Hawks/Heat Game 1 Notes
Is it hot in here or is it the Hawks offense?
by DeMarco Williams
If last season’s Hawks/Celtics match-up was David vs. Goliath, this year’s Hawks/Heat face-off is more like David vs. Jeremiah. It’s a bit more even. But even with things looking as they do on paper, I’m still feeling Atlanta in a relatively-breezy five. Miami may have the NBA’s third best talent in Dwyane Wade, but the Hawks have a guy who can drop 30 (Joe Johnson), three guys in the middle (Josh Smith, Al Horford and ZaZa Pachulia) and a three-point shooter (Mike Bibby) who can still get hot. The Heat simply can’t match that. But we’ll see…
-Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On” has the place in an uproar for the Hawks shootaround.
-But when the Hawks announcer brings out rapper T.I. to call out the rosters -”Ain’t he supposed to be in jail,” asks a guy behind me- the place REALLY gets loud. I’ve been to 10 or 12 games this season and the place hasn’t come close to being this animated.
-I don’t know how well TNT is conveying the pace on television, but in-person it feels like I’m watching Federer and Nadal going at it at Center Court at Wimbledon. Back and forth. Back and forth. This style of play would have to lean in the home team’s favor, right?
-Atlanta icon Ted Turner is in the building. Some of you might not know Ted, but if you’ve enjoyed the Hawks, Atlanta Braves, Larry King, “The Andy Griffith Show” or Ted’s Montana Grill over the years, you certainly know his work.
-At the game: Former Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, San Francisco 49er Takeo Spikes and hip hop hook man Akon.
-Stephen A. Smith’s two chairs down to my left and he’s on his Blackberry incessantly.
-It really looks like the Hawks are giving DWade too much of a lane. Yeah, you gotta respect dude’s ability to pull up or go in at will, but there has to be some sort of challenge to these shots.
-Jermaine O’Neal has become such an afterthought. There’s 9:13 on the clock in the quarter and I swear it’s the first time the announcer has called his name. He’s got one point, one board, one assist and one foul. At least he’s consistent.
-Okay, okay. Now he’s got three points.
-During a timeout, a female version of the Hawks mascot comes out with two robe-draped dancers. Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” starts blaring and the dancers reveal themselves as two men in leotards and tights. Their dance is a respectable Bey knock-off, but the mere sight of the dancers is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen on a basketball court.
-Newsflash: There’s just too much Hawk for the Heat to halt.
-Four Atlanta starters have 10+ points. Wade’s the only one with double figures in the black jerseys. Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem have six apiece.
-After a Horford make, the announcer goes “Al Hor-ford… BOSS!” Nah, we gotta come up with something better to describe the Atlanta big man. Any suggestions?
-Another rebound and smash for Josh. He’s got 21 and six. Don’t know if you saw it or not, but a few weeks ago Sports Illustrated had an informal poll of NBA players, asking them to name the game’s most athletic guy. Smith was No. 1. Nights of rebounds, rejections andridiculous alley-oops like tonight help explain why he got the votes he did.
-Random question: Has any other superstar worn his socks as high as DWade?
-During a Heat timeout, O’Neal can be seen chatting with a teammate and wearing a towel around his neck… about five feet from the huddle.
-At the 4:43 mark, the stands empty like the game’s over. 82-59 reads the scoreboard. Guess it is.
-Speedy! Claxton! Is! In! The! Building!
-Just got a text saying that the Hawks had better not get too confident after this opening-night laugher. I don’t think they will. But you can’t deny that it’s just something about this young squad in front of this hungry crowd that just works.
-90-64 final and confetti spews from the rafters. Damn, maybe they are a lil’ confident.