1) I missed most of Friday's loss against the Bulls, I was out of town on the west coast of Florida visiting my 101 year old GrampsMinutos. Just for the record, the Heat are now 0-1 this season, #WithoutDos. Bounced back against the Wizards tonight. Washington is terrible, but at least they're banged up and missing a few of their guys! Goodness gracious - they can't score! It's Kids Day on Sunsports: let it fly!
2) Today was Heat mascot Burnie's birthday - don't even ask, it's embarrassing - and the Heat organization takes this day each year to have kids come in and help with the broadcast, aka "Heat play-by-play-announcer-super-serious-Eric Reid's-worst-nightmare." Ahhh, just kidding, Eric is super-nice, although every time this kid Tyler, who was helping him and Tony call the game in the second quarter, would get off on a tangent and not mention who scored a basket, Eric would quietly interrupt with a "Bradley Beal..." ".....Dwyane Wade...." Hey, there's a certain standard that must be maintained, even under these trying conditions. As readers of this blog know, my son O.Minutos is tight with Eric, and Eric is actually enthusiastic about Kids Day, although I feel obliged to mention that for Memphis Grizzlies Kids Day each year, Memphis Grizzlies play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica moves the kid announcer into his house for about a month, and drills with him day-after-day just to make sure the kid really gains some valuable broadcasting chops from the experience. Such a pro that guy...Also worth mentioning: Jax's kids, extremely handsome and personable, and his older son responded to a Chris Bosh answer to one of his post-game questions with "thank you, Chris Bosh." So professional. I'd like to see Jax take his job that seriously.
3) Speaking of Chris Bosh, what the heck got into him? He bounced back from a few desultory efforts on the defensive end and the boards with 9 rebounds and 4 blocks, and some excellent defensive play. In fairness, the Wizards did miss a lot of shots - a lot - but, still, someone had to grab their wild caroms. During one stretch he ran back as fast as he could, which is about medium fast for a big guy, and fouled Martell Webster hard at the rim to foil one fast break, then cleanly blocked an aggressive Martell Webster drive to the basket. We've finally found the one guy who gets Chris Bosh fired up, and it's NBA journeyman Martell Webster! Chris is always good on offense - 17 more points on only 11 shots. That's too typical. I know it's a position-less, "opportunity" offense, and they are the second or third most efficient scorers in the league, but I still think they should feed that kid more - 11 shots is not enough. I have to believe it would keep him a little more engaged on the glass and the defensive end over the 82 game slog, to the degree that it matters, which is not much. Still, I feel like he's earned it - he helped win a title with his defense and rebounding, he was great in the Finals. But what he does is takes dudes apart. Give him a little opportunity to do that. In the post-game press conference, Coach Spo revealed that he had reminded Chris that he needs to rebound, and that he was pleased with the night's results. A reporter asked if it was unusual to have to remind a guy to rebound. "No," said Spo. Okay!!!
4) Play of the game: in the fourth quarter, Walter Ray Allen, who had an efficient 20 points on 12 shots (and his wing buddy Mike Mil-lar had 13 on only 5), came steaming down court in transition a step ahead of Wizard Bradley Beal. Ray was in the right lane, and Dwyane was coming hard down the left lane but a couple of steps behind, and KJ James (extended his 20 point game streak to like 1000) was trailing over Ray's right shoulder, with Beal tracking Ray on his left shoulder. Ray slowed down a bit and kept looking back - he couldn't really get the ball to KJ because it was an awkward angle, and he kept looking over his left shoulder to try to get the ball to Dwyane, but Beal was in between. Finally, with all four of them nearing the basket, Beal leaped at Ray anticipating the back pass to Dwyane just as Ray decided to extend the ball up to the rim - he dropped the ball through as Beal crashed into him, three point play! Dwyane and KJ hauled him to his feet, all three of them laughing. Old Man Ray just keeps rolling - he doesn't need those two young bucks to finish his play for him! He's been in this league a minute or two!
5) I saw this while I was away this weekend in a very rough section of the coast in Venice, Florida, just shy of the jetty with all of the yachts, and around the corner from the Crow's Nest, home of the world's best clam chowder (according to 93 year old GramsMinutos). Ladies, I can't emphasize this enough: don't get caught in this part of town alone, especially after dark. I don't care what anybody says to you, I don't care if a local you trust offers to take you through, don't do it, just stay out. #TheHumanDateRape
6) Late last week, the day of the Heat-Mavericks game, I was listening to an interview of former NBA point guard (and West Palm Beach native) Derrick Harper. The interviewer asked him if, when he was playing, a loss on an otherwise festive day - Christmas, a birthday, etc. - would ruin that day for him, or if he was able to shake off a loss and enjoy the rest of the day. "Well, Christmas could never be ruined no matter what because that's Jesus' birthday," he answered. Wait - I'm half-Jewish, and only half-Christian, and my house was not religious growing up. You mean to tell me that Jesus was born on Christmas? Holy mackerel, what were the odds of that!?! I mean, yes, I know God can control whatever He wants to, and He could will Jesus to be born on Christmas, but that's still pretty amazing, that is an incredible coincidence! Next year, there's gonna be an extra reason to celebrate Christmas in the Minutos household...
Well, the team is going on the road for a very tough road trip starting Tuesday - a lot of West Coast late night games over the next week and a half. Like most West Coast road trips, I don't care if the Heat win; I don't care if the Heat lose. All I want is for the road trip to be over, so I can get some sleep. If you need me before Tuesday, I'll be googling "Famous Events on Easter." I'll let you know if I come up with anything.