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Financial challenges await Dolphins; Heat-Celtics postscripts

So here are the Dolphins sitting on more than $19 million in cap space (according to the NFLPA web site), with needs to fill, but apparently no great urgency to burn through much of their remaining financial resources.

Part of the reason is simple: The list of remaining free agents at guard and tackle isn't impressive, and the Dolphins aren’t going to spend money if they don’t have a conviction about the players available or aren’t comfortable with their contractual expectations. Miami can try to fill some of those needs in the draft, including right tackle, presumably.

But there’s another incentive for the Dolphins to sit on some of their cap space: They will get needed financial relief by carrying a chunk of their cap room over to the 2015 offseason, when the Dolphins will have far less space than the past two offseasons.

Consider that for 2015, the Dolphins already have $129.78 million in cap commitments, according to overthecap.com, a figure that doesn't include an option for Mike Pouncey or allotments for Jared Odrick and Charles Clay, who will both be free agents after next season. This year’s salary cap is $133 million, a $10 million increase from a year ago.

If next year’s cap settles in at $140 million or so, that wouldn't leave Miami with much room unless the Dolphins can shave off a substantial amount by cutting players or restructuring contracts --- both of which likely will be very much in play next offseason.

Look at some of the Dolphins’ cap numbers for 2015:

Mike Wallace: $12 million

Branden Albert: $10.7 million

Brent Grimes: $10 million

Dannell Ellerbe: $9.8 million

Cameron Wake: $9.7 million

Reshad Jones: $7.8 million

Brian Hartline: $7.3 million

Cortland Finnegan: $6.4 million

Randy Starks: $6 million

Dion Jordan: $5.6 million

Earl Mitchell: $4.5 million

Koa Misi: $4.4 million

Philip Wheeler $4.4 million

Brandon Gibson: $4.2 million

Ryan Tannehill: $4 million

Brandon Fields: $3.9 million

Shelley Smith: $3 million

Nate Garner: $1.8 million

Some of those players would carry high cap hits if they’re cut. For example, if the Dolphins part ways with Wheeler after next season, the 2015 cap hit would be $4.2 million --- barely below the $4.4 million hit if he’s on the team.

But in the case of a few players signed this off-season, it wouldn’t be difficult to part ways. For example, if Finnegan bombs, Miami would sustain only a $1 million cap hit by cutting him. (Not great, but it could be much worse.) Same for Starks, if --- for some unexpected reason --- his play falls off. Shelley Smith’s hit would be just $250,000 if he’s cut after this coming season.

HEAT-CELTICS POSTSCRIPTS

Notable from Miami’s 101-96 loss Wednesday night in Boston:

### On a night LeBron James sat out to rest a sore back, the Heat hardly could afford Dwyane Wade shooting 2 for 9 in the second half on a 17-point night, or Chris Bosh shooting just 3 for 11 on a six-point night.

Nor could Miami afford Boston shooting 13 of 28 on threes, including 6 for 9 from Avery Bradley and 3 for 7 from Jeff Green. The Heat, conversely, shot 4 of 17 on threes. Even without LeBron, this was a disappointing loss, considering the competition, with the rebuilding Celtics entering on a five-game losing streak.

### And so Miami lost for the 11th time against a team with a losing record, lost for the sixth time in its past nine games, and for the 11th time in its past 12 regular-season games in Boston. The Celtics closed the game on a 9-4 run, including a three by Green that put Boston ahead for good (97-94) and two crafty baskets from Rajon Rondo, who had 15 assists.

“They started to get some open jump shots… in the second half, and our execution down the stretch was not where it had been,” Erik Spoelstra said.

### This one started so promisingly, with the Heat scoring 34 in the first quarter and 59 in the first half. But Miami mustered just 37 points in the second half. And it’s troubling to allow 101 points and 50.6 percent shooting to a team that’s usually offensive-challenged.

The Heat entered 17th in the league in field goal percentage against, uncharacteristic and somewhat worrisome for a franchise that typically finishes in the top 10 in that category.

### Udonis Haslem, who had started the Heat’s first six games and none since, started in place of Greg Oden, who sat out the second game of a back-to-back. By midway through the first quarter, Haslem already had established a season high in points with eight. He scored 10 of the Heat’s first 20 and closed with 14 points and 5 rebounds in 27 minutes.... Haslem surpassed Glen Rice for second place on the Heat's all-time games-started listed.

“He’s been terrific, incredible bottled up energy and toughness,” Spoelstra said. “That’s what this group needs.”

### Mario Chalmers had eight first-quarter assists (one off a franchise record) and 11 for the game. Thousands of miles away, he was being inducted in the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The Heat outscored Boston by 12 with Chalmers in the game.

### Conversely, Miami was outscored by 21 with Wade in the game. He shot 5 for 8 in a 13-point first half, but his jumper was off in the second half and he played with a bloody nose throughout after being hit inadvertently early in the game.

“I didn’t feel right the whole time I was out there,” he said. “I felt like a boxer. I was just off. My nose was bleeding the whole game.”

### Bosh had seven first-quarter rebounds and closed with 11 boards but could never get untracked offensively, shooting 0 for 4 on threes.

### Chris Anderson scored 10 in the fourth quarter, and 16 for game, with eight rebounds in 20 energy-packed minutes, before being replaced by Haslem with two-plus minutes remaining.

### Michael Beasley started in place of James and had 12 points (5 for 11 shooting) and four rebounds and four assists --- but also four turnovers --- in 28 minutes.

### Spoelstra said James' back "was a little sore in the walk-through today, and it just didn’t get better by game time. It was a pretty easy decision. We’ll see how we feels when we get back to Miami.”       

Comments

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Dom

All that matters is the playoffs, but I still say the heat pass indy. With all the smack talk of the 1 seed by Indy, how funny would it be if brooklyn or someone knocks them off in the 2nd round.

joe r

This really hurts but cash isnt the problem now, FA is over now so its time for hickey to do his thing in the draft; he has been very good so far in the process. I would expect they are saving some firepower for a qb next year; tannehill is on a very very short leash but honestly they are stuck for now..i would like to see them unload wallace(ellerbe has little value)and get rid of the cash exposure and pickup a couple of draft picks; he is worth a 2 and 3 or if you get lucky a 1 for a team with a qb that can get him the ball(we dont have that)

Mike Wallace: $12 million
Dannell Ellerbe: $9.8 million

octavio de armas

Meet the old DETROIT LIONS - Now known as the 2014 MIAMI DOLPHINS.

jmike

joe r by getting rid of Wallace in 2015, you accelerate the cap hit you take. So his cap hit in 2015 would be more than the 12 mill, something the Fins can't afford. The best thing to do is have him renegotiate the contract. And remember a renegotiation is up to the player whether he wants to do it or not.

jmike

octavio de armas, and why do you say that, tell us the reason.

 Ronnie B

With the HEAT...it truly amazes me that everyone seems to give Eric Spolestra a pass with his coaching. IT SUCKS!!!plain and simple. He couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag. It's easy to coach when the BIG 3 does all the lifting but when you play games like Boston or some other below .500 team that when we see if you can coach. And this guy is TERRIBLE! The job of a real coach is not to say stay ready but to help you be ready mean play you. These are the games that you play your Rashard Lewis and James Jones because they are going to be motivated not any other time. But this clown coach can't see this...are you kidding me. He treats does guys like they are scrubs with no business in the game and that is so sad. When i'm watching the game and show the camera on their bench it's written ALL over their faces as well. He see that Cole is struggling and Tony Douglas can't get on the floor. Battier struggling and Lewis or Jones can't get on the floor. Don't be fooled HEAT fans we are winning only from talent not coaching and that's the truth RUTH. Give us Chicago coach or Doc Rivers and you would see the difference. A MAJOR ONE....

Dashi

LeBron's back has to be sore from carrying that garbage coach for the last 4 Seasons.

Spo Sucks!!

The team wins because they are the most talented team in the NBA!!

This Losing streak is an indictment of his coaching. The players are bored, because the Coach can't inspire.

Also, 4 Years and the Heat can't run a Half Court Offense consistently. That Falls on the incompetent Coach.

Yes, He has 2 Titles. Any other NBA Coach would already have 3 going on 4.

The Heat better win this year or LeBron is out.

And for those of you who think it can't happen think again. The Bulls, Rockets and Knicks have Cap Space.

Just remember if LeBron leaves because he can't win another title with Miami. It falls on 1 person, Erik Spoelstra.

Dashi

Ronnie B,

Agreed. You can see it on their faces they are tired of Spo.

I would be to.

LeBron and Wade get clobbered by other players and the refs swallow the whistle. That falls on Spo. After a while that wears on you as a player, THAT YOUR COACH WON'T COME TO YOUR DEFENSE!!

WHEN HAS SPO EVER COME TO THE DEFENSE OF HIS TEAM?

It is like he is even scared of the Ref's.

garyinstuart

Only in south Florida would you hear that a coach of a two time championship team sucks.

Harleyray

garyinstuart,amen brother!!

get real

so its Spo fault that Lebron jacks up a 3 after the killing the clock rather than drive and kick like he always does against Hou?

Spurs game is a toss up.

Is it Spo's fault that Bosh throws a bad pass to Lebron against the Nets rather than pump fake Lebron and hit Ray in the corner?

Is it Spo's fault that wade only made 2 shots in the 2nd half last night? Bosh with only 6? Last night with Boston up 3 and Wade guarding Rondo, Bosh comes over too late for Rondo's floater? I mean Bosh has to know Rondo is going to blow past Wade cheat up, it you can't control behind you, hope your help comes as you close to Rondo. This is the talent that has carried Spo?

Spo is a good coach, we're spoiled by talent and cry like chicken little during the reg season. They let us down one time back in '11.

Mike

Dashi the same guy whos says Joe Philbin is a great coach. Jeff Ireland is a good GM and the Dolphins have a superbowl contending team, I wouldnt take anything he writes seriously.

Thanks Barry! Youre the best!

Mario's

Hickey is Finnegan's agent. Otherwise the guy has done OK but I feel he should have gotten another OL early in FA rather than bringing in Finnegan and kept Carrol who is adequate at CB or nickel.
Worried that we are supposed to get 2 OL starters in the draft sounds like a tall order. We have other needs and need to draft a WR so we can cut or renegotiate Hartline next year.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Dashi has obviously never seen a basketball game in his life, no one who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the Heat could think Spoelstra is anything other than a good coach.

They don't win their second championship without Spoelstra putting Battier at the 4. Period.

Dashi

Yes, The Coach controls the players, Not the other way around.

You Bandwagon Miami Fans Know Squat about Basketball.

Spo Sucks!!

I understand why you fans like him. He is a sympathetic figure, and boy do they love their sympathetic figures.

These are the same fans that chanted M-V-P when J.Anthony will go up to the free throw line.

What was it that 5 year old told Lebron a couple years back. "Good Job, Good Effort"

That explains the Heat fan base. They don't care about being the best ever. Which is what the Big 3 was originally put together for. To be better than Jordan. Not Heat Fans, Just as long as it is "Good".

Spo is the one that is spoiled by talent.

Just letting you know. That fruit cake better win another title or LeBron is Outtie.

And I bet you guys are going to want to hold a grudge against LeBron. When the guy you should be blaming is the Incompetent Coach.

It is Ridiculous the Bone head moves the Coach for the Miami Heat Makes.

Ask any other fan of any other NBA team, Would you take Spo' as a Coach, I bet you get a resounding Hell No!! (Even with his 2 Titles)

Everyone knows the Heat win in spite of their coach. Not cause of him. Everyone except blinded heat fans that know nothing about basketball.The Next time the Heat win because a move Spo made, will be the first time they win cause of Spo.

I have been asking the same question for 3 years and nobody has answered with a valid response.

WHAT DOES SPOELSTRA EXCEL AT?

And Editing Tape doesn't count. That isn't a coaches job.

Oh, I know what Spo is good at. Saying Nothing and Taking Orders.

THE PLAYERS RUN THE HUDDLE!!

THE PLAYERS RUN THE TEAM!!

ONLY PROFESSIONAL TEAM I KNOW THAT HAPPENS ON. The Miami Heat.

I have yet to watch a Heat Game and say, Great move by the Coach.

At least not since Riley.

Dashi

He put Battier at the 4 against OKC. Their First Title, Sir.

And they won that series because M.Miller went off!! And then Battier went off!! Sir.

Battier was getting crushed at the 4. And even Battier was dumbfounded by that move. That is the truth, Sir.

As a matter of fact, I would prefer if Battier was the Coach. He knows more Basketball than Spo. Sir.

Dashi

And Sir,

You are probably older than me, but I bet I have seen more basketball than you by a mile. Sir.

Unlike you bandwagon fans who only watch some of the games. I, Dashi, watch all the games. Even the Summer Camp games. Sir. And not just the Heat.

But keep talking about me like you know me. It really makes your point come across like you know something. Sir.

Since you are such a Basketball Fanatic. Sir.

CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SPOELSTRA EXCELS AT AS A COACH?

Thanks Sir.

get real

Dashi, are you done? If you can't see what he excels at then you have a lot to learn. Spo calls great plays, sometimes they aren't executed properly. BTW you speak of the Heat fans as bandwagoners but fail to remember how Spo has done when he got the job. Spo coached his behind off and turned around a 15 win team to challenge for a playoff spot. He used the pieces he had to make a competitive team. Then when we got the big 3, they had to be humbled to trust him more, that usually has to happen with big egos.

Additionally, he excels at defensive sets. He is a master of teaching help defense principles he learned from Riles.

He single-handedly changed the leauge with his small ball lineup.

This is just to name a few.

We won title # 3 without a true center and 2 mediocre point guards.

get real

btw Dash, last year finals was the first Championship round where not one tech was called. Miami was matched up with one of the best if not THE best fundamental teams in the NBA. Miami beat them. No credit to the coach huh? Only Pop coaches. Put the haterade down and see that it was a roller coaster series, the only back to back wins was by the Heat. That series was filled with coaching adjustments as evidenced by the dramatic score changes from game to game.

Dashi

It has been stated by Spo himself, He doesn't call plays.

Remember the Heat play a free flowing system.

So please explain what he Excels at.

The Heat have possibly the Best Player to Ever play the game.

The Heat Roster has earned over $1B in Career Earnings.

The Roster is Super stacked. I believe no other team has as many current and former All Stars.

And the Heat beat the Spurs because D.Greene couldn't hit the rim after setting the NBA final record.

And Ray Allen's will to win.

Get Real, You bandwagon fans need to admit the Heat HC is Mediocre.

They win because they are a supremely talented team.

The Heat have had the same core of players for the last 4 years and they still play likea bunch of misfits. That falls on the coach.

On Defensive Sets. The Heat run one Defense all the time. Man and they rotate because the players are so athletic.

Spo was put there for one reason and one reason only. To be a Puppet for Riley and the Players.

Honest question, where is the USB port located in Spo.

And it is silly to compare the Spurs roster and the Heat roster as equal.

Pop is making Chicken Salad out of Chicken Sh++.

Spo is making Chicken Sh++ out of Chicken Salad.

Dashi

I know it is like talking to a wall when trying to talk sense to heat fans. Reason I don't even bother to comment about basketball on here anymore.

Heat Fans are Dense.

Very Few Heat Fans are Objective and have High Standards for the team.

Me, I am a Fan of Greatness. And I would love the current Heat team to go down as one of the Best Ever. They have the Talent to do so.

But with the current coach, I don't see them as nothing more than a good team in the annals of history.

But "Good" is more than enough for most heat fans.

Spivey

Dashi, grab your posh-posh and go back to Pakistan.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Dashi - thanks for making it crystal clear exactly what kind of Miami Heat fan you are.

They won their first title in 2006.

FYI.

IMAWriter

There is STILL the possibility that after the draft a trade can be arranged for a right tackle, or after a couple of pre-season games, a rookie replaces a vet, the vet is cut, and no one claims him before the Fins turn. Better hope the team ahead of the Fins ain't the Patsies.

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