An update on the Heat’s playoff predicament after tonight’s 114-93 loss at Washington (LeBron James and Chris Bosh sat out):
### The Heat has clinched the No. 2 seed, meaning Miami will be in an enviable bracket with Charlotte, Washington (likely) and (if the current standings hold) Toronto.
The Heat will play Charlotte in the first round if the Bobcats lose Wednesday against visiting Chicago or if Washington wins Wednesday at Boston. If Charlotte wins Wednesday and Washington loses, Miami would play Washington.
Charlotte owns the tiebreaker with Washington and kept alive its hopes of moving to No. 6 by rallying to win at Atlanta tonight.
### In the second round, Miami would play the winner of the series between the third and sixth seeds. Toronto moved a step closer toward clinching the No. 3 seed by beating Milwaukee tonight.
The Raptors (who would win a tiebreaker against Chicago because they're a division winner) would clinch the third seed if they win Wednesday at New York or if the Bulls lose Wednesday at Charlotte. Chicago kept alive its hopes of claiming the third seed by beating Orlando tonight.
Keep in mind the Heat has won 15 straight against Toronto, spanning the entire length of LeBron’s employment with the Heat.
And Miami has won 16 in a row against Charlotte.
There’s a chance Washington could move to the fifth spot, and drop Brooklyn to sixth, but only if the Wizards win at Boston Wednesday and the Nets lose to the Cavaliers and Knicks.
### Unless Brooklyn drops to sixth and wins its first-round series, Miami would avoid the Nets in the second round. The Nets swept the season series, 4-0, against Miami, as you know.
### The Spurs, Thunder and Clippers would all have homecourt advantage against the Heat in a potential Finals matchup. The Finals changes from 2-3-2 to a 2-2-1-1-1 format this year.
### The Heat is now 11-13 since March 4.
A few weeks ago, it didn’t appear that the Dolphins would need to do much at receiver this offseason, considering they like their top four (Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Rishard Matthews) and considering they’re intrigued by Armon Binns.
But with Hartline, Gibson and Binns all coming off knee injuries (Gibson’s was particularly serious), the Dolphins have been very active at the position the past two weeks.
After Nate Burleson declined Miami’s offer and signed with Cleveland instead, the Dolphins signed veteran Damian Williams (in addition to long shots Kevin Cone and Mike Rios).
We reported in recent days that the Dolphins have summoned Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant and Mississippi receiver Donte Moncrief to team headquarters to meet with coaches and front-office officials. (Both are likely second- or third-round picks.)
And a source confirmed tonight that USC receiver Marqise Lee will visit Dolphins headquarters on Tuesday, as first reported this evening by ESPN’s James Walker. That means at least three of the Dolphins’ 30 permitted visits will involve receivers, a position that might be their deepest on the team.
Lee, who caught 57 passes for 791 yards last season, is projected to go in the range of Miami’s pick at No. 19. ESPN’s Todd McShay has him going 22nd to Philadelphia and noted he “struggled with drops in 2013” but has “good speed” and “is a threat after the catch.”
If Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin is available at No. 19, it would be surprising if the Dolphins opted for Lee instead. But if Martin is off the board at No. 19, everything is in play. And the Dolphins are showing more interest in receivers than most expected.
It would be surprising if the Dolphins part ways with Gibson, considering he was very effective before his injury. (GM Jackson --- a distant cousin of GM Salguero --- would definitely keep him even if he’s not 100 percent by the start of the season.)
But JSYK (just so you know), his cap hit is $3.7 million if he’s on the team and $2 million if he’s not.
Gibson, who tore his patellar tendon in Week 8 against the Patriots, is doing light jogging and told ESPN recently that he “definitely” will be back for the opener.
Al Golden reflected on spring practice with WQAM’s Joe Rose on Monday. Some highlights:
### On Kevin Olsen: “We have to improve, there’s no question about it. In the one-on-one phase and seven-on-seven phase [Saturday], we included all of the concepts. He did well in that part of it. In the other part of it, we need to improve on. He knows that. Gray Crow knows that. In the scrimmage, it was play action and move the pocket, not drop-backs. We were in very bland [formations]…. That’s not who we were all spring.
“The biggest thing I was impressed with Kevin was he managed the game well. He had a good line of scrimmage operation. He understands he doesn’t have to do too much. He has a lot of guys around him we have to get the ball to.”
But Golden said “I look at the body of work” and that Olsen played “really well” in practice last week.
### On May arrivals Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier: “Those quarterbacks coming in are going to help us be a better football team. Brad and Malik are very bright. They’re very talented. That’s going to make it a tighter race and improve everybody.”
### Golden said “as tight as it is as linebacker, that has made us better. Everyone knows about Denzel Perryman and Alex Figueroa, but Jermaine Grace is coming on, and Juwon Young, JuWand Blue, Darrion Owens [showed positive signs]. I’ve said multiple times how good a spring Raphael Kirby had. That’s what’s going to make us better.”
### Golden was pleased with the defense Saturday: “I looked at last year’s spring game. I look at a defense that had a different attitude about it. The number of [mental errors] is down dramatically from a year ago.”
### He said new right tackle Taylor Gadbois “had as good a spring as anybody. [Early arrivals and current backups] Kc McDermott and Trevor Darling both made great progress. Do I like where we are with our starting offensive line? Yeah. Now it’s about who’s 7, 8, 9, 10.”
### On Gus Edwards and Walter Tucker: “They run hard. Gus is a tailback at 235. And Tucker is a fullback by nature. We got him down to 219. He will play at 224. Both those guys ran with the pads low, did exactly what we need them to do.”
### “I was saying to myself watching Clive Walford on the 1 and 1s, there are some plays there that look like a big-time tight end.”
### He said he was “disappointed” with the team’s performance in only one of the 15 practices.