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Miami Heat host 2021 Media Day with new and familiar faces including Kyle Lowry

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Only a calendar year removed from the Miami Heat’s uplifting run to the 2020 NBA Finals, a disappointing first round exit last season meant it was time for Pat Riley and the front office to bring in some fresh faces.

Today’s Media Day gave us our first look at the newest Heat Big 3 of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and newcomer Kyle Lowry wearing a familiar No. 7 jersey.

As the Heat’s social media team points out, it will certainly be fun to see how Lowry meshes with his old friend Butler and a resurgent Adebayo, fresh off winning Olympic gold this summer.

But will it be enough for a return to the NBA Finals and prove to everyone that their run to the Finals in the NBA Bubble in Orlando was no fluke?

For that to have a chance at happening against the likes of the Brooklyn Nets and the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, the Heat will need to count on being much more like the 2016-17 Heat team than the top-heavy-with-talent original Big 3 teams.

A healthy Victor Oladipo, for at least the second half of the season, for a meaningful playoff run would most certainly helps matters.

Although realistically there may not have been much of a chance today of exceedingly good news on Oladipo’s progress since his season-ending quadriceps surgery mere weeks into his Heat career, his playing status is still very much in the air.

Read more from Hot Hot Hoops/SB Nation.

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Battle of the Sunshine State: Florida Panthers head on the road for first round of state championship against Tampa Bay Lightning

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Florida Panthers (2-0-0, first in the Atlantic) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-0, fifth in the Atlantic)

Tampa, Florida; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EDT

LINE: Lightning -139, Panthers +115

BOTTOM LINE: The Tampa Bay Lightning host Florida after Sam Bennett scored three goals in the Panthers’ 5-1 victory over the Islanders.

Tampa Bay finished 36-17-3 overall during the 2020-21 season while going 21-7-0 at home. The Lightning averaged 4.2 penalties and 10.7 penalty minutes per game.

Florida finished 37-14-5 overall and 17-9-2 on the road a season ago. The Panthers recorded 311 assists on 188 total goals last season.

The matchup Tuesday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

INJURIES:

Lightning: Zach Bogosian: out (lower-body), Nikita Kucherov: day to day (undisclosed).

Panthers: None listed.

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NHL hands San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane 21-game suspension for submitting fake COVID-19 vaccine card

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Another week, another Evander Kane update.

On Monday, the NHL announced that Kane has been suspended for 21 games “for an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol.”

Kane will not receive any pay while suspended.

On Oct. 6, a report from Front Office Sports revealed that Kane submitted a fake vaccination card to the league and the San Jose Sharks, which is an illegal offense in both Canada and the United States.

Read more from Yahoo Sports.

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Miami Dolphins fans ranked least rowdy fan base in the NFL

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.  As more and more fans pack NFL stadiums across the country thanks to lessened COVID-19 restrictions, America seems to be embracing the return of parking lot tailgates, and, yes, “rowdy fans.”

However, it seems a South Florida team’s fanbase is lacking in that department.

According to a new survey by Bookies, Miami Dolphins fans rank as the least rowdy fan base in football.

Read more from ABC Miami.

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