Sometimes, it serves a purpose to simply revel in the positives. Other times, it serves a purpose to give it to you straight - today, we do both. First, congrats to the Hawks on handing the Lakers their apple bottoms in almost wire to wire fashion. Second, let's congratulate the bench for showing the fire that is necessary for the Hawks to be successful. Third, let's not take this victory too far (but far enough to get all the Hawks fans (and bandwagon jumpers) to buy their playoff tickets IMMEDIATELY) b/c in part due to the Hawks and in part just due to being sloppy - the Lakers did not play anywhere close to their best basketball. The positive there is that we didn't struggle to defeat a team that wasn't playing its best.
Game Recap - Hawks 86, Lakers 76
Now, let's provide some enumeration of the events at the game....
1. It's a testament to how great the city of Atlanta is that all these transplants move here to enjoy our city's greatness. The downside is that they don't leave their team loyalties behind, so it's during games like today when you realize that there is really a ways to go before you see Philips Arena decked out in all red and blue all cheering for the HOME team.
2. Without question, the best player on the court for the Hawks (and maybe the entire game) was Zaza Pachulia. When factoring in the entire game (energy, defense, rebounding, scoring, etc), it's surprising that Zaza didn't get more minutes as a reward for his play vs. the Lakers. Particularly after a rather unsteady game vs. the Celtics. It's one thing to bring some energy to the game as Mario & Flip did, but it's another to dominate stretches of the game and that's what Zaza did in the first half. Str8 Butter Award for you, Mr. Pachulia.
3. As Dave Chappelle's sketch said sometimes 'When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong' was personified when watching Mario West come in and have some relative success vs. Kobe on the defensive end, only to start woofing in Kobe's ear. Predictably, Kobe then directly had his hand in the next 3 baskets. The lesson here - be satisfied in your accomplishments without riling up one of the best players of this generation.
4. While it normally seems counter intuitive to many with the talent to make an NBA roster, if you are being ENCOURAGED (and this is signified by the fact that no one makes a move to defend your attempt to shoot the basketball) to take a shot - you probably shouldn't take it. That lesson needs to be reinforced for Mario West, Josh Smith, and Josh Powell. All three of those guys looked absolutely out of their element on the perimeter. Thanks for the win or else this would have been higher on the list of observations.
5. My brother now lives in Los Angeles and has been very clear about the fact that the worst, most insufferable fans in the NBA are Los Angeles Laker fans and I never thought that could be true until TODAY. Forget the Celtics fans - I am now a believer....now, that the Knicks fans have been humbled over the past few years, the Lakers fans take the cake on entitlement to winning b-ball games. Now, maybe it's b/c they are only here once a year and people need to feel like they have something boast about in public, but today was just ridiculous and it was great to see them all humbled at the hands of a not-even-at-their-best Hawks squad. Can't wait to hear what Doug Stewart of the 2 Live Stews has to say about this game. The Excuse Bank (unless the FDIC has taken it over too) is now taking withdrawals...
6. Final Note - you are clearly living right when you say to yourself that you probably won't have great seats for the Celtic or Laker games and end up 15 rows back and in a suite, respectively. Free of charge...thanks to Toni & William for the love. it will come back to you in spades...
Now, the prediction for the year is 47-35 (we'll go 4-4 for the rest of the year) and good for the 4th seed in the conference. Let's go Hawks and get well Acie and Marvin!
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