Couple quick 1 p.m. Thursday Dolphins updates:
### Departing UM basketball player Erik Swoope --- who has never played Pop Warner, high school or college football --- told Herald colleague Michelle Kaufman that he is working out for the Dolphins today.
Swoope, 6-5, is a terrific athlete and teams want to see if he has the skills to possibly develop into a tight end or receiver. He decided to enter the NFL draft instead of enrolling in graduate school and playing one year of football for UM.
Over the past two weeks, he also has worked out for Denver, Indianapolis and Jacksonville.
If he impresses teams, he could get a contract after the draft. Swoope has consulted with former UM basketball/football player Jimmy Graham about making the transition. For more details, check out Michelle's interesting story on her twitter feed (@kaufsports).
### As we've noted, the Dolphins have told a couple of people that they like Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin and believe he's NFL ready. They also have told people they like Michigan's Taylor Lewan, who is projected to go higher than Miami's pick. (Everything uttered around this time of year obviously can be subterfuge, but these are people the Dolphins typically are honest with.)
Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post reported last week that Miami prefers Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to Martin and is considering him at No. 19, though draft analysts expect him to go significantly later than that.
Draftinsider.com's Tony Pauline addressed that in his blog today: "Contrary to recent published reports I’ve been informed Cyrus Kouandjio is not a first round target for Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. In fact I was told the team won’t consider him in the first frame due to medical red-flags. It seems Zack Martin is the object of their desire but the team does not expect the Notre Dame product to be available when they are called to the clock in round one. Who then? Sources seem to think Hickey will attempt to trade down if the opportunity arises. If they are able to trade down Joel Bitonio, a name that keeps popping up in the late first/early second round area, is a player they like. The Dolphins did hold a private workout with Bitonio" --- on his Nevada campus.
Quick aside: Though the Dolphins haven't invited Bitonio to Davie (which does NOT indicate lack of interest), they like his skills and have studied him closely.
Postscripts from the Heat’s 101-97 win against Charlotte in their first-round Eastern Conference series, which put Miami ahead 2-0:
### With the Heat coming dangerously close to blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, this was a game when neither team emerged all that thrilled.
“We have to play better going into their building,” LeBron James said. “It’s a scrappy team. They don’t give up. We can play better basketball. We haven’t played our best basketball.”
Erik Spoelstra’s take: “You do have to credit them. However, there were segments and pockets of the game where there was a lapse of either energy offensively or concentration and discipline defensively, and those moments were usually when we were up double digits."
Meanwhile, the Bobcats bemoaned missed opportunities. “Just so many mistakes we need to fix,” Bobcats guard Kemba Walker said. “We need to fix it fast. I know those guys are defending champs. [But] I think we have a chance.”
### Bottom line: Make it 18 wins in a row for the Heat in this series, including 17-0 since LeBron James became a Heat employee. And there's this: The Heat has taken a 2-0 series lead 12 times in postseason history. Miami won the previous 11 times that happened.
### Forward Josh McRoberts delivered a forearm to James’ throat with 50 seconds left, but the foul was not called a flagrant. “It looked worse than it was,” McRoberts said. “It wasn’t intentional. I got caught in the air.”
James didn’t rip McRoberts afterward or give an opinion about whether it should be a flagrant foul. He described the play thusly: “Elbow to the throat. It’s not a very good feeling, especially how I was attacking the lane. Just trying to catch my breath.... I haven't seen it again. I don't need to see it again.”
### James was terrific, with 32 points, six rebounds and eight assists. He was especially pleased with the eight assists, after having one in Game 1, because he said he wants to get his teammates involved. He became the third player since 1990 to score at least 32 points, grab at least six rebounds, dish at least eight assists and record four steals in a postgame game, joining Chris Paul (2011) and Gary Payton (2000).
### Encouraging to see Chris Bosh shoot 8 for 11, including 4 for 5 on threes, after missing 9 of 13 shots in Game 1 and struggling over the final month of the season. He scored 20, with five rebounds and two blocks.
“He’s one of the best big guy shooters in the league,” James said, before clarifying that “he’s one of the best shooters we have in our league [regardless of position].”
Said Bosh: "I know I don't dunk and hit a bunch of crazy shots. I just want to play good, effective basketball."
### Walker’s three-pointer trimmed Charlotte’s deficit to 98-97 with 12 seconds left, before two James free throws pushed the margin back to three. But Dwyane Wade foiled Charlotte’s next possession by stealing the ball from Chris Douglas-Roberts with 2.9 seconds left.
Gary Neal had put Douglas-Roberts in a bad predicament by passing him the ball in a precarious position along the sideline, which drew a quick double team.
Wade, on the last play: “It was not my man. I did my job on Gary Neal. I just saw that [Douglas-Roberts] was bobbling the ball a little bit and I was right there, so I just had the opportunity and the ball was right there, so I grabbed it.”
In that situation, “to get a three, you need somebody with size and athleticism to get a shot off quickly,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. “We don’t have anybody like that.”
### Bobcats center Al Jefferson felt his strained plantar fascia “rip all the way through” when he ran upcourt in the first quarter. He rebounded from his first-half struggles (six points, 3 for 10 shooting) to produce a terrific third quarter (10 points, six rebounds) but had just two points (1 for 3 shooting) and one rebound in the fourth.
“A lot of pain,” he said. “Doctor said there was nothing more I can do to hurt it, so I had to play through it. I rushed a lot of my shots, thinking about it. Just missed a lot of shots I should have made.”
Clifford said Jefferson “is no where close to 100 percent. He has no mobility basically, limited mobility.”
### The Bobcats got a big lift from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Clifford called it “the best game he’s played as a pro.”
But Walker shot just 5 for 18 on a 16-point night: 4 for 9 on three-pointers but 1 for 9 on two pointers. And Neal shot 1 for 8.
### The Bobcats committed the league’s fewest turnovers during the season, just 12.3 per game. On Wednesday, they had 12 in the first half, leading to 18 Heat points, but just three in the second half. “Against a team like this, you can’t play a first half like we played,” said Clifford, whose team trailed 29-19 after a quarter.
Ultimately, the Bobcats couldn’t overcome 42 percent shooting, not on a night the Heat shot 52 percent and attempted 10 more free throws (29-19).
### The Heat hasn't allowed 100 points in 18 consecutive first-round games... This was the 100th postseason home game in Heat history, with Miami 72-28 in those games: 10-9 at Miami Arena, 62-19 at AA arena. All 100 sold out.
### Clifford said owner Michael Jordan has been helpful in this series. “Similar to what he does all year --- he’ll text me with things he sees,” Clifford said. “He’s a great resource for me. I appreciate the way he treats me and how he gives suggestions but always lets me know, ‘You’re the coach. You can do what you want, but this is what I see.’”