The best and worst of South Florida sports in 2017 – Miami Herald (blog)
This was a year in South Florida sports that brought us another Marlins fire sale, another Panthers coaching change, Dolphins wins against both of February’s Super Bowl participants (but aggravation otherwise) and a stunning Heat turnaround.
There were no playoff wins from any of our pro teams — and only the Dolphins appeared in a playoff game this calendar year — but at least the UM football team had a renaissance.
Our take on the best and worst from South Florida sports in 2017:
▪ Best personnel moves:
1) Heat using unlikely-to-be-earned incentives to work salary cap magic and fit both Wayne Ellington and Kelly Olynyk under their cap after signing Dion Waiters and James Johnson. Ellington, a key in Miami’s second-half turnaround, already has 97 three-pointers this season, fourth in the league.
2) Erik Spoelstra finding a lineup (with Luke Babbitt and Rodney McGruder starting) that went on a 30-11 second-half run.
3) UM landing elite 2017 recruits Navaughn Donaldson, Jeff Thomas, Trajan Bandy and Jon Garvin —with those four and other freshmen contributing significantly on a 10-2 team.
4) UM snagging an elite running back (Lorenzo Lingard), top tight ends (Brevin Jordan, Will Mallory), five-star receiver (Mark Pope) and four-star quarterback (Jarren Williams), among others, in this 2018 class.
5) Heat drafting promising rookie Bam Adebayo with the 14th overall pick.
6) Dolphins procuring quality defensive tackles in the fifth and sixth rounds of April’s draft: Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor.
7) UM shifting Sheldrick Redwine from corner to safety and giving larger roles to Braxton Berrios, Michael Jackson and Darrell Langham.
8) Dolphins trading sixth-rounder to Rams for William Hayes, who was an asset before his injury.
9) Marlins manager Don Mattingly moving Giancarlo Stanton to second in the