This Week in Miami Sports: Fernandez Fans 10 against League-Leading Cardinals, Keys to Victory for the Miami Heat in Game 6

Jose Fernandez Shines against Cardinals

In a series that matches up Major League Baseball’s best team, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the worst team in the league, the Miami Marlins, it’s a 20 year old rookie phenom from the league’s worst team that shines.

Jose Fernandez, the Cuban native who is in his first season as a professional, had yet another great outing against the MLB’s best. In his longest performance of the season, Fernandez, who is on an inning limit to preserve his productivity for the rest of his career, pitched for seven innings and 107 pitches. He was also able to get a career high of 10 strikeouts. Miami went on to win the game 5-4. The Marlins also won the three game season after winning in a commanding way, 7-2.

Miami Heat’s Keys to Avoid Losing Finals

  • Contain Danny Green and Tony Parker

Danny Green has shown the best shooting performance behind the arc in the NBA since Miami’s own Mike Miller had a magical Game 5 in last year’s NBA Finals in which he made seven three pointers in a championship-clinching game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. No matter what it is, Danny Green is somehow always open. Not only that, he is also almost always able to sink in the three. Miami desperately needs to do something about it if they don’t intend on losing in the Finals for the second time in the Big 3 era. The best way to guard him would be to either play tight man defense, or double up on zone play pending where he is. 

Tony Parker has also been able to find his way to get to the basket, even if he is guarded. Miami should solve this problem by putting a bigger man on him, such as LeBron or possibly Udonis Haslem. If Miami can lessen Parker’s effectiveness, the Heat should be able to stay in the game. 

  • Unleash the Bird, Start Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen has been very effective since his addition in February. Not his he vital in the defensive side of the ball, but he is really important when it comes to getting boards and going in the paint. Birdman has gotten limited minutes in the past two games due to Shane Battier being put back in the lineup, although he continues to be ineffective. I say putting Birdman in the starting lineup instead of Udonis Haslem would be very helpful. Haslem has been very important with getting rebounds for the Heat, but putting fan favorite Chris Andersen in the starting lineup will give the Miami Heat the swagger they need to put the Spurs down in Game 6.

Birdman would be very effective guarding the likes of Tim Duncan or Tiago Splitter. He could easily shut down Duncan’s game inside the paint, where Duncan always attempts to get the easy dunk or a hooker. If Andersen can play the tight defense he normally does on Duncan, that would be one more weapon that is shut down for San Antonio. 

  • Give Miller and Cole More Minutes

Both Norris Cole and Mike Miller have been crucial role players in Miami’s run to a second straight championship. Both are very different though. One is a rising star who will one day be a starter. The other is in what may be the last season of his career. Norris Cole has played the point guard role better than Mario Chalmers at times. He has been able to direct the offense very well, and passing it around where only his teammates can get it. 

Mike Miller needs to become the new Danny Green of this series. He has proven that he can do it before. When the Heat lost by 36 points in Game 3, the only player keeping the team alive was Miller, who shot three three-pointers before he was never passed the ball for the rest of the game. Mike Miller also had the unimaginable Cinderella game from last year against the Thunder in Game 5, where he was 7/8, and shot five three-pointers in a row. Doubling up on Mike Miller’s time will really help Miami in the three-point game. 


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