up and won the series. The Heat know what to expect from New Jersey. And if I'm Pat Riley, I'd keep Vince from getting to the basket and force him to do what he does best (after dunking, of course), and that's chucking. I can live with that.

Besides, who outside of New Jersey and Detroit doesn't want to see a Cleveland-Miami Eastern Finals? C'mon. Think about it. Okay, here's the breakdown ...

Point Guards
NJ: Jason Kidd
Miami: Jason Williams, Gary Payton
Edge: Kidd & Payton are dead even as they're both running on fumes. J-Will played well in Games 1 & 2 of the Bulls series and then disappeared. EVEN

Two Guards
NJ: Vince Carter
Miami: Dwayne Wade
Edge: Flash beats the Chucker any day! MIAMI

Small Forward
NJ: Richard Jefferson
Miami: Antoine Walker & James Posey
Edge: Two against one? C'mon! That's easy! Edge goes to Mia ... oh, wait ... Toine and Posey vs. Jefferson? Never mind. NEW JERSEY

Power Forward
NJ: Jason Collins
Miami: Udonis Haslem
Edge: Collins is surprisingly effective as a post defender. But U plays an all around better game, via rebounds, free throw shooting and overall scoring. As long as he doesn't throw projectiles at the refs, we like U.

NJ: Nenad Krstic
Miami: The Diesel, Zo and, lest we forget, Michael Dohhhhleac!!!!!

NJ: Cliff Robinson
Miami: Payton, Mourning, Doleac, Posey
Edge: Cliff Robinson is still in the league????? I see a Wade highlight reel with Robinson plastered all over it in the near future. MIAMI

NJ: This guy
Miami: This guy

Prediction: Heat in 6.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Wade Has His Willis Reed Moment

"Tonight we felt a little bit of pressure and once Dwayne went down, it was a shock." -- Pat Riley

The air was sucked out of the AAA with 2:30 left before the end of the first half. Dwayne Wade was lying on the ground, writhing in pain and holding his leg.

What made the scene more infuriating was the fact that no foul had been called. The fans all around us were going nuts -- Thunderdome style. I was very sure the Heat faithful were about to riot. The first one to get the vicious beat down from a stampeeding crowd would be the Bulls, starting with that Nocioni dude -- just because he's the AJ Pyrzinksi of basketball. Then, of course, would be the refs.

We were all pretty much convinced that the series was over. Watching Wade being carried off the court was probably the most helpless feeling we've had as a sports town since Dan Marino was carried off the field in Cleveland with his torn achilles tendon.

In a moment like that, the darkness envelops you and sucks all the life out of you. And what was at one moment a fun, racous night at an NBA playoff game, suddenly becomes a blanket of dreaded emptiness. We lost our MVP... We've lost the season... Hope his injury isn't career threatening... How much are the Bulls going to win by tonight?...I wish I wasn't a sports fan! You just become irrational. That's how important a star like Dwayne Wade is to your franchise.

The Bulls felt it, and acted accordingly. They went after the Heat and eventually took a 55-50 lead in the second, hitting on every shot, getting all the calls and exploiting the deflated Heat players. It was the first time they'd led all night.

Then, during a long TV timeout, with 5:50 remaining in the third ... you heard the low rumble coming from the Heat-side bench. The crowd started to make noise ... people started pointing ... Is that?? ... IT IS!

D-Wade had snuck into the Heat huddle and as soon as the AAA saw that, the ovation was deafening. The walls shook, ears split and hearts gushed. Hope came flooding back into our once blackened souls. Emotions spilled over. Even those damn clackers that they handed out weren't so annoying anymore. And when Wade hobbled onto the court, even though he was clearly in pain ... we just knew ... NO WAY WE'RE LOSING THIS GAME.

He immediately hit two free throws and a jumper to end the 3rd, giving the Heat a 57-55 lead. Then, he hit a jumper over Luol Deng to spark a 10-0 run by Miami. He threw up a vicious alley-oop to Shaq who preceded to smash it down while the crowd roared like ten thousand lions.

There was blood on the court.

We could all smell it.

It was Bulls blood.

And our battered hero, the Achilles Wade, was holding the sword that dripped crimson red.

The nail-in-the-coffin, a three point shot by Wade with 3:40 left. The topper, Nocioni was tagged with a technical.

Game 5. Victory.

You can't say enough about Dwayne Wade. I hope we all appreciate just what we're witnessing with this kid.

(more coverage on the game at SporTech Matter)


New Mexico Is Coming To Town

That's right! After not being drafted over the weekend, Michael Vick's (aka Ron Mexico) little brother Marcus is coming to audition for the Miami Dolphins.

Is this what Matt Millen's stupidity and Daunte Culpepper's knee has turned us into???

No, actually, this is what Brock Berlin and Cleo Lemon has turned us into.

There is a chance that if he doesn't make the Fins and no other NFL team offers him a contract, that he'll opt for the CFL.

Ricky Williams and Marcus Vick in the CFL. Brilliant! Sort of makes me regret there's no longer an XFL. Sort of. You just know those Mexico Jr. jerseys would be the XFL's all-time best sellers. Too bad.

If Vick does get a contract from the Fins, the next logical question will have to be which McDonalds is he going to hit first? We're betting it's going to be the one on 299 SW 8th Street. Because all our pro atheltes have to visit Calle Ocho at least once during their time here.

Anway, we'll keep you posted here on the whole thing.

(special thanks to Unsilent Majority of Dead Spin fame and Tom In Nashville for breaking this to us!)


Monday, May 01, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Jason Taylor Gets Stabbed In Davie.

A day after the NFL Draft concludes we wake up to this Dolphin news: defensive end Jason Taylor was stabbed last night.

Apparently, he was involved in a road rage incident of some kind that happened near his home in Davie. He says he’s fine and was even spotted at a charity golf tournament this morning in Tampa.

That’s good. Not a pleasant thing to wake up to the news that your best defensive player has been stabbed. I mean anybody being stabbed is pretty bad. But when Jason Taylor is the one who was stabbed, that really sucks. But, as reported, he went from being stabbed in Davie one night (and really, what else is there to do but poke people with sharp objects in Davie?), to playing golf in the Strip Club Capital of The World the very next morning. That’s our Jason!

My question in all this is: why does Jason Taylor live in Davie???

I suppose it’s to be nearer to the Fins' training facility. Still, you have to assume the guy who stabbed him was either A.) completely trashed B.) a tough guy trying to show off to his girlfriend or C.) a Davie resident. You have to be one of these three not to know who you're messing with when Taylor stepped out of his SUV after you gave him the finger.

I can imagine the scene.

It’s a typical night in Davie. Buddy and his son Roy are driving home in their 1963 Chevy Stepside from a night out of drinking and …

Buddy (spits out a chunk of his diablo sandwich): “That sombich SUV just cut me off!!”
Roy: “Look daddy, city folk!”
Buddy: “Hold on to your Stetson, junior, we’re goin’ after that no good pile o' monkey nuts!! Yeeeehaaaaww!!!”

The truck swerves in front of the SUV, making it come to a screeching halt.

Buddy leaps out of the Chevy and walks briskly up to the idling SUV. He has a Lockback knife dangling on a chain from his pants. Roy stays back by the Chevy while Buddy rolls up his sleeves. He knocks on the SUV driver side window.

Buddy: “Boy, c’mon outta there! I’m gonna barbeque your ass in molasses!!”

The door opens. A large, log-like leg steps down onto the pavement. Buddy looks up to see a 6 foot 6 inch, 255 pound black man staring down at him.

Jason: “What’s that you said, sir? I didn’t quite catch it.”
Buddy: “I … I … wuf …”
Jason: “What seems to be the problem here?”
Roy: “Hit him Daddy!”
Buddy (to Roy): “Git in the car, junior.”
Roy: “But Daddy …”
Buddy: “Git in the car you ass! It’s just that large black fella who plays for the Dolphins!!”

Jason reaches over and puts his hand on Buddy’s shoulder.

Jason: “You okay, pal?”

Buddy feels an involuntary release of all bodily fluids. He flails his arm as his Uncle Henry Lockback knife skims Taylor’s forearm. Buddy lurches backwards and walks back to the Chevy.

Buddy (to Roy): “Git in the car!”
Roy: “But Daddy!”
Buddy: “I said git in the car numb nuts!”
Jason: “Hey pal, you just nicked me here! Where you going?”

The Chevy peels away, leaving Jason standing on the side of the road, perplexed. After five minues of driving at 85 MPH, Roy finally breaks the silence.

Roy: “Daddy ... your pants are wet.”


Roy: “Daddy …”


Roy: “Daddy?”
Buddy: “What!!!???”
Roy: “That was the large black fella that’s always knockin down Tom Brady.”
Buddy: “There's no way, NO WAY that you came from my loins. Soon as I get home, first thing I'm gonna do is punch yo mamma in da mouth!”


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