Rebounds. In a game that had fake injuries, flagrant fouls, chippy behavior, missed contest dunks, and hot Flip, it is weird talking about something that hinges on boxing out and trying hard. This was a soap opera game that was decided by the guy that holds the boom mike.
Yet, Atlanta had more effort and better focus. The Hawks out rebounded the Heat by eight and six of those were offensive rebounds. They crowded the paint and contested shots. The Hawks played defense with no regard for their own bodies or the Heats. So it was nice that the Heat obliged and worked up injuries on their own accord. The Hawks owned the paint plain and simple.
In case you don't believe me, I give you this evidence. Mike Bibby drove the ball....repeatedly. He attacked and attacked until Mike Woodson benched him for deviating from "my point guard only shoots jumpers" offensive mentality. Bibby was an offensive force and he hit one three pointer. When is the last time you could say that? Dude had a great game.
The Josh Smith Missed Dunk
I can harp on just about anyone. I yell at refs at games. I think Dwyane Wade is a faker. I come close to booing Josh Smith three pointers before they have left his hand. I criticize Woodson for the smallest infraction....
...and I have no problem with Josh's dunk. And I find it laughable that Spoelstra said, “It turned into a highlight show after a while. They were trying to embarrass us." Certainly, it would be bad form in the regular season. But the Hawks are/should be trying to establish an NBA city. ESPN is not going to show this game outside of a Dwyane Wade highlight/low light. Phillips is rarely as loud as it was tonight. The arena was sold out. The Heat starters, not in foul trouble, were still in, and if that dunk fell, the place would have gone crazy. Minimum three fans would have died. I am not saying Josh crossed these things off a list and decided to do it, but I thank him for trying.
Hawks third quarter offense
Never have I been more impressed with the Hawks offense than in the first 3 minutes of the third quarter. Dwyane Wade, apparently no longer concust, drilled his first few shots. Miami was rolling. It all looked like I was buying more beer than I anticipated.
And then the Hawks did something incredible. They ran offense. There was ball movement and players coming off screens and inside/outside play. And the Hawks got shots they could hit, and then they hit them. The team withstood a run by actually scoring. it was ridiculous. Ridiculous and awesome.
I want to buy a jersey and I can't because no one person deserves it. Team basketball, you clever girl...
The other things
Injuries, fake injuries, a Joe revival, hot Flip, Woodson pretending like he knows how to use timeouts, Mario getting overexcited, comment of the the game thread. There is so much to talk about. Victory bullets may top thirty. Until tomorrow...