WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN
You know when a TV station says the views expressed by the host don’t necessarily reflect those of the station? That apparently also applies to the Milwaukee Bucks after Brandon Jennings said last month that “we match up well against Miami. That’s who I would want to play in the first round.”
With that series now a reality – starting this weekend - Bucks guard J.J. Redick said: “I’m not sure why Brandon would say that.”
Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy added: “Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. No one in the league sees the Heat as a favorable matchup. It’s a monumental task.”
So monumental that Dunleavy suggests that for the Bucks to pull off the greatest playoff upset in history, a defective alarm clock might be in order.
“You need the kitchen sink,” Dunleavy said. “Shoot great, hurt them on the boards. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would need to shoot poorly. Erik Spoelstra would need to oversleep and miss a couple games. Where do you begin? It’s a laundry list.”
Any area where the Heat is vulnerable? Any?
“When they go small, we can hurt them on the glass,” Luc Richard Mbah A Moute said. “We played them well last year [2-1 vs. Miami], and we played them well this year [1-3].”
And this from forward Ersan Ilyasova: “The pressure is on them, not us. We will give them a good fight.”
Redick added: “Any team can spread them out and shoot threes. [And] we’ve had some success offensive rebounding against them.”
But let’s get serious. Even “their support players are All-Stars,” coach Jim Boylan conceded.
Or, as Dunleavy put it: “I don’t see any weak spots. They’re even better this year. LeBron is on a different planet. He’s got complete control of the game whenever he wants it.”
So getting back to Jennings’ comment, is there any favorable matchup for Milwaukee in this series?
“Our 15th guy,” Dunleavy cracked. “Joel Pryzbilla is 7-1. We have that going for us. They have no one 7-1.”
Good line, Mike. That’s almost as funny as Bucks guard Monta Ellis saying in all seriousness, in January, that there’s no difference between him and Wade except Wade has more wins and championships.
### With Boston out of Miami’s bracket for the first two rounds, Celtics guard Courtney Lee said: “It’s only going to make it better for a conference finals against each other.”
Not so fast, Courtney. It would be surprising if Boston gets past New York and potentially Indiana to get there.
### A Bulls win Wednesday against visiting Washington or an Atlanta loss at New York would give Chicago the No. 5 seed. The winner of the series between the fourth-seeded Nets and the No. 5 seed would play the Heat in the second round.
The Dolphins are again looking closely at Texas A&M players: Their receivers coach went there to audition Ryan Swope (72 catches, 913 yards), who played for Mike Sherman at A&M.
According to Pro Football Weekly, Swope should “at worst be a productive slot receiver. Intriguing combination of top-end speed and short area burst.” Davone Bess could be traded if Miami finds a slot receiver it likes in the draft.
Among other receivers Miami auditioned on their local day: West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey (effective in the slot, too) Duke’s Connor Vernon and Cris Carter’s son, Duron, who had lunch with Jeff Ireland.
### The Dolphins like Auburn and former Hialeah High defensive end Corey Lemonier (15 sacks over past two years) and are auditioning the potential second-or-third rounder this week.
### UM said it’s optimistic about finalizing a future football matchup (one or more) with Penn State, year undetermined. A neutral site is a possibility.
### UM’s final spring depth chart featured one new player (grad school student Pat O’Donnell, who will become UM’s punter immediately after doing it effectively three years at the University of Cincinnati) and one mild surprise (Asante Cleveland as first-team tight end)….Former assistant coach Don Soldinger’s rousing speech to UM players Friday drew not only an ovation, but 30 emails from coaches, staffers and players thanking him.
### Draft analysts expect UM’s Brandon McGee to be drafted in the middle rounds, Mike James in the late rounds. McGee is a polarizing prospect. One NFC scout said he would take him in the third – higher than many others: “I know he had only two interceptions, but the kid is talented. He’s better than DeMarcus Van Dyke coming out….
“Mike James can be a backup in the league for five, six years. Can block, is tough, good hands. There’s no one else draft-able in this group, but [offensive and former defensive lineman] Jeremy Lewis impressed me at Pro Day.”
### The scout said former UM safety Ray Ray Armstrong “doesn’t have enough speed to play safety. He has to be a linebacker. He won’t be drafted.”
### Two NBA scouts said Shane Larkin won’t help his stock if he returns to school, and if he turns pro likely would be drafted between late in the first round and the middle of the second. TNT’s Steve Kerr, the former Suns GM, said Larkin projects as a career backup point guard.
### Perspective on how dismal the Marlins’ offense had been before their eight-run eruption Tuesday night: They entered Tuesday hitting .203; the MLB average is .252. Their 23 runs were 12 behind the next lowest (Tampa, at 35). They have two homers; Colorado has 21.
“We know we have hitters capable of doing it,” general manager Michael Hill said Tuesday afternoon, adding that no outside pickup is imminent.
### Several teams have inquired about trading for Giancarlo Stanton, but the Marlins are telling teams he’s not available.
### As great as Jose Fernandez has been, Baseball America noted that if the Marlins had waited until April 12 to call him up - instead of at the start of the season - they would have controlled his rights through 2019, not 2018, because of service time rules. That now means one less year at an affordable salary.
### I’m now on Twitter, so please join me: @flasportsbuzz
Those that do get a prize, as soon as I think of one. Perhaps a Joel Pryzbilla cardboard cutout.