Cavs/Hawks Game 3 Live Blog
The Hawks are ailing. Might a return to Philips be their cure?
You might not know Sam Liskey by name, but you certainly know his work. For a few years now, Sam has maneuvered his way up the programming departments at TBS and TNT, making sure shows like “The Closer” and “Saving Grace” saw the light of day. Liskey’s now the top dog of programming at the networks.
I bring all of that up because the Hawks need to use tonight’s do-or-die Game 3 as a sort of audition before next season’s national TV games are announced. Keeping it 100%, why would any network showcase a Hawks regular season game if everyone knows they’re just gonna be down by 18 at the end of the 1st and ultimately lose by 20+ like they’ve done too many times to count this postseason.
Umm, Hawks, y’all ready to show up?
-Multi-platinum artist Keyshia Cole is at center court, in a short, striped dress with a blue blazer on top, looking quite spiffy… oh, and she’s singing the National Anthem.
-Lang came down from the Slamdome to see the action first-hand. He’s right beside me, so he’ll toss in his thoughts every now and then too. You’re welcome.
-Newsflash: Joe Johnson needs to really, really have it together tonight. A fan about three rows behind me goes “Joe, take him! He can’t guard you!” He’s right. But it’s almost like No. 2 doesn’t realize it a lot of the time.
-There’s 8:39 on the clock and three Hawks shots have already rimmed out.
-LeBron’s getting an earful of boos every time he lays his hands on the Spalding.
-Lang just told me that one of his NBA sources called Joe Smith the best rapper in the League. I don’t know if that’s cool, sad or just weird.
-Beyond Keyshia Cole, there’s a host of A-listers in the building. Just with a simple glance of the first couple of rows, I see T.I., Jermaine Dupri, Nelly and Evander Holyfield (okay, he might be a C-lister at this point) taking in the action.
-The home team might be down 17-10 with 2:12 left in the first, but it’s not because of the fans. They’re screaming, gesturing and towel-waving like nobody’s bizness.
-SLAM’s Russ Bengston’s first quarter Tweet: “General Sherman treated Atlanta better than LeBron.”
-There’s an altercation about three rows down from us. Don’t know any specifics. All I see is a big black dude and a mid-sized white guy scowling at each other. Philips security and Atlanta’s finest come to the rescue. Nothing major happens. Probably some Budweiser involved.
-The average 240-pounder would burn about 950 calories during a 48-minute basketball game. Wally Szczerbiak might -might!- kill 300.
-A Star Trek preview just came on the monitor in front of me. Saw it at a press screening the other day. Great flick- even for non-Trekkies.
-Lang calls Mike Bibby’s pop, Henry, Dr. Evil and his son Mini Me. Excellent!
-Young Jeezy’s in the building too.
-It’s 42-38 Hawks, but the Cavs are in great shape. It seems like they’ve been coasting this whole half while the home team’s given it everything they’ve had for this 4-point cushion.
-Hey, look! It’s the out-of-shape guys taking off their shirts again during the timeout. Uggghhhh.
-Okay, LeBron’s a beast but that last off-the-glass number was pure luck.
-47-46 Cavs. Damn, if Coach Woodson could just bottle up some of the Philips’ energy and allow his players to get a whiff every so often on the road, they’d make this a series.
-There’s a wi-fi screw-up in the Arena, so I’m down and out for about 15 minutes. In that time, the Cavs go up 10 on the Hawks. Hmmm, seems like some Cleveland-backed shenanigans are going on.
-Josh Smith not only has a complaint for every call against himself, but he has one for just about every call on the floor- period.
-Wait, these can’t be the same Hawks, can they?
-Wait, that can’t be an offensive foul against The King, can it?
-Was that really enough for Zaza to be ejected?
-LeBron is REALLY jawing with some fan at courtside. After his technical foul shots, he gives dude a glance you wouldn’t wish on an IRS agent. 5 plays later the guy is still animated.
-The same fan from earlier offers the following to Anderson Varejao: “Get your punk ass up!”
-With 9:32 left, Hawks fans have to at least be pleased with the home team’s effort thus far. The Cavs had a double-digit lead, yet the team stayed in it. James is having his way with the stat sheet, but the team’s not imploding.
-But with 7 minutes left, they need to get going.
-Atlanta’s body language is starting to tell the story. Lots of hanging chins and lifeless shoulders.
-We’ve played 43 minutes of basketball and Joe Johnson has 16 points. Can’t prevent your team from being down 0-3 with production like that.
-4:16. The moment Joe shows his first emotion in the series.
-1:47. The moment Philips Arena clears out.
-Don’t lose by 20. Don’t lose by 20. Don’t lose by 20.
-”MVP!” chants are blaring now. Trust, they’re not for Mike Bibby.
-James falls two dimes short of a very, very impressive triple-double.
-97-82 Cavs final. Orlando, hope you’re taking good notes as to how NOT to play in the next round.