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Home / Articles / Columnists / Sports Feature /  Winter Sports Teams Bring Hope and Success
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Friday, February 5,2016

Winter Sports Teams Bring Hope and Success

By Mark Tudino  

As the calendar turns to its shortest month (but this year with a leap day!), the tendency around these parts is to file away all interest and passion until the NFL draft and/or baseball’s opening day. But that might be a mistake, and here’s why.


Let’s start with hoops. I realize ever since a certain NBA superstar took his talents back to Cleveland, we’ve looked at the Miami Heat as a middleof-the-road wannabe playoff squad – but that might be a mistake. As we go to press, the team has just concluded its longest road trip of the year, yet still finds itself in the thick of the playoff hunt. They’re currently just a tick out of 1 st place in the Southeast division and only a few games away from the #2 seed, behind the Cavaliers. The starting five of Wade, Dragic, Bosh, Whiteside and Deng are a solid group and their bench has been serviceable; Coach Spoelstra, by now no longer a novice, has learned to use the roster he has and is mindful the season is a marathon – not a sprint. The upcoming schedule is actually favorable and with some juicy matchups versus perennial power San Antonio, as well as the defending champion Golden State Warriors coming to town, it might be wise to keep an eye on our local ballers because they might just surprise us with a nice run.

Across town, the hottest hockey team (until recently) was your hometown Florida Panthers, owners of a franchise record 12-game winning streak. Though they’ve come back to Earth a bit, the fundamentals for a successful season are in place. Head Coach Gerard Gallant has a solid squad, lead by veteran Jaromir Jagr and stand-out goalie Roberto Luongo. They also have a successful group of younger players, including Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau, who are slowly making their presence felt and are the future of the organization. Thanks to that 12-game winning streak, the Panthers sit atop the Eastern division, ahead of perennial powers Detroit, Montreal and Boston. Of course, hockey, like hoops, is a long grind but right now they are in a nice position to make a strong playoff run.

So, before you figure the next few months are a vast wasteland on the South Florida sports calendar, you may want to head out to the Triple-A, or the BB&T Center, and enjoy some champion-caliber play.

UPDATE: As we write this, the NFL conference championship matchups are set. While the home teams have an advantage, it says here the Super Bowl Champion will be…your Carolina Panthers, in a close one over the New England Patriots. Enjoy!

Mark Tudino is an attorney with offices in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, whose practice specializes in all areas of civil litigation. He has lived in South Florida for more than 20 years.

Prior to attending law school, he was a political and sports reporter for television stations across the country. His career allowed him to cover everything from presidential elections to national championship sports teams, and he still maintains a passion to observe and discuss the world of sports.

Attorney at Law. 954-983-8000. 3475 Sheridan Street Suite #211. Hollywood, FL 33021


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