The Heat Is On

Yes, him again -- Shaq continues his assault on all comers.

Miami gears up for finals run

SUN 4/17

While flipping the calendar to April means no more college hoops, it also means pro hoops finally get serious. The two-month, post-All-Star-break swoon is over, as squads have been gearing up for the playoff run since the fourth month rang in. The Miami Heat has already wrapped up home-court advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Coach Stan Van Gundy will now instruct Shaq, D. Wade, and company to set their sights on best record in all the land, as nothing would be finer than four games at the Triple A during the NBA finals. This last week will also give the Diesel one final five-game window in which to make a push toward his second career MVP award.

There are just a pair of home games left on the regular-season slate as the Heaters come racing down the home stretch. Check out Sunday afternoon's matinee affair versus the Indiana Pacers, with the tip-off at 1 p.m. That's followed by a Tuesday-night home finale versus the Charlotte Bobcats, at 7:30 p m. Games are played at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Call 786-777-HOOP, or visit -- Russ Evans

And on the Sixth Day

God created waves

SAT 4/16

Every Saturday morning, Island Water Sports surf shop offers free surfing lessons at Deerfield Beach. The shop's got boards, leashes, and wax; all you need to bring is a bathing suit, sunscreen, and a towel. Don't be surprised, though, if you get a little Scripture in your surf. IWS is well-known for its Christian philosophy and outreach. In fact, in a surfing tutorial on the shop's website, choosing the proper surfboard is likened to Noah's building his ark. "If you divide the length of the vessel (450 ft. ) by the width (75 ft.)," it states, "you will note that the Ark had a length-to-width ratio of exactly 6:1. In recent times naval engineers have discovered that this ratio is the ideal design for stability in rough and turbulent waters." You might never walk on water -- but hopefully you'll get your toes on the nose. Meet at the store (1985 NE Second St., Deerfield Beach) at 7 a.m. Call 954-427-4929. -- Deirdra Funcheon

Mets and Marlins Tangle

Teams rendezvous in Miami

WED 4/20

Among the teams making major roster moves in the offseason, the Florida Marlins and New York Mets are right at the top of the list when considering bang for buck. Each picked up a veteran pitcher with a successful past: the Mets bringing in Pedro Martinez, the Fish now reacquainted with onetime Marlin Al Leiter. Both teams also acquired a certified slugger with lots of pop: Carlos Beltran now patrols Shea's centerfield, and Carlos Delgado now mans first base at Dolphins Stadium (2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami). With the additional acquisition of first-baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for the Mets and setup man Antonio Alfonseca for Florida, the teams' new-look rosters will contend for the NL East. The teams get a chance to compare notes this week. New York visits Miami for a quick, two-game series that starts Wednesday. For ticket information, call 305-626-7400. -- Russ Evans

Try a Tri

SUN 4/17

Few things are as invigorating at the butt-crack of dawn as a 400-meter swim, a ten-mile bike ride, and a 2.5-mile run. On Sunday at the Tradewinds Park Triathlon (3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek), you can knock those out before most sane people have breakfast. Registration costs $45 to $55 and opens at 5:30 a.m., with the race at 7 a.m. Call 954-968-3880, or visit -- Paul A. Leone

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