Florida Heat

April 20, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

Stars from the Sunshine State stole the headlines last night, and we’re turning up the heat on the NBA and NHL postseason stretch. Not into basketball or hockey? Sit tight for a week until we flip the switch to the NFL Draft and a month of racing.

Letter Rip!



South Beach Heat-Check

Jimmy Butler (45 Points) Leads Miami to 2-0 Series Lead; Grizzlies & Pelicans Get 1 Back


Tuesday night was Jimmy Buckets’ turned to fill it up in South Beach. After early breakout playoff performances across the league, Jimmy Butler (45 points) recorded the highest scoring output of the postseason so far to help the Heat take a 2-0 series lead. Out west, the Pelicans and Grizzlies responded to even their series at one game apiece. More action is on the way tonight in our week-long NBA playoff tip-off.


Game 2 Highlights


Gm 2: Heat def. Hawks (115-105)

It’s all systems go in South Beach. The Heat handed the Hawks another loss behind Jimmy Butler’s 45-point outing where he went 15-for-25 from the floor to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the only players in franchise history with multiple 40-point playoff games. MIA Leads Series (2-0)


Gm 2: Grizzlies def. Timberwolves (124-96)

A bounce back game in Memphis. The Grizzlies blew out the Timberwolves in the final three quarters on Tuesday thanks to a near-triple double from Ja Morant (23 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds). Memphis emptied the bench early and had seven players in double figures as Minnesota rolled over in the third. Series Tied (1-1)


Gm 2: Pelicans def. Suns (125-114)

Brandon Ingram was the star of the show in Game 2 out west. The Pelicans’ star flirted with a triple double (37 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists) and willed New Orleans to a road win to tie the series. Phoenix’s Devin Booker (31 points) exited with a hamstring injury in the second half that could be a factor moving forward. Series Tied (1-1)


Tonight’s Schedule

Gm 2: Nets at Celtics (7:00 pm ET)

Gm 3: 76ers at Raptors (8:00 pm ET)

Gm 2: Bulls at Bucks (9:30 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

NBA: Suns’ Devin Booker Exits Game 2 With Hamstring Injury

B/R: Jimmy Butler’s Epic Performance Garners High Praise in Game 2



Florida\’s Hot Streak Hits 11


Barkov’s Hat Trick Leads Panthers Past Islanders (3-2, OT) for 11th Straight Win


Make room, Avalanche. There’s a new team on top. The Florida Panthers stayed hot and extended their win streak to 11 games on Tuesday behind Aleksander Barkov’s hat trick — all three assisted by Jonathan Huberdeau. Barkov’s trio of Florida goals helped the Panthers beat the Islanders (3-2, OT), including the final goal 20 seconds into the overtime period. The win pushed Florida (116 points) into a tie with Colorado for the top spot in the league.


Watch: Barkov’s Hat Trick Gives Panthers 11th Straight Win


NHL Highlights & Storylines


Rangers Rip 3rd Straight ShutoutDon’t look now, but the Rangers are catching fire. New York blanked the Jets (3-0) for their third straight shutout as the club reached 50 wins for the fifth time in team history. The Rangers are now tied atop the Metro.


Lightning Strike Records in LossTampa Bay fell to the Red Wings Tuesday (4-3), but two stars hit milestones. Steven Stamkos had three assists to tie Martin St. Louis for the points in Lightning history, and Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his 10,000th career save.


Bruins Snap Blues Streak: The St. Louis Blues entered Tuesday winners of nine straight, but the Bruins put an end to that streak with an overtime winner from Charlie McAvoy. Both teams have already secured playoff bids.



The OTA Skippers


Three Starting Quarterbacks Sit Out OTAs With Futures in Question


The NFL’s offseason organized team activities (OTAs) began this week with voluntary workouts, and a trio of quarterbacks weren’t in attendance. Mandatory OTAs won’t make these storylines official until late May, but the writing is on the wall. Baker Mayfield (Browns)Kyler Murray (Cardinals) and Jimmy Garropolo (49ers) are the notable QBs not on the field this week. All three were absent for various reasons.


The Reasoning

Mayfield wants a fresh start and a trade out of Cleveland due to the Browns’ acquisition of QB Deshaun Watson. Murray seems to be settling into a contract holdout that could last the summer ahead. And Garropolo is still rehabbing from a shoulder injury and many expect the 49ers to trade him this offseason.


It’s the first wave of offseason disputes that are sure to plague NFL headlines for the months to come. Buckle up. The quarterback carousel might keep spinning…


Additional Storylines

B/R: Cardinals Not Expected to Trade QB Kyler Murray, Budgeted for New Contract

ESPN: Carolina Panthers Name QB Sam Darnold Team’s Starter, Won’t Pursue Baker Mayfield



MLB Quick-Hitters

Scherzer Ks 10: A vintage Max Scherzer made his home debut for the Mets on Tuesday and struck out 10 batters while allowing just one run in New York’s double header sweep of the Giants. Francisco Lindor hit a walk-off in the 10th to win Game 1.


Perez Belts 2 HRsAfter a blasting 2021 season, Salvador Perez is back at it with the long balls. Perez hit two solo shots to lift the Royals over the Twins (4-3) to bring his season total to four.


Reds Lose 8th Straight: A rough start for the Reds continued on Tuesday with 6-2 loss to the Padres. Cincinnati (2-10) has lost eight straight en route to the early-season bottom-dwelling position in the standings.



\"⚾️\" 1 Early Surprise for All 30 Teams

We really should not be surprised by too much of anything for the first week-plus of the season. After all, it’s an extremely small sample size: During the regular season, you’re unlikely to even notice a 10-day span. But this is the initial 10-day span, so let’s look at the surprises. (MLB.com)


\"⚽️\" Liverpool’s Quadruple Quest

If there’s a club that knows a thing about success—especially recently—being defined by fine margins, it’s Liverpool. No English club has done what Liverpool is attempting to accomplish this season, and as close as the Reds are, even Jürgen Klopp thinks it’s still fantasy. (Sports Illustrated)


\"🏈\" Building a CFB Super League?

The European Super League both came to fruition and failed a year ago this week. The experiment was a failure in execution, but it was also a warning… The way it came about, and the idea it represented, could easily take root in college football — if it hasn\’t already. (ESPN+)