Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Celtics

Heat drop game 6 to Celtics on game winner.


#1: Caleb Martin continually saving the Miami Heat’s offense.

As the Heat trailed 34-29 after a quarter of basketball, it made you wonder how the Heat acquired close to 30 after that offensive display. But well, it pretty simply came down to a guy named Caleb Martin, who started in game 6 as expected. 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting was his stat-line heading into the second quarter along with grabbing 5 boards. But they always seem to be timely buckets. Offense completely in the mud, so Butler’s last resort was to let Martin make something out of nothing. And well, he kept doing it. Strong Butler-like drives got him going, right into some open spot-up triples that Boston just won’t adjust away from. He’s been terrific all series long, and that first quarter was all him when Miami had possession of the basketball.

#2: Jimmy Butler looking as uncomfortable as ever.

Watching Jimmy Butler in that first half, you would notice that you are watching a very different version of the guy we’ve seen as of late. 2 for 10 shooting wouldn’t even tell the full story, since it was more-so the lack of ways he could find comfort in the usual spots on the floor. Pump fakes weren’t working, space wasn’t provided with the crashing help, and he had no where near the driving lanes that he once had early in the series. To be completely honest, he simply looked disjointed. Inefficiency around the rim is never a good sign due to that mirroring a defense that packs the paint and forces outside shots. That’s why you saw Miami’s first half begin with threes and end with threes. Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin swooped in to save the day, but that version of Butler was something new.

#3: Oh, Gabe Vincent is back? Oh, Gabe Vincent is back!

As the Heat opened up this game, there was some worry about the mobility of Gabe Vincent’s ankle as he slotted off the ball every possession. Max Strus had an insane usage rate to begin this one, but later on, we saw Vincent step up in a major way. To begin the second quarter, his pull-up threes made an appearance to open up the half-court offense a bit, as he stepped into two very similar looks in the span of a minute. He cuts it to a 2 point game all of a sudden as the Celtics call timeout, but it was mostly about him taking the shots that Butler just wasn’t. Fast forward to a Heat team down double digits with 3 minutes left in the second quarter, the ball swings to an open Vincent for three who capitalizes again. His efficiency inside the arc wasn’t really there in that first half, but at least he was putting pressure on things. Playing that physical and mobile coming off an ankle sprain was unpredictable, yet necessary.

#4: Dealing with Jayson Tatum…then the others.

For the last few games, the Heat have been heavily reacting to on-ball Jayson Tatum, mixing in a ton of blitzes and show and recovers. That has led to a lot of high level passing for the role players to get going in games 4 and 5. Yet in game 6, we saw a lot more of isolation Tatum and man did he get cooking. Miami continued to mix up his defender between Butler and Martin, yet it didn’t seem to matter. He was getting to the basket with ease, which was the biggest difference between Tatum and Butler in this game. One could get to the rim to set up his offensive profile. The other one couldn’t at all. As for the third quarter run by the Celtics, their movement was just much better than Miami’s half-court play. I said before this game the team with better ball and body movement would take the cake, and well…

#5:  The fourth quarter…

We see an immediate lineup shift with Duncan Robinson entering for potential offense, and a Kyle Lowry attack and dish to him on the cut shaves the lead to just 3. Heat give up a White three, and Lowry answers with a…post-up bucket? Some fresh legs providing some new offense. 82-78, 9 minutes to go. Robinson answers the phone again with a massive contested triple to cut it to 1, followed with a strong attack into a Butler tip-in. The Heat finally lead. One Brown drive later, the call on the floor is a goal-tend while he takes two free throws, swinging the game majorly back in the other direction. Heat trail 88-83 with under 7 minutes to go. Robinson makes some plays on the offensive end, but none could make up any ground. The Celtics kept responding all over the board, right into a 10 point lead with 4 and a half minutes to go. Fully relying on Robinson and Martin with Butler and Adebayo nowhere to be found. Butler began getting to the line the next few possessions as they entered the bonus, but it was an uphill climb. And well, another Miami Heat scoring run later following a Butler three and some free throw battling, the Heat cut it to 3 with a minute left. Brown goes 1 of 2 from the line, as Butler powers down the court into an and-1 layup. 1 point game. Robinson has a great look, misses it, Smart gets to the line and goes 1 for 2. They push down the floor, and with 2 seconds left, Butler gets fouled. Butler ends up getting fouled with 2 seconds left to take a 1 point lead, and a tip-in at the buzzer puts Miami away. Incredible.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Boston in Game 5

Back to Miami we go.

An embarrassing performance in game 5 by the Heat puts some pressure on them in game 6 at the Kaseya Center.

But first, we need to address tonight:

Some takeaways….

#1: Butler, Bam, Lowry: let’s talk…

Jimmy Butler: 2 for 7 from the field. Bam Adebayo: 3 for 9 from the field with 4 turnovers. Kyle Lowry: 3 turnovers. Those were some of the key first half numbers in a pivotal game 5 in TD Garden. Their best players were not their best players, and it’s really that simple. Butler has been a tone setter for a while for this team, and he completely looked out of it and disjointed. Plus he’s what makes this entire Heat offense run at the moment, so if he doesn’t have it, they won’t have it. Bam Adebayo was just as careless with the basketball as humanly possible, continually bringing the ball down to the floor for easy strips. He just was totally out of sorts and matchups were stumping him. And lastly, in a game without any ball-handler, they needed a big one from Kyle Lowry. Those 3 turnovers didn’t even tell the story, since his lack of aggression on pull-ups was major. A tough first half but harder to look past these 3 over the first 24 minutes.

#2: Turnovers and offensive rebounds…

To continue on that first half, the efficiency was surprisingly not the problem for the Heat’s offense, as it settled in around 50% for a majority of that time-frame. Instead, it was the turnover problem behind Adebayo and Lowry. They couldn’t seem to gain control to get into their usual actions, and that quickly bled into the defense much like in game 4. Bad shots equal an inability to settle into half-court defense. That is how the Celtics made their initial three point punch to start the game, as they played at a much faster pace. Now down to the defensive end, the offensive boards kept getting the Celtics extra and better looks from deep. When a team has that many extra opportunities, especially at home when playing into the crowd, it just hurts. Those two elements tied in very closely.

#3: Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson trying to hold it together.

To get away from what went wrong for a second, let’s talk about the guys who kept them in the mix for large stretches. Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin had close to half of Miami’s first half points, which says a lot. Martin continues to be the stable piece of this team, as he just keeps reacting to his individual defender. Taking triples, manipulating close-outs into attacks, and playing as strong on-ball as he possibly could. Duncan Robinson also found a rhythm inside in a certain lineup around 4 defenders, Butler-Martin-Highsmith-Bam, since the back-cut seemed to still be alive. Robinson was going to be crucial for this offense without the abundance of guards, since his action with Bam is a walking, living hub in the half-court. They played their role to perfection, yet still trailed by 17 heading into the third quarter.

#4: Two primary adjustments on the Celtics side.

So, as I sit here talking about the players for Miami not playing at the level that you would hope, the next question we should pose is ‘why is it happening?’ And well, I have some thoughts. Two main adjustments have been made by Boston, and the first one pertains to Jimmy Butler. It’s nothing matchup wise since he’s still getting the same switches, but instead the ways they’re reacting to him on-ball. They are not biting on pump fakes at all from him. He relies on positional shots after getting to his spots, and he usually manipulates his defender in the mid-range by getting them out of position. Tonight, they weren’t budging. Staying down on shot fakes was a clear focus. Now the second adjustment was even clearer, and it surrounded Bam Adebayo. Something they’ve done going back to last year is give up “mismatches” for him down low, due to the fact they want him to post-up. They feel that doesn’t equal good offense for Miami, and they’re probably right with his discomfort with his back to the basket. They’ll just send some help, knowing he will probably bring the ball low as I mentioned at the top of this piece. They would swipe and bother him, leading to all the turnovers. Boston adjusted and got to Miami. Now Spo and company needs to throw a haymaker back.

#5: So, what’s next?

All eyes on Saturday night. From up 3-0 to up 3-2, feels like a major chunk of this season comes down to taking care of business in their home building in game 6. The Heat desperately need to re-group after what we saw in game 5, which was a team with no identity and zero control or comfort on either end. They looked lost, and that needs to change. Playing into the momentum of a home crowd could help that, but they simply need their best guys to be just that. Not just Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but Erik Spoelstra as well. If the Heat want to win, it’s probably going to need to be an Erik Spoelstra masterclass. Adjustments will need to be flying, and that started tonight by playing Haywood Highsmith. Yet offensively, they need a new wrinkle in the half-court, and Spoelstra has continually showed in the past he holds something back. We will see what that is, but those three headlining pieces are going to need to mutually come to play in 48 hours.

7 Biggest Pro Basketball Leagues in the World

Basketball is one of the biggest sports around the globe. Many people from different places know how to play sports. Moreover, many also follow basketball leagues and admire prominent figures on the court. Because of its popularity, major leagues were founded in different parts of the world, sharing the universal rules of the game. 

Let’s learn more about these gigantic professional basketball leagues and get to know how they have impacted the game’s development throughout the years,

National Basketball Association (NBA)

The National Basketball League (NBA) was founded on June 6, 1946, in New York City, United States of America. There are 30 participating teams in the league every season, where 29 of the teams are from the US, and one is from Canada. The teams with the most wins are Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, with 17 wins each. 

In the most recent time, Golden State Warriors are considered the dominating team in the league, with seven titles. The NBA finals for this season are close. To stay ahead of the game, see this website for betting lines.

What’s impressive about the NBA is that it has a social responsibility program called NBA Cares that aims to address different social issues around the globe. These include youth and family development, education, and health-related concerns. They partner with youth-serving programs to realize their goals.

EuroLeague Basketball

Founded 65 years ago on December 14, 1947, the EuroLeague Basketball has become one of the most-followed professional basketball leagues worldwide. Eighteen professional basketball teams in Europe play in the league, and the current champion is Real Madrid, with 11 titles under their name, including their win in 2003. 

The league is televised through 201 countries and territories. In China, 245 million households follow the league. It is also available to watch through NBA TV in the United States and Canada. In the 2017-2018 season, its average attendance for league matches was 8,780, making it the second professional basketball league with the highest attendance, next to the NBA. 

Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)

The Chinese Basketball Management Center organizes the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). The league has been running since the 1995-1996 inaugural season. Every season, two divisions and 20 teams participate in the league. It is considered the top-level professional basketball league in China. 

The current champions in the CBA are the Liaoning Flying Leopards, with three titles. In history, the team with the most wins in the league is the Guangdong Southern Tigers. 

Australian National Basketball League

Founded in 1979, the National Basketball League (NBL) in Australia has become the largest professional basketball league in the region and is considered one of the biggest in the world. John Raschke founded the league 44 years ago. Ten teams compete for the title every season, nine from Australia and one from New Zealand. The team with the most recent wins in the league is the Perth Wildcats, with 19 titles. Meanwhile, the most recent champions are the Sydney Kings, with five wins. 

Before the league was established, two professional basketball competitions existed in Australia: the Australian Club Championships and the National Titles. The NBL is the third longest-running sports league in the country, following the domestic cricket competition and the Australian Football League. 

Liga ACB (Spain)

The Liga ACB is the top-level professional basketball league in Spain. Founded in 1983, the Liga ACB has become one of the most popular indoor sports in the world. A total of 18 participating teams partake in the Liga ACB every season. The most current champion in the league is Real Madrid, with 14 wins, while the team with the most wins is Barcelona, with 16 titles. Other successful teams in Liga ACB were Joventut Badalona, Baskonia, Basquet Manresa, Valencia Basket, and Maloncesto Malaga. 

Its 2018-2019 season saw an average attendance of 6,236, making it the ninth most-attended domestic professional indoor sports league globally. Moreover, it is considered the fourth most attended basketball league around the world, trailing the National Basketball Association (NBA), the EuroLeague, and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). 

Korean Basketball League (KBL)

The Korean Basketball League (KBL) was founded in 1997 in South Korea. Universities and corporate companies sponsor early clubs in the league. Some pioneers were sponsored by the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), the Korea Development Bank (KDB), Yonsei University, and Korea University. Large industrial companies like Hyundai Electronics, Kia Motors, and Samsung Electronics have also sponsored their basketball teams later. 

A total of ten professional basketball clubs play in the KBL every season. The current champions are the Anyang KGC, with four titles, the latest season being the most recent. Meanwhile, the club with the most wins is the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, with seven titles. 

Ligue Nationale de Basket Pro A

Also known as the Betclic Elite in France, the Ligue Nationale de Basket was founded in June 1921. It is organized by the Ligue Nationale de Basket (LNB), France’s professional men’s basketball governing body. Seventeen teams from France and one from Monaco participate in the Ligue Nationale de Basket Pro A regular season. In the latest season, it was reduced to 16 clubs. 

The most recent champion in the league is the LDLC Asvel, with 21 titles. The team has also recorded the most wins in the league. 


The seven basketball leagues we have included here are considered because of their long history, viewership ratings, and following. The NBA and the rest of the leagues mentioned here were familiar to every avid basketball fan around the world. These leagues have contributed to the resounding success of the sport and its continued hit in the coming generations.

5 Drugs that Athletes (and others) Need to Know About

If a person visits an in person casino, people think about excessive drinking and smoking.  When people think about online casinos like PlayCroco Casino, there may be other vices that people think about.

The same can be said about sports and drugs.  When people think about sports and drugs, the first drug that comes to their mind is steroids.   The problem with steroids is that when a person first does it, they think that it is no big deal.  I can handle it.  But in the end, way before they even realize that they have a problem, they have a problem.

Some of these drugs that I am going to talk about it, a sports person would never touch.  But when you are dealing with illegal drugs (or even the gray area), you have no idea what you are actually getting.

Times are changing, for better or for worse.  What might have been true in the 1930s or even the 1960s maybe not be true in the 2020s.  It is you are going to start entering the gray area, at least understand what it is that you are getting yourself into.  Knowledge is power.  What you want to do with that power is up to you.


Tranq or more specifically, the animal tranquilizer xylazine

Xylazine is a drug used for sedation, anesthesia, muscle relaxation, and analgesia in animals such as horses, cattle, and other non-human mammals.  Veterinarians also use xylazine as an emetic, especially in cats.  Yes, it is a drug that is used to cause a cat to vomit, and yet, people are willingly ingesting this into their bodies.  Xylazine has become a drug of abuse in the United States, where it is known by the street name “tranq”, particularly in Puerto Rico.  But what might have started in Puerto Rico has not stayed in Puerto Rico and can now be found easily in the streets of Philadelphia (and other major US cities).  It is being used as a cutting agent for heroin and fentanyl.

And if you thought heroin and fentanyl were bad, adding tranq to it makes those drugs a million times worse.

Tranq causes skin sores on the legs.  We are talking about a skin sore on your shin that is around the size of a two inch oval shape.  Now envision playing soccer when your leg has that open sore.  Just thinking about that makes me want to vomit even without taking Tranq.  It also causes infections at the injection site, but that can be said about any illegal drug being injected into your body.  Anybody who is stupid enough to inject Tranq into their body does not care about having a sterile environment.

If you do not believe me, then watch this YouTube video published by PIX11 News “Tranq: the zombie effect.”  Tranq also goes by the nickname “zombie cut” and “sleep cut”.

From 2010 to 2019 the proportion of xylazine in heroin and/or fentanyl deaths in Philadelphia rose from 3 to 28%.  The combination of heroin and xylazine produces a potentially more deadly high than the administration of heroin alone.  From November 2021 until August 2022 80% of drug paraphernalia which tested positive for fentanyl at needle exchange programs in Maryland also contained xylazine.  In April 2023, the Biden administration declared xylazine-laced fentanyl an official emerging drug threat to the nation, the first time that label has been given.

According to Gupta Xylazine is the deadliest drug threat the United States has ever faced. DEA seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States and 23% of seized fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills contained xylazine.

So unless you like playing sports with big open sores all over your body, it is best to stay away from Tranq, fentanyl, heroin, opioids, etc.  Even marijuana is being mixed with Tranq.



Fentanyl is a high potent synthetic opioid.  Some people take this drug by itself, but a lot of times it is mixed with other drugs in order to make those drugs more addictive.

Synthetic opioid deaths, for example, fentanyl, increased from 2,600 overdose deaths per year in 2011 to 76,238 per year in 2022.

Fentanyl’s most common side effects, which affect more than 10% of people, include nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, somnolence, confusion, and asthenia (weakness). Less frequently, in 3–10% of people, fentanyl can cause abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, anorexia and weight loss, dizziness, nervousness, anxiety, depression, flu-like symptoms, dyspepsia (indigestion), shortness of breath, hypoventilation, apnoea, and urinary retention. Fentanyl use has also been associated with aphasia (inability to comprehend or formulate language).  In other words, you become a babbling idiot.

Do you honestly think that anybody who is taking fentanyl, with their lack of ability to comprehend or formulate language, is going to be able to play sports even to a fraction of their potential ability?  It does not matter if we are talking about pro sports, amateur sports, college sports, high school sports, and little league.  It does not matter if you are playing sports to “earn money” or “just for fun”.  You take fentanyl, and your performance in sports is “going to suck” (and you will probably do something so stupid that it will make a viral YouTube video in a way that you do not want it to be viral).

But fentanyl is just taken by itself.  Many times, as with Tranq, it is mixed into other drugs in order to make those more potent and addictive.

Do you think that “taking a bit of steroids” is going to be okay?  All the “big” athletes do it?  How do you know those steroids are not going to be laced with fentanyl?  Do you trust your drug dealer?  If so, why?  Why would you trust a drug dealer who wants you to become addicted to his product, so you no longer have any free will to choose to continue or not continue to take those drugs?  A drug dealer is not your friend, even if your “drug dealer” is your coach.  That person only cares about themselves and how they can use you to make themselves richer.  That is also true about your agent.



Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects.  Medically they are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia.  Other medical uses include suppression of diarrhea, replacement therapy for opioid use disorder, reversing opioid overdose, and suppressing cough.

Side effects of opioids may include itchiness, sedation, nausea, respiratory depression, constipation, and euphoria. Long-term use can cause tolerance, meaning that increased doses are required to achieve the same effect and physical dependence, meaning that abruptly discontinuing the drug leads to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

The euphoria attracts recreational use, and frequent, escalating recreational use of opioids typically results in addiction. An overdose or concurrent use with other depressant drugs like benzodiazepines commonly results in death from respiratory depression.

And on top of all of that, opioids, when sold in the illegal drug market, are now commonly laced with fentanyl and tranq.  So now, you are not only dealing with a drug addiction to opioids, but you are also potentially dealing with a drug addiction to fentanyl and/or tranq.



Drug use today is not like drug use in the 1960s due to these drugs being cut with fentanyl and tranq.  This includes steroids and marijuana.

Even vaping and smoking is not like it used to be, because companies spend large amounts of money trying to figure out how to make their products as addictive as possible.

Even something as “benign” as medical abortion pills (if you want to call it that) that are bought on the black market … how do you really if what you are buying is even close to what is prescribed by a doctor in a professional environment?

If you play sports (professional or recreational), you care about your body and your health.  So don’t mess it up by putting into your body something that you have no idea what it really is?

The Florida Panthers punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers are on their way to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in four games. 


The Panthers took Game 4 by a final score of 4-3 off of Matthew Tkachuk’s game winner with four seconds left in regulation. 


It was a wild night at FLA Live for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes.   


Holding a 3-0 lead, the Panthers had a chance to close out the series at home Wednesday night — which would have booked their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals.  


Like all the games in this series, tonight’s went down to the wire. 


It didn’t take the Panthers long to crack open this game and get the crowd off their feet.


Less than a minute into the game, Frederik Andersen made a big first save on an Anthony Duclair one-timer, however Andersen lost track of the puck after the save. Duclair picked up his own rebound and put it past Andersen, putting the Panthers up 1-0 just 41 seconds into the game. 


A little over halfway through the first, the Panthers would take a two-goal.


As the Panthers second power play of the game dwindled down, a broken up shot Aaron Ekblad shot found its way to Matthew Tkachuk in front of the net.


Tkachuk quickly fed the puck through Andersen’s five-hole, putting the Panthers up 2-0, 10:23 into the game. 


The desperate Hurricanes didn’t let Florida’s multi-goal lead last long. Just a few minutes after Tkachuk’s goal, Carolina got one back.  

A shot from near the corner landed in the blue pain behind a sprawling Sergei Bobrovsky. Paul Stasny beat Bobrovsky to the loose puck, cutting the Panthers lead in half with just under seven minutes to go in the period.


The three goal first period tonight was a completely different script from the 1-0 Game 3 we saw on Monday night. 


After an eventful opening 20 minutes, the Panthers took a 2-1 lead to the dressing room. 


As the teams took the ice for the second Carolina was able to get this game even just three minutes into the period.  


Similar to Tkachuk’s goal in the first, a Carolina shot from up high got broken up in front of goal before landing on the stick of Teuvo Teravainen. Teravainen shot the puck over an out of position Bobrovsky, tying the game at 2-2.


Just like that, Florida’s two-goal lead was gone.


With Carolina’s two unanswered goals, the building wasn’t quiet, but it definitely didn’t have the same energy as it did in the first. 


That was a problem that fan favorite Ryan Lomberg was able to solve. 9:49 into the second period, the Panthers fourth line executed one of the  nicest passing plays you’ll see all postseason. 

Lomberg started the play by dishing the puck to Eric Staal down low, who quickly spun it around his body to a wide-open Colin White in front of the Canes net. Rather than forcing a handcuffed shot, White calmly slid the puck over to Lomberg — who tapped in the go ahead goal. Florida went up 3-2, and FLA Live Arena went crazy as you’d expect. 


Lomberg’s goal would be the final one of the period, due in large part to some big saves by Sergei Bobrovsky. As the period came to an end, ‘BOB-BY’ chants echoed through the sold out arena from the Panthers faithful. 


Their team went into the break with a one-goal lead — and 20 minutes away from the Stanley Cup Finals. 


Florida held on to their lead for most of the third, but with 3:22 left, Carolina kept their season alive. 


Jesper Fast put away the game tying goal, and  overtime looked to be on the horizon in Sunrise. 


But the hockey gods seemed to not want extra hockey. 


With just 57 seconds left in regulation, Carolina captain Jordan Staal was sent to the box — giving Florida a last minute power play. 


A goal would mean a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, the other option would be another OT game… Matthew Tkachuk said ‘bus in 10’. 


The Panthers star forward came around the net, held out Andersen and put this series to bed. 


With 4.9 seconds remaining, the Florida Panthers took the lead — and the series. 


Florida will have to await the winner of the Vegas-Dallas series to see who their final opponent of the season will be. Vegas currently leads Dallas 3-0.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Boston

The Heat fall short of the sweep in game 4 as Boston blitzes them.

Uneven showing for Heat’s main guys, and the offense is so reliant on them to create. And well, that bled into the defense.

Game 5 up next, but first here are some takeaways from game 4…

#1: The first quarter felt like a repeat of the series. But that was the only quarter.

Much like in game 3, you would expect the Boston Celtics to come out as the desperate team that they are to start the game. But well, it just felt like a re-run of much of the series. Not much adjustments aside from the Bam Adebayo on Marcus Smart factor, but the entire picture just felt like the Heat dictating everything. The switches they want, the pace to play at, etc. The Celtics obviously had their punches, but they’ve had those this whole series aside from giving up completely in game 3. My main early takeaway was that in a setting that you expect to be watching a completely new story in each and every game, as seen in the first two rounds, things have been rather competitive on the schematic front. But well, the last 3 quarters that fell apart.

#2: Are these big Caleb Martin games or is it just normal Caleb Martin?

14 points on 6 of 6 shooting. That was the stat-line of Caleb Martin as the team entered the half. Every game of the series he seems to take up a slot on my takeaways, but are we approaching the point where this is just normal activity? When I say 6 of 6 shooting, it’s not like his shots are easy at all either. Tough leaning threes, quick and swift attacks off close-outs: it’s just been an absolute individual masterclass from a 1-on-1 perspective. If the Celtics dip off, he makes them pay off the catch. If the Celtics chase him off the line, he has an attacking counter he will get to. From the guy that defenses help off of to the guy that is tearing defenses apart. Just rising by the day.

#3: Jimmy Butler’s defensive versatility.

Jimmy Butler has been the hub of this group all playoffs for obvious reasons. Not only by the way he keeps controlling offensively with everything running through him, but the way he mucked things up on defense in that first quarter. The reason it’s truly wild to see is the different ways he has been utilized on that end of the floor from series to series. Starting out against the Bucks, they threw a curve-ball to let his physicality lead on Jrue Holiday, and he played strong on his way to messing up their offense. Onto the Knicks, they put him on the guy they wanted to help off, and just let him go to work by helping down on Jalen Brunson into insane impact. Now against Boston, it’s been a flipping nature between Tatum and Brown, meaning not much room to linger. That’s been Bam’s job instead. Butler’s offensive control was just so rough in this one, that it bled into the defense. But still need to keep track of this timeline.

#4: Sensing fatigue for the Heat and fire for Celtics from deep.

The Celtics gave Miami a massive haymaker in the third quarter to really turn the tides. The Heat couldn’t seem to stop them due to the fact they were hitting the shots that Miami has been living with for much of the series. Marcus Smart threes, Grant Williams got hot, and Jayson Tatum finally started getting to the rim. What happened to the defense? The offensive struggles were bleeding into that end. Miami went minutes on end without scoring multiple times, and they were just totally out of rhythm and flow. But with that said, the biggest reason seemed to be fatigued. Short jumper after short jumper. They just couldn’t seem to get it over the rim and that screams tired legs. A lot of the time this league is the battle of outside shooting, and that third quarter was a perfect example of that. Also didn’t help when Butler was in and out of things for much of the first three quarters.

#5: The fourth quarter…

As the Heat walk into the quarter down 9, Butler was on the bench and the Heat needed a run. Duncan Robinson entered and the Heat leaned on him heavily for offense. Got some good attacks from Bam after pocket passes from Robinson, then a tough pass to Lowry down low forces a timeout. 88-83 with 9:40 to go. For some reason, Butler doesn’t enter right away and walks to the scorers table after the inbound, saving him…seconds? Boston runs off two quick buckets and we’re back in a timeout. 92-83 with 9 minutes left. And well, it slowly just grew from there. Threes kept falling for Boston, and the Heat offense was the part that was just completely it of whack to me. Also when the whole design revolves around on-ball Butler, you need him to be clicking. The others around him fully rely on the reactions to him defensively, and when he doesn’t have it, they won’t have it. Back to Boston for game 5.

7 Tips for Improving Your Skills in Online Casino Games

Do you love the thrill of playing online casino games? Are you looking for ways to up your game and improve your winnings? We’ve all felt, at one point or another, that there must be something we can do to get better results when it comes to our favorite online gambling activities. Well, if so, the good news is that improving your skills in online casinos doesn’t have to be a complicated process; with some helpful tips and tricks from experienced players like yourself, real progress is within reach in no time.


From understanding more about what factors influence each game type’s outcome, honing basic strategies without turning to complex formulae, and memorizing rules and patterns until they are second nature—there are quite a lot of practical steps available! This blog post will present seven tips specifically dedicated to improving your skills in online casino games. Ready? Let’s dive right into them!

Learn the Rules and Strategies

Learning the rules and strategies of any game before you start playing is crucial if you want to increase your chances of winning. It’s like going on a road trip without a map; you may reach your destination eventually, but it will take longer and be more frustrating. Similarly, not knowing the rules of a game can lead to confusion and missed opportunities. Furthermore, many games have special strategies that can give you an edge over your opponents. These techniques may be simple or complex, but they can make all the difference in the outcome of the game. So, take the time to understand the rules and strategies before you make your first move. It may seem like extra work, but it will pay off in the end.

Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions

In the world of online gambling, every player wants to make the most of their investment. One way to do this is to keep an eye out for bonuses and promotions offered by online casinos. These can range from welcome bonuses for new players to i.e. free spins for specific games or special rewards for loyal customers. If you like in the USA, you can even get a no-deposit bonus if you look for it. Some of the best online casinos in the USA also offer exclusive VIP perks for high rollers. Taking advantage of these offers can help you stretch your bankroll further and experience even more of what the online casino has to offer. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully and ensure that you fully understand the requirements attached to the promotion before you claim it. 

Practice Makes Perfect

When it comes to sports betting or any type of gambling, it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. If you’re new to a specific game, it’s wise to start with practice games first. This allows you to get a feel for the game before you start betting real money. Practice games are typically free and offer the same gameplay as the real thing. It’s an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of the game without risking your own money. So, before you start making any big bets, start with practice games to hone your skills and build up your confidence. Remember, taking your time to learn the game will pay off in the end.

Set Limits and Stick to Them 

Have you ever found yourself at the casino, thinking you’ll just play a few rounds and see how it goes? Before you know it, you’ve spent far more money than you intended and are left feeling regretful. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and thrill of gambling, but it’s important to set limits for your bankroll and stick to them. Knowing how much you’re willing to lose before you even begin playing can help you avoid getting in over your head. And when the chips are down, it can be tough to walk away. But by sticking to your predetermined limit, you can rest assured that you won’t be losing more than you can afford. So the next time you hit the casino, set your limits and stick to them – your wallet (and peace of mind!) will thank you.

Try Different Variations of Games

Variety can be the spice of life, and in the world of games, it can also be the key to success. If you’re serious about making money through gaming, it’s essential to step out of your comfort zone and explore different variations of your favorite games. By trying your hand at various versions, you can discover which ones are the most profitable for you. It’s important to remember that each variation may have specific rules or strategies, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Who knows, you might just stumble upon a version that becomes your new favorite and earns you big bucks in the process! So, why not take a chance and see what other variations are out there? You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find!

Don’t Get Emotional

When the adrenaline is high and the thrill of winning is within reach, it can be tempting to let your emotions guide your decisions when playing online casino games. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Emotions such as anger, frustration, excitement, and greed can cloud your judgment and lead you to make rash decisions that ultimately result in losing more money than you intended to. Instead, take a step back, calm your emotions, and think logically about each move you make. Remember to always bet wisely and never let your emotions be the driving force behind your decisions. Trust us, your bank account will thank you in the end.

Taking the Next Step

Once you’re comfortable with the basics of sports betting or online casino gaming, it’s time to take things to the next level. To maximize your profits, you should consider investing in e-books or tutorials that can teach you more advanced strategies. Not only will this help you become a better player, but it can also give you an edge over the competition. What’s more, it’s always a good idea to keep track of all your wins and losses to help you understand what works best for you. Just remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to put in the time and effort to become a master at what you do. In no time at all, you’ll be raking in the dough! 


In conclusion, the key to becoming a successful online casino player is to master the rules and strategies of the game, take advantage of bonuses and promotions offered by online casinos, practice your skills regularly, and set limits for yourself. Taking these steps can help you develop your proficiencies in the virtual gaming world and learn how to turn it into a lucrative activity. As with any skill or craft, mastery often takes time and goes beyond just knowing the basic rules. Keep practicing and learning new techniques so that you can become an elite online casino player!

Sergei Bobrovsky’s shutout leads Panthers to victory over Hurricanes, take 3-0 series lead

SUNRISE — After a successful two-win road trip in Raleigh, N.C, the Florida Panthers returned home to FLA Live Arena for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.  


In their first home game in 12 days, the Panthers won another extremely close game, defeating the Hurricanes 1-0.


Florida now holds a 3-0 series lead, and are just one win away from the Stanley Cup Final. 


The opening set of games in Raleigh showed how tight this series would be played, and with the two matches going to OT, you could expect this one to be just as close.


The opening 20 minutes of the contest was a continuation of that — the two sides went into the intermission scoreless.


Towards the end of the first, Panthers captain Sasha Barkov left the game with a lower body injury. 


Barkov did not return to the game after Panthers PR announced he was questionable to return midway through the second. Eetu Luostarinen replaced Barkov on the top line.


Panthers’ Head Coach Paul Maurice did not have an update on Barkov’s injury or status post game.


This lockdown defensive type of series makes it hard for either team to really get a jump on the other. As the second period rolled on, the score was still 0-0. 


It wasn’t until the halfway mark of the game where someone would light the lamp on this scoreless affair. Florida’s Sam Reinhart would be the one to break the deadlock.


With the Cats on their second power play of the night, Florida capitalized on the man-advantage for the second straight game.

Florida went to work down low – where the majority of their postseason power play success has stemmed from. Sam Bennett fed Matthew Tkachuk from behind the net, then Tkachuk quickly hit Reinhart in front of goal. From the bumper position, Reinhart quickly spun a shot past Frederik Andersen’s blocker — giving Florida a 1-0 lead just eight seconds into the powerplay . 


“I was just trying to find a soft area in the middle and (Tkachuk) showed some great poise to be able to wait for it to open up,” Reinhart when explaining the power play goal setup. 


Reinhart’s goal would be the only one of the period. Florida took a one-goal lead into the second intermission. 


Trailing 1-0 in the game and 2-0 in the series, necessary desperation kicked in for the Hurricanes as they took the ice for the final period of regulation.


Carolina came out of the break rolling, as they’ve done time and time again this series. However on the flip side, Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers weathered the storm of the Hurricanes’ attack in the final 20.


The Canes outshot Florida 11-2 in the third, and 32-17 in the game. Their frantic pressure was met by the thorn in their side all series, Bobrovsky. 


Florida’s goalie stopped all 32 shots he faced in his first shutout of the postseason. Bobrovsky has saved 182 shots in his last four starts, only conceding five goals over that span. 


“It seems like every day he’s making another huge save, changing momentum and helping the team win games,” Carter Verhaeghe said about Bobrovsky postgame. “He’s our backbone, he’s our best player.”


The Panthers have a chance to sweep the Hurricanes on Wednesday, May 24 — which would punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final. 



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Five Takeaways from Heat’s Game 3 Win Over Boston

The Miami Heat are 1 win away from another trip to the NBA Finals.

They now lead 3-0, and man did they capitalize on that in game 3 in strong fashion.

Some takeaways…

#1: It’s 2020 again! The Adebayo-Robinson connection lives on…

As we saw in game 2 in Boston, the Heat’s adjustment to make Bam Adebayo the primary play-maker at the elbow shifted the game. Duncan Robinson and company kept figuring out the over-plays, and found back door cuts by the hand-full which Bam kept finding them on. Fast forward to game 3, it was elevated. Start things out with that simple back-door cut and feed, but then the layers were added. Hand-off, 2-on-1, Robinson holds for an extra second, and it’s a lob to a soaring Bam Adebayo. Out of the timeout, the set is a Robinson-Bam high PnR, which draws an immediate switch. Robinson feeds it to Bam with Brown on his back, who throws in a nasty spin and slam. Turnover on the other end, Heat run the floor, ball finds Bam in the lane, who swings to the corner for a Duncan 3. All of these play descriptions to say this: that duo is as pure as it gets. And this offense is as pure as it gets when they are equally clicking.

#2: Stop with the “undrafted” label. Now.

Everywhere I look on TV, or certain covergae outlets that we haven’t seen all year analyze this Heat team, has the same exact takeaway when watching this Heat team. Undrafted, undrafted, undrafted. It was a fun story the first year, but come on, it’s legitimately been 4 years. Get over it. Toward the end of the second quarter, the trio of Vincent-Robinson-Martin combined for 31 points on 12 of 16 shooting, so what’s the instant takeaway? You guessed it. It’s time to just point out these are just high level basketball players who keep performing on the largest stage. It’s not just that it’s approaching disrespect for many of these guys, it’s just a lazy, lazy way to analyze any team over years and years. Once again, get over it.

#3: Some adjustments to note…

Just for a section to type out some of the X’s and O’s shifts we saw, let’s start with right out the gates for the Heat. Miami started the game throwing Bam Adebayo at Marcus Smart. Obviously not to shut him down, but to put him in a position to just be the ultimate over-helper. That didn’t last long because Kevin Love’s injury sent Caleb Martin in to throw off match-ups, but still something. The other defensive note was the way they just mixed up the defenders for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Every time down many possessions Martin and Butler would take their turn on 1 of the 2. Doesn’t let them get comfortable. As for Boston, they just mainly sent a lot more help at Butler than in TD Garden. Shading over in mid-post and on his drives can get him out of a rhythm at times, but ultimately he will just keep making the right read. And when the Heat are hitting shots like in that first half…..

#4: One team needed to be absolutely desperate in game 3. And one team was.

The Miami Heat walked right into that Boston Celtics building in games 1 and 2, and completely took care of business in true surprising fashion. Not that they couldn’t do it, but it was the way that they did it. Totally ripping the soul out of that team in two completely different ways. Now heading back down to Miami, the Celtics need to play desperate. Real desperate. And something the Miami Heat just keep doing is playing each and every game like they’re down 3-0. That’s what they did in the first round, second round, TD Garden, and well, now in game 3. The Heat just came out firing from start to finish, which definitely helps, but they scrapped like a team that absolutely needed this win. This team went from a regular season group with zero identity to a playoff group with many identities. And stability, no matter the series lead, has definitely been high up on that list.

#5: My last takeaway: Jimmy Butler controlling a series without even talking basketball.

Florida Panthers win Game 2 in OT, return to Sunrise with 2-0 lead

Less than 48 hours after playing the sixth-longest game in NHL history, the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers were back on the ice in Raleigh for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

As it did in Game 1, this contest went to overtime. Unlike Thursday’s game, tonight they only needed one over time – where the Panthers won 2-1. Once again off of the stick of Matthew Tkachuk.


For the second straight game, Carolina took the first lead of the game. 


Just 1:43 into the first, Sebastian Aho layed a shot from near the boards towards the front of the Panthers’ goal. Hurricanes defenseman Jalen Chatfield, who jumped up in the rush, redirected the Aho shot past Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead.

After Carolina opened the scoring on their first shot of the game, the Panthers appeared to have tied it. 

Gustav Forsling walked in from the point before wiring a redirected shot past Anti Raanta to get the Panthers on the board.

However, this Panthers goal would quickly be removed after Carolina’s challenge for offsides on the zone entry proved to be correct.  


After the overturned Panthers goal, the Canes stepped on the gas. 


For nearly the entire first period, it was Carolina’s game. At the halfway mark of the period, the shots on goal were 13-1 in favor of the Hurricanes. 


If matters couldn’t get worse for the Panthers, Carolina looked like they had taken a two-goal lead in the first.


But as Rod Brind’Amour did earlier in the game, Paul Maurice challenged the play for offsides. 


Florida’s challenge was successful, wiping Jack Drury’s goal off the board. The Canesead was still one. 

Trailing by one goal heading into the second, the Panthers pulled a repeat of Game 1 —  getting on  as the board with a goal. 

The Barkov line has been outstanding this postseason at getting the Cats back into games, and oddly enough, it’s happened quite often in the second period. 


7:43 into the second, Florida’s captain put himself on the highlight reel. Coming down alone on Raanta, Barkov faked a between the legs shot before pulling the puck to his backhand, beating the Canes’ goalie to tie it at 1-1. 


Barkov’s goal would be the only one scored in the period. The teams went to the break tied. 


An early storyline in this has been the desire of these two teams to play more hockey than required… ok not really but for a second straight game, regulation would not be enough in Raleigh. 


After a 4 OT thriller on Thursday, the Canes and Panthers went to overtime again, and luckily for everyone this OT lasted only minutes. 


Matthew Tkachuk sent the Panthers to the hotel up 1-0 in the series after Game 1. Tonight he sent the Cats back to Sunrise with a 2-0 series lead. 


1:51 into OT with the Panthers on the powerplay, the Cats executed a tic-tac-toe play with Tkachuk putting away the winner. This was Florida’s first goal on the power play in the series, and it couldn’t come at a better time. 


After taking both games on the road, the Panthers head back home for Games 3 & 4. This is the first time in 27 years that Panthers’ fans can see their team play in the Conference Finals at home.

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