The ever changing Miami sports landscape has been on a steady trend downward since the end of the “Big 3 era” of Miami Heat basketball.
Now there were some amazing moments since then, such as Dwyane Wade’s Last Dance and the Miami Miracle.
Those fleeting instances have been sandwiched between years of mediocrity.
The Marlins tore it all down, again.
The Heat had a bloated, ineffective roster.
We all know where Adam Gase left the Dolphins.
Manny Diaz is trying to bring the Hurricanes back.
Even the Panthers, a team with legitimate playoff aspirations recently, has disappointed.
Expecting anything different has become an annual disappointment.
Dolphins Vision Unfolding
All of a sudden there is exciting and competitive football being played by the Miami Dolphins.
Who for once are actually exceeding expectations.
Yet we still aren’t happy.
Maybe you think the #Dolphins should be developing Josh Rosen?
Maybe you think they should be ‘tanking’ for Tua.
— fintroopers (@fintroopers) November 13, 2019
Brian Flores has steadily guided a team lacking NFL level talent across multiple positions into a disciplined and passionate group.
Flores and his coaching staff are developing players and proving it “Takes No Talent” to compete.
Chris Grier has a war chest of draft capital, and actual capital of about 140M to quickly add top tier free agents.
For once the Dolphins have a plan and the cast to execute and deliver a winner.
The Miami Heat seem to have figured out their roster around a true star in Jimmy Butler.
The Heat believe Waiters was given the “gummy” by a teammate, but Waiters has been reluctant and has decided not to say who provided it, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Waiters has had a tumultuous series of events with Miami this season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 10, 2019
Getting back to their defensive identity and bringing back the “Culture” led by Butler has galvanized a young roster.
Currently the Heat rank fourth in defensive rating and third in steals per game (9.6). Miami also ranks in the top ten league wide in points-per-game allowed (105.7, 6th) steals (96, 5th) and overall defensive FG% (.437, 9th).
Smart perimeter defense has been key, the Heat lead the NBA in 3-point FG% allowed at just 28.9%. Only Miami and Oklahoma City are holding teams under 30% from deep as of November 13th.
THREAD: Through ten games, who are the Miami Heat? Let’s start with some general stuff that caught my eye and get more specific from there.
DRTG: 101.6 (4th)
AST%: 65.7 (2nd)
TOV%: 17.7 (t-30th)
REB%: 51.9 (5th)
Pace: 103.13 (13th)
— Rob Slater (@RobSlater10) November 13, 2019
Hassan Whiteside went to Portland which paved the way for Bam Adebayo to become the all around catalyst we see before us. Before being sidelined with a concussion, Justise Winslow was taking a huge step forward as well.
Finally the Heat have a cohesive roster that fits their style of play and identity, in a wide open Eastern Conference the Heat are suddenly poised for a home playoff series if they stay on track.
In Sunrise the Florida Panthers under new coach Joel Quenneville are playing exciting, action packed hockey. Florida has won their last two games by an 11-9 margin…that’s a lot of goals!
After making franchise history with a four goal rally against Boston this week, the Panthers are showing tremendous toughness and resolve in late game pressure situations.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) November 13, 2019
In the two wins against Boston and New York the Panthers outscored them 5-0 in the third period. Despite shaky goaltending and defense the Cats have found a way to get it done in the final 20 minutes.
It helps to have a top ten offense on your side, Aleksander Barkov has points in six straight games entering Thursday’s action and the power play continues to dominate.
Florida ranks second with the man advantage, converting 26.8% of their power play opportunities.
If the Panthers can figure out their issues on the blue line and in goal to support a dynamic offense, they have a great chance of making the playoffs for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.
Hurricanes’ Season a Tale of two Teams
The Miami Hurricanes football team has had a polarizing season to say the least.
From quarterback uncertainty and losses against inferior teams early in the year, to blowout wins and record breaking performances – the 2019 Miami Hurricanes have kept fans on the edge of their seats.
After an uneven start to the season on offense, Jarren Williams has settled in as QB1 and hitting the big plays that were missing earlier in the year.
Mr. PostMan Dee Wiggins https://t.co/4uLtwWrTvE
— DeMarcus Van Dyke (@D_VanDyke8) November 10, 2019
The Hurricanes have won three straight in ACC play by a combined margin of 95-49, after starting conference play 1-3 the turnaround has been drastic.
On the other side of the ball the defense has been wrecking house led by new and older names alike.
Senior linebackers Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman have experienced a resurgence of energy and effectiveness.
While Gregory Rousseau went from out of the starting lineup to the best defensive lineman in the ACC, and one of the best in all of college football.
One player is the best defensive end in the country. The other is Chase Young pic.twitter.com/J83LCBl5Hj
— Greg Rousseau All-American (@hurricanesmarsh) November 6, 2019
The Hurricanes have a star in the making both under center and at defensive end, two of the most important positions in football.
And they are both freshman.
With a coaching staff starting to figure it out and a favorable ACC Coastal division to call home, the sun is shining bright in Coral Gables.
Don’t Forget About us!
While the teams that are in action in November are getting all the attention, there are more great storylines in Miami sports on the way.
The Marlins have quietly built one of the best farm systems in all of baseball.
We could be saying this time next year “what a time to be a Miami sports fan”
A statement that is well deserved and long overdue.
Photo by Tony Capobianco.