With 22 games remaining on the schedule, and Atlanta a full 10 games back from Orlando for the #3 seed, it seems the only thing left for the Hawks to fight for is the #4 seed and a shot at playing Miami (2.5 back from the Hawks) or Detroit (3.5) in the opening round (I'm thinking Milwaukee and Philly don't have spurts in them to make up 5 and 7 games, respectively). Is this enough to motivate a team to play at the top of their game? What you want to do is catch your ass on fire heading into the postseason, a la the 2007 NFL football Giants. The last thing you want to do is pull a Gail Devers.
But if the Hawks need further motivation, which the fourth quarter of several games this (not to mention recent) season(s) seem to suggest, how's about the prospect of facing the Celtics in Round 2? If the Celtics can somehow stop sputtering around and LeBron and Company stop being a ridiculous juggernaut, it's a very plausible situation. I know the Hawks were thinking all off season that they wanted another shot at the Celts. If they only had one more game, one more chance to score, one more 24-second shot clock of time, they could've done it. If they carry themselves into the second round of the playoffs and face-off against Boston, I fully believe the Hawks can take them. Which would put them...in the Eastern Conference Finals? Okay, sure. I'll admit all of a sudden that situation becomes completely ridiculous when you think of it that way. But if the Hawks can catch fire and all of a sudden start playing out of their minds - like a late-for-her-rent-Saigon whore with pocket fulls of eightballs and a house full of GIs on R&R leave - it's not impossible we could see Hawks/Cavs in the Finals. Which would I'm sure piss off a lot of people, and probably hit the NBA financially even more.
But dammit...It sure would be a nice parting gift from the city of Atlanta to a transplanted Georgia boy about to move on.
Joe Friday: 11-6
The excitement is piling on like the drunkest douche at the bar talking to the last cute girl at a bar.
OBJ 1: San Antonio (+3.5) over Dallas
The best part about having more than a few teams you root for as "hometown" teams? When your blog partner (blartner? partnog? plogner?) takes the Hawks off the table, you still have one or two on reserve.
I understand that the Spurs are 2-1 against the spread versus Dallas this season. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, but I'm guessing commons sense dictates I should assume Dallas will cover. Well, FUCK YOU common sense. Where the FUCK have you been all my life, ANYWAY?
OBJ 2: New Jersey (+7.5) over Boston
Ugh. What the fuck do YOU want, common sense? Eh? What's that? Boston's defeated the Nets seven straight times since March 3rd of 2007? By an average margin of WHAT? 16 points?? The two meetings this year have been 118-86 and 105-85? HAH! Shows what YOU know, DICKHEAD common sense. This all means JERSEY'S DUE, BABY!
Joe Friday 1: Atlanta (PK) over New York
Joe Friday 2: Miami/Phoenix OVER 226