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Thursday quick hits: Heat, Dolphins, Canes, Gators

A half-dozen notes:

### As Shane Battier said after the latest harder-than-it-should-have-been Heat win: “We’re making it tough on ourselves.” Dwyane Wade suggested it’s unrealistic to expect the Heat to blow out all these (sub-.500) teams, but the Heat again had too many defensive lapses -- and another early rebounding deficit -- before getting it together late against Dallas.

“You figure out a way to win games. I don’t look at it as playing with fire,” LeBron James said.

As was the case Monday in Orlando, Erik Spoelstra again opted against using a natural point guard in overtime against Dallas. Monday, it was Mike Miller with Ray Allen and the Big Three in OT. Wednesday, it was Shane Battier (who hit two key late threes) with Allen and the Big Three. Both lineups delivered, and give Spoelstra credit for flexibility.

### Chris Bosh had only four boards against both Orlando and Dallas this week, and that’s not nearly good enough for a team that remains last in the league in rebounding. Spoelstra reminded Wade that he, too, needs to rebound, and he corralled 10 on Wednesday, along with another scintillating overtime steal and dunk.

### Before Wednesday’s upset Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville, the Gators hadn’t allowed a TD pass of 15 plus yards all season. They allowed two on Wednesday.

Before Louisville scored 33 Wednesday (including on an interception return), the Gators had been one of only four teams not to allow 30 points in a game all season. (Notre Dame, Alabama, Boise State were the others.)

Afterward, Gators safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd announced they're turning pro, according to reports in New Orleans.

By the way, UF will play host to Toledo -- while UM plays host to FAU - as warm-up season-openers on Aug. 31, before the Canes and Gators meet Sept. 7 at Sun Life Stadium.

### Yesterday, we listed several high-school players ranked in the top five at their position who are considering UM. Add another to the list: Baton Rouge-based Tim Williams, rated by rivals.com as the nation’s third-best weakside defensive end. He’s visiting UM Jan. 18, and the Canes have as good – or better – of a chance as anyone.

### Kenny Kadji’s complete performance in a win against LaSalle on Wednesday (14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks) is exactly what UM needs with Reggie Johnson out six to eight weeks.

Don't underestimate this 76-59 UM win over a good LaSalle team. Since March 2011, every Division I team except LaSalle and Syracuse had lost at least one game by double figures, according to ESPN. That streak ended for LaSalle on Wednesday, when UM stormed back from 11 down.

UM closed non-conference play at 9-3 and starts ACC play Saturday at Georgia Tech. UM’s ACC schedule, incidentally, includes home-and-homes against Duke, North Carolina and FSU.

### Here’s how several Dolphins offensive players finished in the final Pro Football Focus ratings of every player:

Jake Long was 46th and Jonathan Martin 76th among 80 tackles who played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps…. Richie Incognito was 24th and John Jerry 49th among 81 guards…. Mike Pouncey was eighth among 36 centers…. Reggie Bush was 47th among 59 running backs, Anthony Fasano 24th among 62 tight ends…. Brian Hartline was 37th and Davone Bess 38th among 105 receivers…. Ryan Tannehill was rated higher than expected –13th among 36 quarterbacks.

 

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