Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hawks/Heat - Round 1, Game 5 Recap

We had so much fun (& wrote so much) regarding Game 4. We decided to do it again - and remixed it. So, instead of likes & dislikes - it's giddy and careful, so in the series that we said was a no brainer from the beginning - here we go:

Game Recap - Hawks 106, Heat 91

Well, we hate to keep saying we told you so, but with now two starters down - the Atlanta Hawks at partial strength are STILL better than the Miami Heat at full strength (and yes, that's acknowledging that D Wade is not 100%..if he was - they would have lost by ..oh 8 pts). That's how lopsided this series is and why there was outrage from these parts for losing Game 2 at all and Game 3 by 30. We accepted a Hawks breakdown and Heat manhood check game (Game 3), but otherwise - really only a complete collapse and lack of desire, energy, and focus is keeping us from winning Game 6 and ending this series. And that's with Horford and Williams down (sidebar: Horford and Williams should NOT play in Game 6. Let's save them until Round 2 when they can be pretty healthy)

Now, to the Giddys first:

We should be giddy about:
1. Our energy - as we said from the beginning, the Heat suck. They really, really suck. Jermaine O'Neal, Michael Beasley, and Sir Wade are the only guys who have any talent. O'Neal is past his prime, Beasley is before his prime, and Wade is in it. They have to hit the holy trinity to make that work for 7 games and we don't think it can happen, so the rest of the team is full of bums. So, all we have to do is play to remove either Wade or the supporting cast and we win. Tonight, we decided on supporting cast. Wade's lack of a 40 pt night was not due to great defense overall, but simply was based on the fact that he missed about 4-5 shots he was open to make. Just like Game 4. But what wasn't available were open shots for anyone else and that's how we like it.

2. The Hawks Bench - They came out as if they get it - Pachulia (who's turning into a playoff beast), Flip (our X factor who'd be more dangerous if we had a backup PG), West (yes, he's an offensive liability, but having him make D Wade work for 10 minutes a game makes me happy - he's the ONLY player I'm comfortable with playing Wade one-on-one), and Jones. West and Jones aren't world beaters and to some aren't even NBA level talents, but on this team - we simply need an inspirational 5 minutes to bridge their time to our talented 7-8 man rotation.

3. The Crowd - Maybe it was the t-shirts, but we were drowning out the Heat fans and providing the support from the opening tip. My salvo from Game 2 obviously did the trick. Or again, free t-shirt swag. Too bad, we stole the 'put on your t-shirt' bit from the Heat. Not cool. We do not bite other people's bits in the A. That's comedy hack move, guys.

4. Our Toughness - We haven't lost a game yet where we actually put someone on their backs, laid wood to a player, or woofed and barked at a team. Hasn't happened in my time as a fan of the recent Hawks teams. Sooooo...when we put the Heat on their patooties, it just showed that we aren't going to back down. That's all the psycho-babble we need to employ. It's already been established that when we are dialed in - there are only about 2-3 teams that can consistently beat us. Problem is - we're usually not keenly dialed in. Tonight was not usually.

5. Josh's Not-A-Dunk - Listen, let's just be real. He makes that dunk and no one is talking about anything other than - WOW! What a dunk. ESPN, TNT, WSB, Barber Shops, YouTube, NBA TV, etc are all talking about how amazing Josh is and how we stomped the Heat. They would love it, videos are made, commercials are cut. Now, you miss it and you are the butt of the joke. Josh, thanks for taking the risk. You didn't risk the game's collective balance like you do with those jump shots, so why go conservative on us when we wanted something to go home to. I'm calling out all the hypocrites who want to say anything about that play. Look, the Heat were going to have to come up with SOMETHING to motivate themselves in Game 6. So, let it be your dunk. If they need that to motivate them, so be it. If not that, it would have been the fouls, the tough D Wade D, Mario pumping his fists at halftime when D Wade missed the last shot, Chris Quinn's would be something, so trust us - you did no harm. Now, next time - pick a dunk that's spectacular that you know you can make - that one had NO shot. Ambitious to a fault, it was - young Jedi master.

6. Mike Bibby going to the rack repeatedly made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. We like insides of warmth and fuzziness!

Here's the let's be careful category:

1. Let's be careful when calling that Joe's breakout game. Uh, he was still missing a lot of shots and wasn't very sharp to start the game. Give him credit for being aggressive and continuing to work throughout the game, but he was still not All-Star Joe Johnson. He was more like over the hill Allen Iverson - sometimes effective and volume scorer, but not among the elite.

2. Let's be careful with Josh Smith - as we noted, Josh is Josh - let's leave the 'what to work on with Josh' to the offseason, but after seeing more jump shots and a made 3pt dagger. If there is something to worry about in Game 6, it's that Josh knows that we may be forwards down and therefore, there's no bench awaiting him as he goes through his own personal simmer check. If you see 4 3pt attempts in the first half, don't say we didn't warn you.

3. Let's be careful with Al and Marvin - again, long term and next series depend on them...let's bring them along slowly. Play Acie and Solomon and Mario before you risk those guys on Friday. We CAN beat the Heat without them. It's ok if we do that with a close victory vs. blowing them out..again!

4. Let's be careful with the praise...last game we dominated like this at home resulted in 2 Heat victories. If that happens, we lose the series (and I spend every waking hour stalking GM Sund in an attempt to ensure that we have new coaching next season).

5. Let's be careful to not underestimate Mo Evans - he came out in the first half with solid D and with an offensive game that's been missing. Going to the hole was an added bonus to his regular couple of spot up threes. Me loves Playoff Mo...

6. Let's be careful with me roaming South Beach after Game 6. A trip to Miami, a beach, some drinks...oh my!!!

Finally, let's be real careful in showing JChills these game tapes and just how awesome it would be to have him in the fold next year. Nothing like another bullet in the gun for 2009-2010! Oh almost forgot - if you ever need an after party on Wednesdays - check out Sabor Lounge, which is right across the street from the arena next to Subway at Centennial Park. Our boy LV on the 1s and 2s and Killa on the drums...just a fly way to wind down from a Hawks victory! Til Friday, kiddies...

Let's Go Hawks!!!!


CoCo said...

Great points all around Larry.

Pocman said...

Glad the tone of hope is ringing again.

The hawks remind me of the Detroit teams where they had a squad and not just 1 or 2 superstars.

That's what it takes now and has always taken in the NBA to win in the playoffs (Sorry Lebron and Allen).

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

DETROIT?!? Really? Let's be clear - I'm only positive that we can beat the Heat. I'd be scared if we played any team in the West or East outside of the Heat and the Pistons.

So, I hope we get to the 2nd round, but I don't know that I believe this is a championship team. We have the talent at 100% to compete with anyone, but there's no hope that we're moving on to the Eastern Conf. Finals. And I disagree with you on superstars - superstars ALWAYS are needed to win NBA titles. ALWAYS...Detroit was the extreme exception and it took 3-4 All Stars to overcome the superstars in that case. We barely have 1 All Star.