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Heat-Thunder postscripts; Long UM streak ends; Ignominious distinction for Canes; Fins notes

We’re on assignment for a couple days, so no full Wednesday buzz column today. Instead, some postscripts and thoughts from a highly entertaining Heat win over the Thunder, UM’s disappointing 5000 mile journey to Hawaii, and a couple Dolphins notes:

### Good to see Mario Chalmers put together not only his best game of the season, but his best work since his 25-point outburst in Game 4 of the Finals in June. Chalmers’ 20 points were essential on a night Miami’s bench shot just 3 of 16, with Shane Battier going 0 for 5.

Also notable: Chalmers didn’t commit a turnover. And unlike numerous games in the past three weeks, Chalmers – not Norris Cole – played down the stretch.

### LeBron James’ streak of six straight games without a foul ended in the first quarter, but James was brilliant, as usual, with 29 points (his 30th straight regular season game with 20 or more), nine assists and eight rebounds. His biggest assist was the nifty pass to Chris Bosh for a dunk that put Miami up 98-95 with 26 seconds left.

With that basket, Bosh is now 8 for 9 from the field and 10 for 10 from the line in the last five minutes of games with a margin of five points or less.

### The Heat went 19 for 19 from the line, the second best effort in franchise history behind only a 30-for-30 game against Boston in 1993.

### Though the Thunder went to the line far more often (38 to 19 times), the Heat got into the basket area, shooting 21 for 30 in the paint, compared with 14 for 35 for the Thunder.

### Despite the bench’s offensive inefficiency Tuesday, Allen was a factor late (as usual), and Joel Anthony had four rebounds and two blocks. It looks like Erik Spoelstra has settled on an effective 10-man rotation that might stay intact for a while barring an injury.  

### Russell Westbrook finished 5 for 19 from the field and posted the worst plus/minus (minus 9) of anybody who played in the game.... The Heat is now 7-2 all-time on Christmas.

### With Reggie Johnson missing all three games with a thumb injury, UM finished a disappointing 1-2 in Hawaii, including a resounding loss to third-ranked Arizona and a disappointing 57-55 overtime loss to Indiana State on Christmas night. That blunted the momentum of a seven-game winning streak and an 8-1 start in non-conference play.

### Embarrassing: Indiana State shot 27 percent and still won – the worst of any NCAA team in a win this season, covering hundreds of games.

### UM went 0 for 15 on threes on Christmas night, ending a streak of 354 games with at least one three-pointer. It was the first time UM didn’t make a three-pointer in a game since December 2001 against Indiana. Shane Larkin was 0 for 5, and Durand Scott, Trey McKinney-Jones and Rion Brown all 0 for 3.

### Unusually poor night for UM's backcourt --- Scott finished 4 for 13, Larkin 2 for 13 for UM, which shot 33.8 percent from the field and just 11 for 21 from the line.

### Though Julian Gamble played well Tuesday (11 points, 9 rebounds), Johnson’s absence magnified Miami’s poor frontcourt depth. Coach Jim Larranaga trusted only seven players, with Brown and the limited Raphael Akpejiori the only reserves who logged more than one minute of playing time.  

### UM (8-3) has only one more non-conference game left: next Wednesday (Jan. 2) at home against LaSalle, before opening ACC play. UM played a tough non-conference schedule (ranked eighth-most difficult in the nation). But the Canes likely will need to go at least 10-8 in the conference to make the NCAA Tournament, unless they secure an automatic berth by winning the ACC tournament. (There's a new 18-game conference schedule this season.)

### New Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson made a strong case to stick around beyond this year in Sunday’s win at Buffalo; Ryan Fitzpatrick completed only 2 of 8 passes thrown against him for 11 yards. Let’s see what Patterson, cut by Cleveland last week, can do against Tom Brady & Co. Sunday. He’s due $4.5 million next season if Miami keeps him around.

“We were really impressed with his ability to pick up the scheme number one,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “We certainly were happy to have him join us here last week. On tape we liked him a lot. We had looked at him prior to the season actually. Back in the spring time he was a guy who we had on our radar who we liked. So when he became available we felt good about getting him in here and it was a matter of whether he could get up to speed fast enough. He played a very, very solid game for us.”

### Pro Football Focus keeps making a big deal about Miami’s lack of consistent pass rush opposite Cameron Wake, noting that Jared Odrick rushed the quarterback 36 times Sunday and had no sacks and just one pressure.


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Heat would win 70 if they played with this effort all the time.


never thought I'd be singing the praises of Joel Anthony. But he's actually useful

Johnny Hemsley 4three

Another heartless loss by the 'Canes. Every year, and every big game, whether with Haith or Larrynanny, the anouncers remark about how talented Miami is, but how they seem to be sleep walking. Arizona pushed UM around and so did Indiana State.

Too bad. UM has a lot of experience (6 seniors). This team should do much more than "just go to the NCAA tournament." I see no difference in this team than the last 6 or 7 that made it to the NIT. Same ol. Actually Laranaga has changed the offense a little. I'll give him that. They just don't pass around the perimeter anymore. They actually try to create, and run plays. Still to no avail though.



Jared Odrick another BUST.

Jo jo

Odrick absolutely is another bust.He s big,slow,not strong enough , wears cement shoes and CAN T DANCE.Cut him.Any other 3rd teamer is better than him from any other team.He stinks.Period.


I thought the ACC went to an 18 game schedule this year?

don't think holding a team to 27% shooting is getting pushed around. UM's lack of depth showed up big time in this tournament. Without Reggie in the middle the U is average at best. Guard play has been stellar until last night, when you play this many games you are going to have some of those kinda nights. It is what it is, but this team is way better than last year and better than most teams Haith had here. Just saying... not a basketball expert by any means but even the untrained eye can see the progress this team has made under Larranaga. Disappointed at last night's outcome? Sure but this team will continue to surprise and disappoint depending on injuries and depth. Not giving up on them by any means! Beat LaSalle!

The Seer

Correctomundo on Odrick.......a big stiff.


FIU executive director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said Monday afternoon when asked about the stories bouncing around the Internet that Butch Davis was in as FIU's next head football coach, "Butch Davis is not the FIU football coach. That story is totally false."
-- david j neal

By using the words "totally false" he is making himself out to be a complete liar and douchebag if BD ends up as the coach.
-- PantherCraze

do U trust sneaky pete ...




The former tutor linked to North Carolina's investigation of possible academic misconduct in the football program has declined to cooperate with the probe

Jennifer L. Wiley of Chapel Hill is the tutor being looked at for her possible role in the academic probe that has led to the suspension of players from football games. She's a 22-year-old elementary school teacher in Durham. ... working as a mentor/tutor in UNC's academic support program in 2006 when Butch Davis, then the newly hired head football coach, asked for recommendations for a tutor for his son, Drew, now 17.

"... She did a good job for our family."
-- newsobserver

hush, little baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird ...



Miami needs to Draft At Least 2 Corners With The First Five Picks on Next Year Draft

Kinetic Cane

The team seems to lack depth. Coach L. has complained about not having enough players to hold competitive practices. Also, I think Reggie was missing and another guy had the flu. My impression is that the team is solid 6 or 7 deep but lacks depth beyond that and has trouble finishing games down the stretch. When they face teams with small but quick lineups that run all game long, Miami's bigs have trouble with stamina issues. Just my impression. I could be off-base.


With regards to the UM Basketball team:

Saw the whole game and they played with pretty much zero intensity. I don't fault them. They had beaten Mich.State earlier in the season and probably was hoping to do better with a full roster. Unfortunately, the difference between playing SDSU in the championship and instead played Indiana State for 3rd place. They should've won the game, but a depleted roster and let-down overall really doomed them.

Nonetheless, I think they have some real talent on the team and much of that talent is really only exploited if Johnson is in the middle. Kadji is a decent post up player but Johnson is clearly the best at it, and with him in the middle, it allows Larkin, Kadji, etc. to get more open shots and create easier shots for themselves and others.

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