1) Exactly when did you say the Hawks got into Miami? Because I am preeetttty sure it wasn't today...Schedule says their last game was Friday, in New York? I am thinking a night out in the big city, followed by a mid-morning flight to The MIA, Saturday night and Sunday night in South Beach...Yup, that seems about right. Hawks came in on a three game losing streak they had to be itching to break, usually give DWade fits, and eliminated Miami in the playoffs last year - seemed like a recipe for disaster. But the Hawk energy level was on about a .2, or just slightly higher than their collective blood alcohol level by about 2 am last night. Even Mike Woodson, the always laid-back Hawk coach, seemed slightly more comatose than normal. Look, I'm not blaming them: I had one Bloody Mary at the Eden Roc last Sunday and I wasn't myself for three days - I'm just glad the Heat got off their own three game slide.
2) The Heat, for the second straight game, jumped out to a huge early lead behind Mike Beasley, who had 20 in the first half for the second time in a week. Starting to think Beasley might be Josh Smith's kryptonite - Smith has a clear length and athletic advantage over Jimmy Buckets, but couldn't keep him in front of him, and couldn't get inside to go over him on the other end. Beas had a quiet second half to finish with 22 and 8, but Smith had only 9 on 3-8 shooting, with 6 boards. That's a big individual matchup win for the Heat.
3) Another big win: shutting down Joe Johnson with the Wade Rules. Much as Atlanta tries to trap Wade off of every pick and roll, Miami trapped Johnson as hard as they could off ball screens, forcing him to give the ball up. It is a well-known basketball adage that teams-who-love-to-hard-trap-opposing-shooting-guards-off-ball-screens-hate-to-have-their-shooting-guard-hard-trapped-off-ball-screens...or something like that. In any case, Wade had an efficient 28 points, with 8 rebounds, while Johnson was held to 11 on 4-15 shooting. The Heat's two best players smoked the Hawks two best players. Most nights in the NBA, that is enough.
4) The one time that Mike Woodson stirred from the Hawk bench was midway through the second quarter when someone from the crowd kept blowing a shrill whistle that was distracting the players, or at least Mike Woodson. The same guy must have been at Saturday's game as well, because it seemed that the same problem arose. Forget the obvious question, which is: why would anyone want to blow a shrill whistle while sitting in the crowd during a basketball game? Okay, maybe one time would be funny if you got someone to miss a free throw - I mean, if you were like fifteen years old, and you thought that kind of juvenile behavior was funny, which I, of course, don't. The more important question really is: if the whistle is that shrill - and it was - how does someone in the stands sitting near the guy not just punch him in the face? Not for distracting the game necessarily, but for blowing a shrill whistle like two feet from your head? In any case, they got the whistling stopped, and Mike Woodson went back to sleep on the Hawks bench.
5) Jermaine O'Neal. Out: strained hip flexor. In: beige jacket with epaulets. And not the first time he's worn it. Sweet!
6) Okay, The Captain weighed in on the Mike Beasley afro, which, sadly, was gone today, despite reports from a Heat insider that he was still sporting it as late as yesterday at a Heat season ticket holder event:
Having M Minutos write Saturday's blog might be the smartest thing that Dos has done so far. By the way, in highschool, I too sported a kind of an "Italiafro" for a few years. Mine was completely natural and not as tightly kinked as the Beas', but fro-like none the less. To view my wop-a-fro, refer to any Syracuse, NY vice blotter between 1971 to 1973. Enter the key word: CAPTAIN.
Well, we looked it up. Not sure The Captain would want us to share, but:
In a related story, M.Minutos and I spent another good forty minutes watching The Transporter last night based solely on the fact that The Transporter and I have the exact same male pattern baldness shaved haircuts. Eerie. M.Minutos, graciously, pointed out that she thinks I am more handsome than The Transporter, although we both agree that I can't fill out an old-school Ban-Lon polo shirt buttoned to the top like he can. Striking physique, if I do say so myself. Almost as nice as Bradley Cooper's, who combines The Transporter's beefiness with my natural lankiness...
Next game, Wednesday vs. Boston. Kevin Garnett: out. Paul Pierce: questionable. South Beach: open, so let's hope they get here early.