CBS4 Sports Writer Steve Goldstein Takes Stock of South Florida Sports Teams

MIAMI- As we approach the halfway point of the 2022 calendar year, it’s time to take inventory of our local sports teams.

Three are in their offseason.

The Marlins are currently playing and it looks like it will be a typical campaign with players having a team meeting this week.

The Marlins won 12-2 Tuesday night.

Miami Dolphins

The NFL is approaching its dead period from the end of OTAs until training camp in late July.

The Dolphins have completed their off-season practices which were open to the media.

While it’s hard to predict anything firm about these practices, a picture is being painted.

This photo shows an energetic and upbeat team led by upbeat young head coach Mike McDaniel.

Gamers love McDaniel and plenty of feedback proves he will fulfill one of his mission statements; put players in the best positions to succeed.

There is certainly more talent and playing ability in attack and the defense looks confident with its continuity in players and coaches.

The Dolphins begin playing preseason games in 8 weeks.

It will be interesting to see how the new coach manages the rookies game time with a new attacking scheme, coaches and players.

After 2 straight years of missing the playoffs in the last game of the regular season, there is optimism and expectation to make the playoffs this year.

The defense will have to play at the high level they know they can from the start of the season.

While McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and new offensive additions will need to fit into an explosive and productive unit.

It will be fascinating to watch from day 1 of training camp.

miami heat

As always, the Miami Heat’s mantra is, “If you don’t win the championship, the season is a failure.

As the number one seed, they came painfully close to reaching the NBA Finals but fell short, literally on Jimmy Butler’s shot, in Game 7 at home against the Boston Celtics.

So, Pat Riley spoke after the season and the 77-year-old legend was just as fiery as ever.

Riley indirectly challenged the media to a push-up contest claiming he could do more.

It’s no surprise to Riles, the ultimate contender.

Ultimately, Riley must decide if this team’s current roster, with Butler carrying a significant portion of the load, can win it all next year.

If the answer is no, you know the Heat will do whatever they can to try to win that ring.

Florida Panthers

This is the most intriguing team as the Panthers jumped into Heat territory.

They are now in the same boat, trying to win at all.

After 2 consecutive excellent regular seasons and finishing first overall this season, the Panthers must now figure out what it will take to overcome the hurdle and win a Stanley Cup.

The progression was very similar to that of the NHL.

It takes time to break through.

They won a run for the first time in 26 years and have now reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs two years in a row.

The Panthers went from being an away team to looking inside and finished first overall this season.

After 2 straight playoff outings at the hands of Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s now up to general manager Bill Zito and the team’s superiors to pull together what’s needed to beat these top teams when it counts, in the playoffs.

Many decisions are looming this offseason starting with who will coach the team.