Spring is in the air. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. It’s the time we set the clocks back an hour for daylight savings.
It is also the time most people take assessments and do their spring cleaning.
And it’s time to check in to see what and how your favorite South Florida professional sport’s teams are doing with their spring chores.
As we near the end of the NBA regular season, your Miami Heat are turning up the heat in the hunt for a playoff spot. Currently, the Heat is sitting at 31-35 trying to hold onto that eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They are just a game above the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Hornets for the final Eastern conference playoff spot. The next closet team is the Washington Wizards and they are four games back.
With only 16 regular season games left on Dwyane Wade’s Sweet 16, last-dance tour, we are nearing the end of an era. The Dwyane Wade era. The end of the Flash era. But don’t get your Kleenex out just yet, because with any luck the Heat can hold on and extend the dance, giving us one last playoff dance with our beloved champion.
Oh, I can smell some freshly mowed grass.
The Miami Marlins are at Spring training up in Jupiter, trying to get a feel for what the makeup of this year’s team is going to look like. Practices and exhibition games allow established ball players to get in competitive gameday shape, while new players are trying out for roster and position spots.
CEO Derek Jeter is diligently trying to put a competitive and winning product on the field. Having rid the team of all its high salaries and most-popular players, Jeter is finding the task a bit daunting. Floridians are ready for the short stop to bring some of that winning culture he had with the Yankees to the Marlins. Fans need something to look forward to with opening day just weeks away on Thursday, March 28, as the Marlins take on the Colorado Rockies at 4:10 p.m.
Off the grass and onto the ice.
The Florida Panthers have not been defending the territory, as they are having yet another disappointing season. Sitting with a record of 30-27, (just slightly above .500) with about 13 games left in their season, their playoff hopes went from slim to all but gone. All that is left to play for is pride and jobs.
On that note, let’s skate past the Panthers to the Dolphins.
New head coach Brian Flores has taken over the reins of the Miami Dolphins since winning the Super Bowl with our rival, the New England Patriots.
Suffering Dolfans are hoping Flores can lead us to the promised land. He’s a new young coach and he has the blueprint for winning or at least we know that he has seen it. With Super Bowl LIV taking place at Hard Rock Stadium in 2020, could the Dolphins be the first home-team to play in their own backyard?
Ok, now I am probably reaching.
But, it seems like Flores is putting his plans into place. Lots of spring-cleaning trades over the weekend. Out with the old (older higher-paid players) and in with the new (younger players who they can rebuild with and pay less). One of the fan favorites, 37-year-old defensive end, Cam Wake, is rumored to be among the next ones on the trading block. Should this indeed happen as it is expected, the Dolphins will be looking for the new heart and soul of their team. Wake was not only a team captain and motivator, but he continued to bring production. The five-time Pro Bowler had had 36 tackles, six sacks and one forced fumble last season. For nine years he has been a part of the fabric of South Florida both on and off the field.
Realistically, we are probably looking at another dismal football season in South Florida sports as talks of tanking the up-coming season continue to swirl.
Though we love going to the beaches and the Miami nightlife, it would be nice to get back to some of the winning ways to bring the fans out.