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Atlanta Hawks 81, Miami Heat 71 or SHRIMP BOAT!

Box Score


If Al Horford had the game Zaza Pachulia just put up, I would demand national media attention. I would buy another jersey. I would argue how he should become a cultural phenomenon. I really would. That is not a "haha" funny intro. For me, lust is a legit emotion when it comes to Al Hoford, and the performance by Zaza is making me question my own commitments. I will go ahead and say it. Zaza is a temptress.

12 points, 18 rebounds, 2 steals, and only one Zaza-esque turnover. The man was a machine. I yelled "Shrimp Boat" more times in the last four hours than I have yelled in my entire life. It was this equal parts Zaza toughness (which is its own category) and a disrespect by the Heat. Zaza was left wide open for at least two of his five baskets. Jermaine O'Neal licked his chops every time he had him one on one. Wade and Chalmers stayed back after misses to swipe at his rebounds. And yet, the man hit his open shots, he out rebounded the opposing starting center by 12, and only turned it over when he had to keep up his reputation. I mean I could roughly write four more paragraphs, but I will end by saying this, well done sir.

The fact that Wade's good shots, which of course he had tonight because he is a great player, will overshadow Zaza's workman like awesomeness on ESPN is a travesty. Not even because Zaza outplayed Wade (That is right I said it. Copy and paste it. Mock it. Try to defy it......and that is what I thought. ZAZA!), but Mr. Dwyane hurt his team. He pressed. He took bad shots. He took too many shots. And the question I will raise is simply this, is Dwyane Wade MV3 always or just when his teammates play well? Because Wade is 0-2 when the team does not shoot over 50% from three. That is not to say Wade is bad or simply good. He is awesome, but being MVP caliber in a league where superstars are playing at this kind of level is not something to take lightly. You want the mantle. Take the criticism.

On a similar but much kinder note as it relates to Wade, as long as Joe Johnson is not playing up to par, this series is going to go however Dwyane Wade goes. And that should be scary if you are a Hawks fan. Put another way, please step up Joe.

Victory Bullets

  • The Hawks need to stay focused on Dwyane Wade of course but figuring out Jermaine O'Neal would be nice. Lord knows enough game tape exists on him.
  • I am going to classify 7 of Josh Smith's 14 shots having come from outside the paint. Come one buddy. I would rather have reckless Josh 4 feet from the basket than smooth Josh 26 feet from it.
  • Maurice Evans had the exact game/walk off interview the Hawks needed.
  • I admit it I love Erik Spoelstra use of timeouts. Please take note Woody.
  • Personally, I enjoyed that three Mike Bibby from basically half court.
  • Anytime you come out of two four point plays no matter how legit or terrible they are with a ten point victory on the road, you just buy Zaza whatever he wants and say thank you.
  • Someone needs to show a tape to Josh Smith of his final rebound and put it on repeat for the entire flight back to Atlanta. 
  • Refs are always bad for both teams. That is just something you live with in the NBA. But tonight I thought they were like cheerleaders for the crowd. Bad calls are going to be made. In the second quarter, it is just those calls came like gasoline on a lit match. Well, that and Solo being kind of dumb.
  • On a related note, 7 players had two fouls before 13 minutes were gone in the game.
  • Loved how few no calls/good defense/lack of biting the Hawks gave to Wade's pump fakes. 
  • Still no game this series within ten points. Sorry America.
  • I told the Hawks if they "leave a three point shooter open due to a certain strategy,,,you better close on that shooter like your life depends on it." Well, Solo took that literally, but the Hawks had a hand in every shot except for a few mid range jumpers they were fine with centers and power forwards making. Hats off. 

Too many comments to pick a game thread comment of the game, but I will say thanks to all who stopped by. I will give Zaza the quote until tomorrow with, "I look like Rocky Balboa."

Hawks have regained home court. Game five just got a lot louder.