Some Wednesday night Dolphins/Heat tidbits, as the Dolphins shop Davone Bess around the league and continue talks with Kansas City about Branden Albert:
NFL teams are permitted to bring 30 non-local draft prospects to team headquarters to meet with team officials and do medical tests. The Dolphins are interested in some (such as DJ Hayden and Kenny Vaccaro) more than others, but all piqued Miami’s interest enough to bring them in.
The Dolphins never release the names, but 19 of them ultimately leaked. Here are the 16 that I found:
Texas S Vaccaro
Houston CB Hayden
Arkansas State S Don Jones
Boise State CB Jamar Taylor
Washington State QB Jeff Tuel
Washington State WR Marquess Wilson
Southeast Louisiana CB Robert Alford
Alabama CB Dee Milliner
Utah DT Star Lotulelei
FSU OT Menelik Watson
Florida LB Jelani Jenkins
Florida TE Jordan Reed
Harvard H-Back/TE Kyle Juszczyk
Chadron State OT Garrett Gilkey
Michigan State TE Dion Sims
Sierra (CC) WR Courtney Gardner (considered of the draft’s top sleeper WRs; would have gone to Oklahoma if he had qualified academically).
### Credit Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post (and soon to be Boston Globe) for unearthing Dolphins visits for Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson, Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o and Colorado State University-Pueblo OG Ryan Jensen.
The Dolphins could bring in as many players with local ties as they want for workouts on their local Pro Day April 3. But they spent extra time with a few on different days, including North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard (Miami likes him), Auburn DE Corey Lemonier and UF safety Matt Elam.
### The Dolphins spent some private time on campus with West Virginia's Tavon Austin, for those enamored with the speedy slot receiver.
Pearl River Community College defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey, who was once a three-star FSU commitment, told Canesport.com on Wednesday that he will enroll at UM in January. Defensive tackle remains a UM priority in recruiting. He had 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season. He was rated by rivals.com as the 23rd-best defensive tackle out of high school a year ago.
LeBron James is widely expected to be named NBA Most Valuable Player sometime in the next couple of weeks. But he had to settle for finishing second to Memphis center Marc Gasol for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, which was announced Wednesday.
Gasol, who anchored the league’s stingiest defense, received 30 first-place votes and 212 points overall in a voting of media members. James had 18 and 149.
But James wasn’t listed in the top three of 74 of the 121 ballots cast.
James finished fourth for Defensive Player of the Year last season and ninth in his first season with the Heat. He finished second one other time -- in 2008-09, behind Dwight Howard.
“I would like to see him achieve Defensive Player of the Year. He’s deserving,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “What you love about LeBron – the best player in the game – is how he values that side of the floor as a star player. A true two-way player.
“It’s not a coincidence the type of players we try to recruit into our system are two-way players who take as much pride on the defensive end.
“Also, the thing about LeBron is he was coached very well… [in] high school and the pros. [Cleveland coach] Mike Brown did a great job instilling a defensive background. You take for granted his impact defensively. He guards [every position] every night. In the fourth quarter, it’s whoever is the biggest threat against us – that’s who he’s guarding.”
Heat guard Dwyane Wade finished 16th in the voting.
### Former NBA guard Baron Davis said on NBA TV’s postgame show Tuesday: “I think LeBron is going to be the greatest [of all time]. He’s definitely going to surpass Michael Jordan.”
### The Heat did not practice Wednesday, and Spoelstra said the team’s day included “rest, treatment and flying.”
Wade, who missed six of the final 11 regular season games with a bone bruise in the right knee, said after Tuesday’s game: “I have a lot more improving to do with my health. Hopefully, I continue to feel better. I’m not where I want to be.”
### Shane Battier, who needed four stitches on his chin after a collision with Milwaukee center Larry Sanders, said he will be fine.
### During the regular season, the Heat finished 30th in rebounding and the Bucks fifth. But the Heat has outrebounded them by 20 through two games.
Chris Andersen has 13 rebounds in 28 minutes – the same number Bosh has in 59.
### Here's more perspective on Birdman's impact: In Game 2, the Bucks shot 37.6 percent and were outscored by 14 during Andersen’s 12 minutes. Milwaukee shot 53.6 percent and outscored the Heat by two the rest of the time.
### Spoelstra stuck with Norris Cole for the entire fourth quarter of Game 2, after Cole scored five points during Miami’s 12-0 spurt to start the quarter.
“I had every intention of putting Mario Chalmers back in the there,” Spoelstra said. “The minutes and spark Norris gave us with the second unit obviously impacted the game.”
Chalmers has admitted that he sometimes has said something to Spoelstra this season when he wants to get back in the game.
“He’ll give me the look, makes sure he’s the first one I see,” Spoelstra said, leaning his head out to replicate what Chalmers does when Spoelstra peers down his bench.
“But it’s all in good nature. He’s rooting for Norris. They cheer for each other as much as anybody. I’ve enjoyed seeing that point guard relationship group.”
### Contrary to radio speculation, the Heat said the fact it’s not staying at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel – where it often stays – has nothing to do with folklore that the place is haunted by ghosts, but instead because the Milwaukee Dancesport Competition is being held there this weekend.
### The 15.6 TV rating for Game 2 – equaling 15.6 percent of all Dade/Broward homes with TV sets – was the highest ever for a Heat game on Sun Sports.