South Florida Voices

Maurice, Okposo and Ekman-Larsson among Panthers veterans searching for first Stanley Cup

Maurice, Okposo and Ekman-Larsson among Panthers veterans searching for first Stanley Cup

EDMONTON --  The Florida Panthers can make history on Saturday night in Edmonton. Holding a 3-0 series lead over the Oilers, their next win means they’ll take home the Stanley Cup -- the first in the team’s 30 year history. All but two players on the Panthers are searching for their first Stanley Cup; Vladimir ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: The WNBA is filled with special players

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: The WNBA is filled with special players

The WNBA players chosen to represent the United States in Olympic competition are a supergroup that can decimate any squad in their way and should leave Paris with another gold medal. Yet Caitlin Clark’s absence has upset people. Their ire should not be directed at the decision-makers who excluded her but rather at the league’s ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: The Mavericks avoided getting swept with a Game 4 win in Dallas versus the Celtics

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: The Mavericks avoided getting swept with a Game 4 win in Dallas versus the Celtics

The Dallas Mavericks lapped the Boston Celtics in Game 4, preventing a sweep in the Finals. Luka Dončić was relentless on offense, cared to defend and yapped considerably less to the referees. Kyrie Irving consumed inside protections. And the hosts outrebounded the Celtics by 21. Early, the Mavericks’ defense permitted two of nine 3-pointers. But ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: Around the WNBA on Thursday, June 13

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: Around the WNBA on Thursday, June 13

Pity those who missed out on Thursday’s Commissioner's Cup action. The Indiana Fever got their fourth win (4-10). Jackie Young went ballistic in the second quarter of the Aces’ dub over the Mercury. And the Storm countered Arike Ogunbowale’s production with six triples and 13 points on the break in their victory. Let's review what ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: The Celtics go up 3-0 in the Finals with Game 3 win

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: The Celtics go up 3-0 in the Finals with Game 3 win

The visiting Celtics took control and nearly gave away the match in the second half, snatching a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals minus their backline protector, Kristaps Porziņģis. Jaylen Brown dispensed 30 points and a career-high eight Playoff helpings plus outplayed Luka Dončić, who was also disqualified with six fouls in the last four ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: The Celtics outdid the Mavericks in Game 2 of the Finals

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: The Celtics outdid the Mavericks in Game 2 of the Finals

The Boston Celtics conquered the Mavericks in Game 2 of the Finals, taking a 2-0 lead. Dallas’ Luka Dončić was inexorable, and the visiting defense protected the arc. But Gang Green was overruling in the second half, and their supporters periodically chanted, “Kyrie [Irving] sucks.” In act one, the Mavericks’ defense permitted one of nine ...
'I need to win one': Paul Maurice wants his Stanley Cup and his best chance is now

‘I need to win one’: Paul Maurice wants his Stanley Cup and his best chance is now

After stepping down on his own accord from his position with the Winnipeg Jets in December 2021, Paul Maurice didn’t know if he’d coach again. 24 seasons behind an NHL bench and no Stanley Cups to his name, Maurice’s chance to win the greatest prize in hockey looked to be behind him. That was until ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: The Celtics mowed down the Mavericks in Game 1 of the Finals at TD Garden

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: The Celtics mowed down the Mavericks in Game 1 of the Finals at TD Garden

The Mavericks hung around for 10 minutes, courtesy of Luka Dončić’s early burst of action, but the hosts doubled up their output midway through the second frame and continued to ravage them in the last two quarters at TD Garden. The guests refused to cover the arc, and their main two, Kyrie Irving and Dončić, ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: Indiana Fever early season observations

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: Indiana Fever early season observations

The Indiana Fever are a rebuilding outfit with nice pieces, but they have been a major disappointment for a quarter of the season. The effort on defense is not adequate. Caitlin Clark’s teammates have not reached the same court wavelength as her. Players miss open looks. The bench is inefficient, logging 16.1 points on 39.6% ...
'There’s 27 of you, everybody’s important': Panthers bonds play big factor in reaching Stanley Cup Final

‘There’s 27 of you, everybody’s important’: Panthers bonds play big factor in reaching Stanley Cup Final

Before walking out of the room following their second consecutive Eastern Conference Final win, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice left a message for his team.  “You’re all f*ing brilliant, I love every one of ya.”.  The Panthers are set to open the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at home on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers and ...
Three Stars from the 2024 Eastern Conference Final

Three Stars from the 2024 Eastern Conference Final

As the Florida Panthers celebrate their Eastern Conference championship and the more important Stanley Cup Final berth, let's take a step back and appreciate the great series saw. In the six games of the ECF, three straight went to overtime, five were one-goal games and the road team won three times. The series was tight, ...
Aleksander Barkov carries the Prince of Wales Trophy after the Florida Panthers earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Redemption is near, Panthers look to keep Prince of Wales Trophy in Sunrise

Teams that lose in the Stanley Cup Final usually don’t get another chance for a long time, if ever. But for the Florida Panthers, their second chance could come now. Last year, Florida watched in heartbreak as the Vegas Golden Knights hoisted the Stanley Cup in front of them. After a year of fighting like ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: Don Luka and the Wild Horses turned the Wolves into pelts

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: Don Luka and the Wild Horses turned the Wolves into pelts

The Dallas Mavericks won the Western Conference gauntlet, earning a trip to the NBA Finals with their Game 5 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in hostile territory. The celebration at center court was rained over by boos plus cheers, and Dončic was named Western Conference Finals MVP. He said the award represented the team’s work ...
'We are excited about the challenge': Panthers confident ahead of Game 4 vs. Rangers

‘We are excited about the challenge’: Panthers confident ahead of Game 4 vs. Rangers

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The message in the Panthers room ahead of Game 4 is consistent with what they’ve done all postseason  -- play their game. Sunday afternoon’s loss was no doubt a gut-wrenching one for the Panthers, as they fell 2-1 in the series after losing consecutive games in overtime.  After overcoming a two-goal deficit ...
Mateo's Hoop Diary: East Finals MVP Jaylen Brown led the Boston Celtics over the Indiana Pacers, punching a ticket to the NBA Finals

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: East Finals MVP Jaylen Brown led the Boston Celtics over the Indiana Pacers, punching a ticket to the NBA Finals

The Pacers tried to prolong the inevitable, but the Celtics locked up the hosts in the last three-and-a-half minutes to sweep the series and advance to the NBA Finals. Gainbridge Fieldhouse was rocking like a madhouse, but most home supporters dispersed, and the cheers of rival fans echoed through the building as Gang Green celebrated ...
Bobrovsky, Tkachuk perfect for Panthers in Game 1

Bobrovsky, Tkachuk perfect for Panthers in Game 1

Under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena, the Florida Panthers walked into the Rangers house and gave them their best display of Panthers hockey. The Rangers have been phenomenal at MSG all season, posting a 30-11-0 record in the regular season and a 4-1-0 home playoff record in the ...