Lots of stuff on a busy Monday, with the Heat beginning preparations for The Finals and the Dolphins holding OTA day No. 4 (the second of a few open to the media):
### There’s genuine respect between the Heat and Spurs, but some mild verbal jousting has begun, thanks to Tim Duncan saying on Saturday that the Spurs will win the title this year, that "we'll do it this time."
“They don’t like us. They don’t,” LeBron James said today. “I can sense it from Timmy’s statements the last couple days. They wanted this. They wanted us. And we’ll be ready for the challenge. They said it, that we left a sour taste in their mouth because of what happened” in last year's Finals.
Do Duncan’s comments bother LeBron?
“No. Why would it bother me? We're not shying away from them. We want THEM too. They want us, they got us...No one is entitled. This is no one's championship. It isn't ours, it isn't theirs. It's two teams fighting for it."
James said there might be more hostility if they played each other four times a year: “It would be a lot different.”
### James said he expects the Spurs again will try to force him to take jump shots. “They didn’t guard me” last year. “I didn’t make shots. They had a great game plan, I guess. It wasn’t much of a game plan. They didn’t guard me.
“Went under the pick-and-roll. Dared me to shoot. Started to make shots [later in the series]. They would rather me shoot jumpers than [get] in the paint. I think every team in the league would want that. They do a good job of trying to funnel everything into their bigs.”
### Monday musings from Chris Bosh: On Duncan’s comments, Bosh said: “It’s a little different. But we love it for extra motivation. We’re glad to get extra motivation. Any time we’re not focusing, we can think back to that quote and it will lock us back in.”…
Bosh, on public sentiment: “People still want to see us lose. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.... Bosh had a good line when asked why people root against the Heat": “I’m a fan of the Miami Heat, so I don’t know.”
### Impressive day for Ryan Tannehill, who threw two touchdowns to Mike Wallace, a dart in the middle of the end zone to Brian Hartline for a touchdown and another great throw that should have been a touchdown to Charles Clay (who dropped it). He threw one interception (to Jimmy Wilson) but also wisely threw the ball away when nothing was there.
### Wallace, as we wrote a couple times last week, is in clearly better spirits. One reason is that he loves Bill Lazor’s offense and the flexibility it gives him to change where he lines up.
Mike Sherman wouldn’t permit him to do that last year, and Wallace said today that as a result, opposing defenses knew exactly where he was going to be.
### Of the move of Koa Misi to middle linebacker, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said: “I can’t commit today to saying it’s a done deal but I like what I’m seeing. So far, so good. Koa has such a physical presence. When Koa hits you, you stay hit for a while. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve used Koa an an example of how you compete each and every snap on defense. Last year, I felt I didn’t keep him in the game as often as I could have. We’ve got to get him more involved. He’s a big man, strong, explosive. He takes a tremendous amount of pride in doing little things the right way.”
### Coyle raved about the two new starters in the secondary: safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Cortland Finnegan: “Two great additions, lot of enthusiasm, smart, instinctive guys. They’ve been a pleasure to coach. They will bring an energy, toughness, fierce competitiveness. They are both vocal guys. Louis goes 100 miles an hour with everything he’s doing. Sees formations quickly. Sometimes you’ve got to reign him back in a little bit. He’s never slowing down.”
### Will Davis was beaten for a touchdown by Armon Binns today, but Coyle said he made an interception Friday “that was out of this world. SportsCenter [worthy]. Every day we’re seeing significant improvement from Will and Jamar [Taylor]. You see confidence growing every day.”
### Knowshon Moreno continues to work at least partly with the second team, with Lamar Miller taking a lot of first team snaps. Moreno dropped a pass today and Joe Philbin conceded that his conditioning could be better.
### Jelani Jenkins got a significant number of first team reps, ahead of Dannell Ellerbe, but Philbin suggested not to read anything into it.
It would be VERY surprising if Ellerbe isn’t the starter.
### The Dolphins are giving a lot of reps to 6-5 receiver Stephen Williams; they like his size, but he dropped a short, easy catch and it would be shocking if he makes the team.
### Random stuff: As we wrote a couple weeks ago, Marcus Thigpen has been moved to receiver, at least for now… Brent Grimes was beaten several times, including by Wallace, but obviously no need for concern with a player of his caliber…. Pat Devlin made a great pass to Matt Hazel…
Dallas Thomas got first-team reps at left guard… Practice began with a double reverse, with Hartline tossing it to Wallace. Good stuff… Don Jones dropped an interception…
There were several rollouts by Tannehill to avoid pressure…. Randy Starks and Cam Wake got heat on the quarterback several times…. Caleb Sturgis missed a field goal from 42 yards but made another from that distance.