As one of the few bloggers that couldn't liveblog last night's contest due to connectivity issues (though perhaps our laptop had something to do with it), we'll make up for it by liveblogging the last quarter of tonight's Hawks-Heat game.
11:30 remaining - With the Hawks down by 13, Marvin grabs a rebound and instead of kicking it back out, immediately knocks down a jumper. Don't see that everyday on a long offensive rebound. Two MoE free throws later, Hawks are within 9 after being down 22 earlier.
10:10 - Flip cuts the lead to 7. Flip has been on fire lately. I mean, you know the guy can knock it down in November, but we're almost in February and dude is playing out of his mind. If only our backup bigs were doing likewise.
Anyways, the biggest item I took away from Rick Sund's excellent Q&A with the Hawks bloggers last night was that it was abundantly clear he is an enormous Flip Murray fan and has no reservations about him being the backup point guard for the remainder of the season. While he stated he was pleased with Acie Law's performance thus far in his career, I didn't get the feeling he viewed Law as a long-term solution at the 1. Makes me hopeful for our chances of re-signing Bibby after this season, but either way, it's time we get used to Flip being the backup PG and SG this season, for better or worse.
9:35 - Flip airball. Of course. Nice timing.
Another note on Sund: He adamantly believes Horford is not playing out of position at center. Obviously, the GM has forgotten more basketball than I could ever hope to learn about, but I'm still not buying it. He mentioned Dwight Howard not playing out of position, but I think Horford has an ability to move without the ball and has a jumper that Howard lacks. Also, Howard has a power game down low I just don't ever see Horford (or pretty much anyone else) developing. Still, if you're a betting man, bet on Sund knowing what he's talking about here and me forgetting I even wrote this by tomorrow.
7:52 - Second block on J-Smoove in two minutes. Don't like dem apples.
7:42 - Marvin at the line. Maybe the 20+ minutes of FT practice before yesterday's game will come in handy.
7:21 - LeBron and Kobe are freaks of nature, but very few players can split a defense like Wade. He just kicks out a perfect pass out to Mario Chalmers for a 3. Damnit. Not looking good.
6:10 - Chalmers just bricks a wide open 3. I turned this game on 20 minutes ago and he's taken about nine 3's already. Cherrypicker.
5:19 - Another offensive rebound by Marvin, another missed dunk/layup by another Hawk. Much like last night, I'm just getting the feeling this ain't the our night.
Horford styling a fly suit on the sidelines. I'm hurt Coach Woody lied to us about him making the trip out to Miami.
Last night was the first time I had ever seen Shaq play in person. Him standing next to Zaza, Robin Lopez or anyone really was like seeing a St. Bernard hovering over a Chiuwauwa. I also feel like he's accepted his limitations and role on this Suns team as well. The Suns shortcomings are with their bench and Amare's desire to only play on one end of the court. The much-maligned Shaq trade was a winner for that club.
2:48 - I'd just about thought I was done with this game, but much like Joey Zaza in Godfather III, Marvin pulls me back in with a three. Marvin and Flip are carrying the Hawks this quarter.
2:45 - Daequan Cook, 3ball, and that's probably the game. The Heat's whole offense seems to consist of a) Wade shaking off a defender and taking a jumper, b) Wade penetrating and taking it to the hoop, or c) Wade penetrating and kicking it out to some mediocre player behind the three-point line. I mean I know D-Wade is da main, but damn, this team can't be that hard to defend against. Anyways, with this one in the bag, back to thoughts from last night.
I can't believe I forgot to ask Sund about this in my haste to ask about Acie Law's PT, but I really wanted to know if the ownership situation was preventing him from acquiring some bench help before the deadline. Although the chances of me getting a straight answer on that were about as good as one of us in that suite last night meeting up postgame with Ciara, who was looking good as the only big name (it seemed) in the house last night. Although if I had to place bets on anyone, I would've put my money on Larry from Str8talk.
Less than a minute left - Acie Law enters the game. Talk about symbolism.
Final thoughts on blognight:
- Talking to Sekou Smith for a brief second after the game, dude seems like he just legitimately enjoys his job. You can tell that in his writing and his overall demeanor around other media members and Hawks staff.
The mural that stands watch over the Hawks practice floor. In the not-too-distant past, this poster would elicit some scoffing, half-witted sarcastic remark involving the finer points of the uses of oxymoron. I am happy to say that is no longer the case in Hawks land.- You always see a press conference on TV and imagine it taking place in some giant room with rows and rows of chairs, cameras and tons of reporters wearing suits and asking important questions. Then you actually go to one following a game between two quality NBA squads and its a handful of casually dressed reporters standing just a liiiiil too close to a coach that would probably rather be anywhere than there right now.
This crowd's a little bigger than usual...wait who are those young guys
that keep snapping pictures??
that keep snapping pictures??
- I can't ever figure out if Solomon Jones has the potential to develop into a solid rotation player or if he's destined to be a 9th/10th man that can fill in when a team has injured 4/5s. Some nights, like last night, he looks like a guy who belongs in there in key moments. That said, under no circumstances should he be getting the rock consistently in the last few minutes of a close game. Where the hell did that come from?
- Few things are more enjoyable than watching a Josh Smith "UUNNNNNNNNGGGGHHH" dunk in person. Few things are less enjoyable than that split second when you realize he's about to take an ill-advised 18-footer. Does anyone else almost feel guilty when he occasionally hits one of those? Just a weird feeling...almost like you don't want him to get that confidence in that jumper. Maybe he can just stop taking them so I don't have to feel so conflicted. Or maybe I can just move on...
.76 seconds after Josh Smith brutally suspends Steve Nash (center-right, seated) via posterization. Smith can be seen mugging towards the crowd (perhaps mean mugging to the Suns bench?), deservedly so after that whooooooooooooooAH MONSTER JAM
- ...or not. On a related note, I'd love to see Smith looked at down the stretch rather than the "clear out one side of the court and allow Joe to go 1on1" offense the Hawks run in the final minute of a close contest. Give it to him on the block. Find him on the wing and have him take it in and draw a foul or try to find Joe/Marvin for an open J. Mix it up. It doesn't have to be all Joe all the time down there.