(Editors Note: “Random Running Diary” is a recurring post which aims to give you a running commentary on events which would otherwise not qualify for a running diary.)
Tonight’s affair: Cavs v. Hawks. Anytime the Cavs are going for the sweep against a mildly pathetic Hawks team, I’ve got to do a running diary.
Pre-game: Ernie Johnson does the voice over for the intro, I think he got bored halfway through. Dick Stockton is our play by play man and he’s alongside the Czar himself. LeBron is busy going through all sorts of dances with his teammates, I’m 80% sure I caught the Kid N’ Play dance and the mile-high salute in there.
1st quarter :
11: 30 – Mo Williams hits a three and salutes his teammates who then take a seat. How is it that a team with Wally Szczerbiak seems to have so much team chemistry?
10:02 – Delonte West throws a half court alley oop to LeBron. That has become ho-hum. How scary is that?
7:57 – LeBron strokes a three. Cavs are up 12-6. The Hawks on the other hand are relying on a steady diet of one-on-one post moves. Guess how that is working out ?
7:00 – Marvin Williams misses his 2nd open jump shot. Hey Hawks fans, you picked him over Chris Paul AND Deron Williams. A quick check of google indicates that Williams averaged 13.9 points per game this season, that has to be the quietest 13.9 in NBA history. Chris Paul. Chris Paul. Chris Paul. I hope the pain hurts (this is for making the playoffs last year when the Suns had your first round pick).
6:07 – “The Czar Chart” gives us Mike Fratello’s keys to the game. For your viewing pleasure they are:
- Get ball out of LeBron’s hands
- Close gap on FT Attempts
- Don’t look ahead
If you are confused I don’t blame you. Keys (1) and (2) are Hawks related while key (3) is Cavs related. I wonder if it would have killed him to give separate keys to the game. If it didn’t kill him to give up the 80’s perm he had I can’t imagine what would. Maybe “don’t look ahead” should apply to the Hawks vacation plans.
5:27 – LeBron almost turns the ball over. I’m disgusted with him. If he’s going to continue in the fine MVP tradition of Bob McAdoo, he’s got a long way to go. (He also has 7 early points, but that’s neither here nor there)
5:18 – As a Suns fan, watching Joe Johnson is depressing. In the space of 3 years the Suns turned All-Star guard Joe Johnson into DUI machine Jason Richardson and Robin Lopez. I haven’t drank enough to really let this sink in yet.
4:26 – 6 foot 9 Al Horford is some what overmatched against 7 foot 3 Big Z. Best of luck with that match-up Hawks. Grant Long or Kevin Willis ain’t walking through that door.
3:56 – First subs enter, LeBron James is no longer the best former #1 draft pick on the floor (Joe Smith in your face).
3:29 – Josh Smith follows a missed jumper by former Wichita State Shocker Maurice Evans (Texas too I guess) and the Hawks grab a….LEAD?!? Something tells me Mr. James won’t stand for this. Big Z is headed into the locker room, Horford can breathe easy.
2:35 – Joe Smith just jacked up a three. He hasn’t shot more than 5 since 1998, seems like the wise move. At least nobody expected it.
There was some really awful play for a few seconds, culminating in a Zazu Pachillia dunk. Hawks fans seem to love him, I think I would too considering his name is Zazu.
1:27 – Big Z shows up back on the bench. I wonder what he and LeBron talk about on the team plane.
46.7 seconds – LeBron misses another three. I expect Mike Brown to fire him at half-time. The lack of Atlanta based celebrities at this game is troubling. This clearly dated list indicates some of the major ATL area celebs. Kind of disrespectful of Mike Vick not to show up for the game isn’t it?
End of the 1st – Atlanta LEADS by 7 points. Frankly I’m a little irritated, they were supposed to lay down while I cracked jokes for 2 hours. I intend on writing a strongly worded letter to Hawks management.
Girl Reggie Miller asks Mike Brown about offensive rebounding, Brown answers a totally different question. Lovely. Apparently there is a lot of basketball left AND it starts on the defensive end of the floor. Thank god for sideline reporters.
11:40 – Wally World sighting. I think it is clear that the reason they are trailing is that he hasn’t played yet.
10:43 – Now a Ben Wallace sighting! And he’s at the free-throw line. If you’re unfamiliar with a Ben Wallace free-throw feel free to introduce the game of basketball to an alien and tell them to get the ball in the basket from 15 feet. It’s about the same.
10;22 – Dominique Wilkins in the crowd. I think it’s time for gratuitous Human Highlight Film clips:
9:22 – Wally World posts up Flip Murray who has no choice but to foul him. Wally is now unstoppable.
Cavs cut the lead to 2 (24-22) on a Joe Smith layup. Nothing quite as sexy as a layup by a guy named ‘Joe Smith’
8:17 – Wally posts up Mike Bibby. Wally is a post-up machine. This ties the game at 24…will the Hawks ever have the lead again? LeBron is still sitting.
4 minutes deep in the quarter and the Hawks have yet to make their first basket. Mike Woodson looks frightened, and with good reason.
7:40 – Ben Wallace comes off a pick and roll and gets the ball 15 feet from the basket. Is there a player whom would be less scary off the pick and roll? I think I’m more scared of Chubbs hitting this jumper than Wallace.
OHHHH MY! SUPERLATIVES! Wally just drove the lane and threw down. I’d advise the Hawks just pack it in right now. In fact, I think it’s an NBA rule that anytime Wally dunks on you the game is over, kind of like knocking in the eight ball.
Does The Hangover look funny? I’m undecided at this point. One thing I will say though is that the Mike Tyson cameo goes towards the plus side.
7:07 – Al Horford airballs a 17-footer. Still no buckets this quarter for the Hawks. I’ve never been so convinced about how a 2 point game is going to turn out.
6:35 – Flip Murray puts in a lay-up to give the Hawks their first basket of the quarter and tie the game. I suppose they had to score eventually right?
LeBron hits a free throw to put Cleveland back in front. This game is hideous and boring.
5:54 – Big Z strokes a baseline jumper to give Cleveland a 3 point lead. Then Atlanta had a possession, or so I’d imagine. It happened in a flash.
5:00- Wally drives the lane and is clearly hacked, yet the anti-Miami of Ohio bias strikes again and there is a no-call. Wally is then T’d up for his disagreement. He’s not just the star of this game…but any game.
4:10 – Anderson Varejao attempts to dribble the ball, shockingly this does not go well. Does he have offensive ability? Guess he doesn’t need to, but does he have it if he needed it? Do Nene and Barbosa just carry the Brazilian national team?
3:57 – Hawks re-take the lead on a pair of Flip Murray free throws. I’ll admit that they have been more scrappy than I could have predicted. I’ve now increased their chances to win this game to .0001%.
2:47 – Mo Williams hits a cutting LeBron to give the Cavs the 35-34 lead (real barn burner). LeBron is just flat-out scary when he gets into the lane. I don’t think I’d take a charge from him for under 10 grand.
Hawthorne starring Jada Pinkett Smith! Coming to TNT! Who’s excited?? (No? Are you certain? OK I respect that).
Cheryl Miller has a great chat with Mike Brown about how LeBron James is like Tim Duncan. That reminds me, I hate Tim Duncan.
1:48 – Josh Smith gets to the line and hits a pair of free throws to give Atlanta the lead again. Evidently, LeBron wants to thank Oscar Robertson and Kareem for making his career possible. I assume that is something racial but I have no idea how. Robertson might make SOME sense, but Kareem? He might as well have said Robert Parish.
1:05 – Atlanta is shooting 19% this quarter and has the lead. How pathetic is this game? Big Z drills that point home by knocking down a three.
I’m dozing off during this game. Only LeBron can keep me awake.
31.3 seconds – Joe Johnson hits a runner and Atlanta is down 2. That reminds me…I hate Robert Sarver (hate list up to 2).
Wildly sloppy final 30 seconds that results in LeBron finding Big Z who is fouled. Josh Smith disagrees with this foul call and receives a technical. Wally misses the technical free throw and Big Z misses his 2 and the Cavs go into the half with a 40-38 lead. Ugly. As. Hell.
Cheryl Miller interviews LeBron about something or other and we’ve all learned nothing.
Halftime – Thanks to TiVO I will be skipping the half-time report unless something looks interesting. Is this an appropriate time to mention alphainventions.com? I think it is.
I love your website. I discovered it last night when my Random Thoughts & Musings post broke our All-Time page views record in about 45 minutes, now I can’t get enough. This is direct pandering. Direct. Make no mistake about it. I will kiss you directly on your internet mouth.
(I don’t feel dirty about this at all)
11:22 – LeBron hits a jumper for the first basket of the half and tells either a fan or Marvin Williams “that’s what I do”, I love trash talk.
LeBron then misses a jumper. So am I to believe that is NOT what he does? I need a flow chart.
There is very little happening in this game. Both teams are playing poorly and the announcers aren’t saying much that is either stupid or exciting.
9:43 – LeBron is drinking one of those tiny Dasani water bottles. I hate those things too (brings it to 3). I don’t get the point.
Dick Stockton informs us that LeBron is 24 and never played college ball. I am stunned by this information. NEVER played college ball? Thanks for the informative announcing Dicky.
Cavs lead by 5.
8:39 – Mike Bibby has no points and no assists. The Hawks have this guy and Marvin Williams instead of Chris Paul. That’s got to be kind of frustrating. Chris Paul. Chris Paul. CP3.
LeBron attacks and scores…the lead is up to 7. Thanks for playing Atlanta. Woodson wisely gets a timeout.
7:32 – James splits a pair of defenders and kicks to Mo Williams for a three. The lead is now 10.
7:03 – Atlanta gets their first basket of the quarter. Whew!
If you open each quarter with 5 minute droughts it is typically not a recipe for winning. Have Coach Woodson write that one down.
5:59 – Flip Murray hits a three as he valiently attempts to be the first man named Flip to do anything worthwhile since the 1970’s.
I wish my TiVO would run out like Louie Renown’s did.
5:15 – Lead is down to 6 thanks to a three point play from the guy the Suns traded for Boris Diaw.
Josh Smith cuts the lead to 4. This is both competitive and anti-climactic at the same time. Wally just came back in though, this should take care of things.
4:27 – Joe Johnson hits a shot to make the lead 2 and the Cavs are forced to call a time-out. The fans are so cute when they think they have a chance.
[LOTS of sloppy play happening]
2:54 – Anderson Varejao is give a technical by obviously fair and balanced referee Scott Foster. Certainly no sleazy friends for Foster.
1:59 – LeBron gets fouled hard every single time he drives the lane. He must hurt badly after games. The guy basically gets ripped across the shoulders for daring to enter into the lane.
Flip Wilson Murray misses the three to try and tie it.
1:15 – Szczerbiak hits a three from the corner. It’s impossible for me not to like this guy. Now it’s a two-pointer. That is just a BRUTAL call. His feet were clearly behind the line. Apparently the rule isn’t the same as in the NFL.
The D-Backs got their asses kicked today and it was 100 degrees this afternoon…gonna be a brutal summer.
45 seconds – LeBron misses a free throw. The Cavs are a disgusting 9 of 20 from the line. I reiterate, this game could not be any more boring.
I just remembered why I like the Suns so much, Cleveland is holding for the final shot of the 3rd quarter and both teams have under 60 points. LeBron puts an end to that with a three, followed by a Flip “flip” shot (pun-tastic) and our score after 3 is 62-57.
Cheryl Miller asks Mike Woodson what he can do to turn it around. Woodson’s answer? I don’t know if we can turn it around. Pretty strong words for a 5 point defecit…and I completely agree with him.
11:02 – Hawks force a shot clock violation and have the ball down just three. The tension is…non-existent.
Joe Smith with a MASSIVE block on Marvin Williams. Even he thinks Williams wasn’t worth the 2nd pick.
10:26 – Dalonte West just headed baseline and dunked all over Marvin. Tough couple possessions for the youngster.
Bibby is still not off the bench.
9:40 – Joe Johnson misses a three with the chance to give Atlanta the lead. Cleveland fails to convert and then Atlanta gets a 2nd crack at tying or taking the lead. FAIL. This sloppy mess could not end soon enough.
8:54 – The ice-cold Bibby rejoins the action after 12 minutes on the bench. Why change this now?
7:25 – The Hawks miss another shot when trying to close the deficit. Is it OK if I do a running diary of the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother?
Mike Brown’s interview on how to defend LeBron James: “Well the first thing you have to do….I’m not giving you that.” Hilarious.
6:44 – Another lengthy stretch without baskets. If this running diary is boring you I don’t blame you. Couldn’t they at least have gotten Craig Sager for this one?
5:39 – Bibby hits a three, his first shot, and the lead is down to 5. I can predict how this is gonna go, a bunch of missed shots and no scoring followed by the Hawks being thrilled they made the 2nd round.
5:09 – Dick Stockton trips through promos for Meet the Browns and House of Payne. Would you be stunned to learn that Stockton doesn’t watch these shows? Part of me wishes he did.
3:47 – The Hawks miss 4 shots and three 3’s on one possession. My eyes have more than glazed over. They’re officially in the back of my head. Maybe I should have live-blogged Mavs-Nuggets.
The WNBA season begins June 6th. That’s a thing right?
2:35 – We revisit The Czar’s Keys. Atlanta contained LeBron and won the free throw battle…they will still lose. Great job Czar.
2:00 – I just fell asleep. The only thing that woke me up was a text from Sgt. Zim. That is the quality of this game. I wish the Cavs were playing Moondog at shooting guard.
1:09 – With their season on the line the Hawks can’t grab a rebound. Mo Williams sinks a three to end a 55 second possession, the game, and the series.
34.7 seconds – The MVP chant is going up in Phillips Arena. Guess he deserves it but come on Atlanta! Boo him.
That’s all she wrote. I’m tired, the game was boring, and for parts most of it I really wasn’t funny. The Cavs don’t play again for 11 days (Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is May 20th) and they’ve now won 8 consecutive playoff games by double digits.
84-74 Cavs is your final. The game was about as exciting as the score would indicate. The Czar wonders if the Hawks should re-sign Mike Bibby, I vote a big N-O on that one. I think the 2nd round is the peak for this version of the Hawks.
I think LeBron may be unstoppable this year.