Smack / Jan 6, 2012 / 2:16 am

Miami Steals A Triple OT Thriller; Portland Looks Like The Best Team In The West

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh (photo. Nike Basketball)

Is there any team in the league that pisses off basketball fans more than Atlanta? In reality though, why should we get so aggravated when they struggle? As Reggie and Charles pointed out, you’re only as good as your best player. Despite that, with LeBron and Dwyane Wade dressed up (What the hell was that shirt ‘Bron had on?) on the sidelines, the Heat rode Chris Bosh (33 points, 14 rebounds) and a bunch of role players to a surprising 116-109 win in triple OT. After barely surviving two overtimes, the Hawks finally succumbed, never scoring a point in the last frame. Even with Joe Johnson (20 points) and Josh Smith (17 points, 13 rebounds) putting up big stat lines, it felt like they wilted under the pressure from so many young guys putting in work for Miami. Bosh might’ve hit the killer shots – like the 30-foot three he made to send it to overtime – but it was Mario Chalmers (29 points, 22 after the third quarter) and Terrel Harris (nine points, 14 rebounds) who made the difference. And who caught Reggie on that Bosh three-pointer straight up calling the Hawks “not a very smart team” because they didn’t foul? … People complain about ‘Bron and Wade not celebrating their teammates, but when that three went down, both of them looked like Nicki Minaj had just said “I do” to them … Kevin Harlan really called Ivan Johnson “Drago.” Thing is, Drago never rocked a diamond grill during an NBA game … We told y’all the Lakers almost never win in Portland. Last night was no different as the Blazers ate ‘em and spit them out during the second half of their 107-96 win. Kobe dropped 30. Andrew Bynum made his first eight shots and finished with 21 and 12. And yet, because TNT screwed up and didn’t show the first half on a sister network, all we started with was a third quarter dominated by the Blazers. A 24-8 run in the third ended it for the Blazers. How did the Lakers finally stop the run? They posted up Bynum after ignoring him again for a stretch. But soon, Jamal Crawford (17 points) ended the quarter with a 30-foot splash. LaMarcus Aldridge was unstoppable inside (28 points, 10 rebounds) while Gerald Wallace (31 points) was the real star. He was a pinball offensively, and took his matchup with 24 personally. The two went at it all night long, but the defining moment came after Bryant bricked a long wing three. Wallace leaked out, and finished with an easy windmill on the break … Did Andrew Bynum just suddenly put it all together? Well… not exactly. Laker fans will tell you he’s been killing it for a while now. It’s just he can’t ever stay healthy, and his injuries always happen almost exactly when it starts clicking (In other words, watch out right now.) … The playoff series we really want to see? Portland and Denver. The Blazers play like a bunch of 10 year olds finally getting outside after the teachers held them in line for being too loud. The Nuggets are just plain crazy, shooting every 10 seconds and tossing no-look lobs. That series would be fun … Keep reading to hear how the Kings reacted to their coach getting fired …

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  • first christmas

    first bitches

  • control

    I’m jealous of Sean Sweeney…

    I could bash on Kobe for freezing out his big guys and for wincing after EVERYTHING (if it hurts that much, sit fucking down), but instead I’ll hate on Mike Brown. Actually, small thing about Kobe, how the fuck does he not get 5-6 techs a game? The guy even threw the ball into the crowd, and didn’t get a tech, wtf? Ok, back to Mike Brown…you are down by 10, it’s near the end of the 3rd quarter, probably need some scoring eh? Soooo…lets roll out a line up of Steve Blake, Troy Murphy, Ebanks, Kapono and Artest for like 8-9 minutes. I know that’s the Laker’s bench, but that might be the slowest at each position possible. Get someone who can fucking score or create, or run less than a 10 second 40yard dash. Get Gasol out there, guy used to do pretty good with some scrubs in Memphis, and he only played 30 minutes. Kobe played longer and he’s like half man/half bandage out there.

    The flopping is getting insane in the league. Fuck challenging a shot, just fall down! At least refs are calling travel this season so far, but god damn, fix that fucking charge call. If Offensive player is on his first step after picking up his dribble, then how the fuck can a defender be planted for two seconds? I could see it for a fat fuck like Fat Davis, who’s one step might take 3-4 seconds, but it’s not applicable for 99% of players in the league.

  • this_will_hurt

    im all for tits, pussy, and ass but there is NO WAY IN FUCKING HELL would I celebrate if I had to spend 10 seconds with Nicki Minaj. I’d rather quit college, use all my financial aid, and pay off somebody to shoot that dumb ass bitch and her weak ass young money crew in a line. That being said MIAMI IS WINNING IT ALL!!! It’ll be a disgrace if they dont.

    Portlandia is honestly the only team out west that can hang with them just cuz Crash can keep Lebron in check and they have no answer for Aldridge if he’s cookin. Idk it would make a hell of a finals. The west is so fucking deep I wont be surprised at all if Dallas doesnt even make it in they’re playing like mud. I wouldve said OKC was in that running but Westbrook would forfeit at least 6 TO’s a game on that D that they got brewin in South Beach.

  • Bear

    Dallas look tired, and they better hope they can get a spark soon.

    Portland are still looking nice, Crash needs to stay healthy and Batum needs to keep improving and they will be good in the playoffs, at least they know their team this year, instead of waiting on guys to get back form injuries.

    Atlanta were my shock of the night, to run out of gas like that and not score in the 3rd overtime, (It sounds weird to say it nowadays) but T-Mac needed the ball more

  • http://Dimemag.com Panchitoooo

    Laker game was fun to watch till we put in the “Peace Corps” and went cold as control mentioned. I wondered at moments besides kobe who else has the power to call their own number off the bench.

    If kobe decides to sit out a few games would it be okay to chant MVP for Bynum at Staples Center?

  • silky

    damn Portland looks like a reaaaal legit team right now. 2 deep every position, good blend of styles. lamarcus as the horse and crawford as the perimeter closer. fav sequence from game; Kobe with the forced 3 from 4 ft past the 3pt line that draws nothing but backboard, then he falls asleep and watches Wallace run by him to catch a nice lil windmill off a mchale-eque outlet from lamarcus.

    too bad how the dominos have fallen or the northwest would be close to runnin the west conf with blazers grizz and sonics what they are now

  • http://ufl.edu Big Freeze

    Portland has a nice start and now people are penciling them in the Finals already? Portland looks good NOW. But wait till the postseason to judge their team. Same thing with Lebron. Dude always kills it during the regular season, but in the playoffs…not so much.

    I don’t see the Blazers beating a healthy Thunder team in a 7 game series.

  • First & Foremost

    From top-to-bottom is the Northwest the best division in basketball? Youth movements in Minny and Utah, 2 title contenders (Por-OKC), and a middle of the road team that is so balanced they could be a very tough out in the playoffs (Den).

    The Hawks need to start over. Jumpshots and generally just being an athlete hasn’t/won’t work anymore. They went cold in the first quarter, Miami went to a zone, Atlanta got life. Then they go through LLLLOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGG stretches of shooting just inside the arc. Had it not been for Willie Green in the first half, that game would have been over early, and even more embarrassing.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    The new NBA fan night game is going to be the Lakers vs the Suns.

    The other games it was voted in over…
    Clippers vs Blazers—Cp/Blake vs LMA/top team in West
    Bulls vs TWolves —Rose vs Rubio/Love
    Heat vs G-State —Monta/Curry vs DWade/LBJ

    But apparently none of those games will be nearly as exciting as the watching
    Kobe vs Jared f^cking Dudley
    Bynum vs Channing Frye
    Gasol vs Morris twin
    Nash vs Derek Fisher!

    come on man. this is f^cking lame as shyt. I honestly don’t care for Chicago to be on there because I prefer to watch them locally with Stacey king as the announcer. But I would love to have watched the Clippers vs Blazers.

  • dk

    I’ve been telling you guys for awhile… Bosh sucks.


    PS I see he barely got credit up there, it was the Heat ” role players ” that almost stole the article.

  • dk

    Laker fans like me will tell you that Phil Jackson ( check the minutes ) held Bynum back not just the injuries. Brown is letting the big man loose and has been feeding the man the ball in the post ( deep ) consistently through out the games. It’s probably the wise thing to do considering he’s like a three hundred pound behemoth that wants to bang. He looks like a man amongst boys and the funny thing is, he’s still a boy.


  • dk


    I voted for Chicago, the game that was selected was last on my list. I don’t get it…


    I hadn’t watched a hawks game in its entirety in a long time, an its gonna be a loooong time before i watch another one. Josh smith is still the stupidest player ever, how can he STILL think he can make three pointers????? And Joe Johnson. Mr 125million 2guard who cant even crack 30 points in tripple OT, someone in the hawks organization should marry him just so they can divorce him and take back half his money.

  • dk

    One more shout out to Bosh,

    Way to step up and prove the haters wrong young man. This one game means a lot, don’t look back.


  • IGP

    Imagine Portland with a healthy Roy and Oden right now? That line up would be the best in the league.






  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    “someone in the hawks organization should marry him just so they can divorce him and take back half his money.”–LMNOP

    ^^hahahahahahahd;osifinasinas ;fnas i;fnasinas ifn asdifasoi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    scorers need shots to be effective. Wes Mathews, Batum, and Crawford wouldn’t be as effective if BRoy was still getting 20 shots per. Even LMA would lose out some as Oden would take some shots from him.

    People get too caught up in having a bunch of talent on one team and thinking they will dominante. That may work in football, even in baseball and hockey. But in basketball, it ends up backfiring 9 times outta 10.
    The best way is to have a team that fits together. Thats why the Celtics worked out so well when they first got KG. Those guys just fit perfectly together.

  • First & Foremost

    If Roy and Odom were healthy I’m not sure they would even have Matthews or Wallace or Crawford. Maybe one of the three but no way they have them all. Possible they wouldn’t have picked up Camby. Pryzbilla and a bunch of other backups got hurt over the years so they made a deal to get Camby.

    The Blazers would be just as talented but not nearly as deep. LMA might not have made the jump from Good to Almost Great. We will chalk this up to everything-happens-for-a-reason.

    How come no one talks abour Joe Johnson’s post game? 6-7, fluid, strong, great shooter, decent passer, but as long as his team has no expectations he is given a pass for his progression staying idle for 5 years.

  • Chaos

    @IGP – the things that coulda been….

    I think portland is my favorite team in the west. They play together, with energy and have some good to great players with LMA ready to make the jump

    Dallas problem is that the older players like dirk, vince, odom, west and marion didn’t stay in shape during the lockout and with the short preseason had no time like other older players such as grant hill, tmac, rip hamilton and ray allen did. I think they got too complacent. They didn’t have to do like young players and try to find consistent runs every where but they not in that “I’m hungry for another on” shape and won’t get going til 20 games in

    ATl needs to blow that team up.

    Mike Brown is not a great coach to me but he is a personnel guy. He doesn’t have that 1 star a la lebron but he realizes he has a superstar, an all star and a breakout star and that one guy DOESN’T have to carry the team but WANTS to carry the team unnecessarily and is hurting the team by not being more of a facilitator and leader

    Spurs are gonna prove ppl wrong and get the 2 seed

  • LeRoy Green


    Vince Carter…Lamar Odom….

    these guys are playin with NO hunger, NO desire. Lamar looks like he’s just playin pick up games at the rec, wastin time before he gets home to the wife where he puts in his REAL work.

    You would think Carter would play with some renewed ambition being that this is his last possible chance for a chip. But no, both these guys are just happy to be receiving a big pay check and will just take things easy this season. As a die hard mavs fan, last nights game was infuriating. Its one thing to take a L, but to get ran out the gym by the in state rival without showin ANY sign of heart….pathetic.

    I was rippin on the Knicks yesterday about their lack of effort vs the Bobcats, my Mavs aint gettin no pass after that bullsh!t last night. When you play division opponents that will be your main competition for playoff seeding you gotta make a statement against them. The Spurs made their statement: We Dont Give A Flyin F*ck About Your Ring Last Year.

    I wanna say I wish they’d make a trade, but truth is theyre just treatin this year like a transition season for when we get a superstar (D Will) over the summer and make another serious run for the chip. Whatever.

    MAVS 4 LIFE tho you bit*h as$ nigg*s.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    I think people don’t get on Joe Johnson about his lack of expanding his game because no one cares. Technically, Joey has already over achieved. He was never expected to be this good. Joey doesn’t step up in the post season and ATL can’t get pass the 2nd round of the playoffs, but everybody already knows this. That’s why people flipped out when ATL gave him $120Mill. It made absolutely no sense. No team would have offered him even close to that amount. He may have gotten $80-90 Mill as a free agent.

    Personally I think Joe Johnson is like Mike Finley, Steve Smith, Mitch Richmond, Rolando Blackman. Very good 2guards that fit into a role so perfectly, that they don’t want to expand. Most of them didn’t have great expectations coming out of college, so the fact that they had all-star like careers means they already over achieved.

    Joe Johnsons biggest mistake was taking $120Mill from ATL. a couple years from now he’ll be the new Rashard Lewis/Gil Arenas.

    They can’t blow that team up, they owe too much money to Joey, Horford, and Smith. Not too many teams would take on those contracts. Except maybe a few contenders who are missing a piece may take Horford or Smith. NO ONE is touching that JJ contract, not until another year or so passes.

  • beiber newz

    control, no offense, if you were the ref in any lakers game , you would toss out kobe off techs in the 1st qtr every time :D

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Charles BArkley talking off camera (or so he thought) last night.


    Always funny to hear the guys talk without the filters

  • trollne1

    saw that earlier. I know many people bash on Barkley for being too much of a jokester and not much of an analyst but the man is on point many times than not. Plus he’s funny as hell. I’d rather listen to him all day every day than Chris Webber.

    He looks like he’s lost a lot of weight so kudos to him.

    Anyway I’m slowly becoming a Portland fan. If McMillan chooses to push the pace more, they’d be even better. Blazers just got too much ballers to slow down the tempo every time.

    Nuggets-Blazers in the second round would be really fun to watch.

    Plus, the scary thing about the Kings is that 65 points between Thornton, Evans and Cousins could be norm. Plus you got Jimmer dropping 10-12 a night. Solid players in Hickson and Salmons. If Garcia and Salmons can return to their former glories, this team’s future could look good, that is if Keith Smart could calm tame Cousins.

  • Chaos


    Oh I understand. They need to blow that team up but yea they can’t. I think Joe Joe doesn’t have that killer instinct. U can in dudes face as he plays. I’m not saying he has to be dwade or kobe but show some damn fire. Get in smiths ass about taking jumpers or tell hordford be more aggressice. What he supposed to be doin Tmac is doing but he supposed to be the leader. Either lead by example or be vocal. That team will always be second round fodder but he doesn’t carry the team at all. Their team is balanced but too balanced as he doesn’t take initiative to me.

  • yoda


    if Joe’s biggest mistake is that he took 120mil then I hope I’ll make same mistake someday :D

    as for big stat line. how can you say that when they had 20 points in triple overtime. it’s like you say some PF is rebounding machine if he gets 10 rebounds in triple OT game :S

  • LeRoy Green

    “I think they got too complacent”



    The hunger from last year is non existent this season. Dirks whole body language is screaming “I’ma try to win…BUT…. even if we don’t win….I still got me a ring”.

    Honestly as a fan MY attitude is similar. Mavs could go 3 and 63 and i’ll look at you like this shit GRAAAAVY. I watched em get bounced out the playoffs 10 yrs straight b4 finally gettin the chip…so I’m admittedly still high as hell off last years greatness.

    I guess only the true great ones can come back with the same intensity and testicular fortitude to want the ultimate prize JUST as bad as they did the year before. The core of the team still looks satisfied from last years success. Maybe itll just take some time to get used to the new players this season but damn….lets try not to get our asses handed to us in the mean time lol

  • Big Island

    Dallas looks bad, but they lost key guys and replaced them with Odom and Carter. It’s almost like a baseball team that goes all in for a year, wins the world series, and then shuts down for like 3 years. They are old which hurts too. I’m still wearing the Dirk jersey today though so everyone can eat it.

    I don’t get why coaches who suck, Westphal, Del Negro, Dunleavy etc… keep getting jobs. If they have a bad stop n one place, fine. Maybe it was the team or whatever. But after 3 or 4 stops, they just aren’t good head coaches. Of course Sacramento went out and played well, or at least got a win, against Milwaukee.

    Bynum. Bynum. I hope he stays healthy, and even though he is goofy looking, the guy is HUGE. He has great hands and loves to play big down low. I can say a ton of crap about him, but he is like the bizarro Dwight Howard in the sense that he WANTS to be the man. He’ll never be as marketable as Dwight or anything like that, and I don’t think he can stay healthy, but like someone said a couple of days ago here, he is playing himself into a straight up trade for Dwight.

  • beiber newz

    i don’t think durant will ever be a better basketball player than lebron. durant will know how to get buckets, but lebron will always be the more unstoppable force. i don’t think pippen would even think to say durant is better than jordan. lebron seriously has a chance to be in the same building as jordan, maybe not on the same floor, and maybe not even the same room, but a case can be made that he can be in the same building. durant, eh, he’s a great scorer and that’s what wins games in the sjort run, because bball is a game of ‘whoever scores more wins’ but when you look 50 years down the road, lebron will be looked at as godly. kobe had his time there, especially during his 35ppg season, freakin unbelieveable and the public would feel comfortable allowing themselves to believe that kobe could do anything jordan can, offensively at least (kobe cn’t match jordan’s perimeter defense, not even close) but kobe is still damn good at D andsurpasses above average status inn that aspect. but if kobe had better public view, the people would allow themselves to see his brilliance. but is negative lights forces people not to giv in to that. but anyway lbj>durant.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Obviously I missed the Dime conference call when everybody — including the writers — decided to be as unforgiving as possible with Joe Johnson and the Hawks.

    First off, had almost any other team in the NBA just come off a triple-overtime loss, I feel like people would be focusing on how good the game was, or praising that team for a hell of an effort … not talking about blowing the team up. I mean damn, if I hadn’t read Smack and just read the comments, you’d think Atlanta got waxed by 25 last night. True, LeBron and Wade were out, but I think if Denver or Indiana or another of these early-season darlings had taken Miami to triple OT, it’d be mostly positive feedback.

    Time to blow the Hawks up? Really? Let’s go back to the last time Atlanta went in that direction: It was around 1993-94, when the Hawks were a regular 1st/2nd-round exit type of team led by Dominique Wilkins with a core that included Kevin Willis, Stacy Augmon, Mookie Blaylock, etc. Then they traded Nique, traded Willis, and guess what … nothing changed. First and second-round exits for a couple more years, followed by an 8-year stretch of missing the playoffs.

    I feel like I should grow my beard out crazy and start the Expectations Are Too Damn High movement. So the Hawks aren’t a “legit” championship contender? Fine. Maybe they’ll never win a chip with JJ, Smith and Horford leading the way. But before you act like consistently making the conference semis is a bad thing, talk to a Charlotte fan or a Philly fan or a Sacramento fan; see if they wouldn’t trade their last five years for Atlanta’s last five years.

    Now about Joe: If you want to be mad at somebody over his contract, get mad at Hawks management. They didn’t have to offer him $120 million; it’s not like he held them hostage. And you all know damn well you wouldn’t turn down that kind of money under any legal circumstances. I’ve never seen a good player get so much crap over a big contract. People talk about Johnson like he’s Jim McIlvaine or Jerome James. Dude is an regular All-Star, puts up 20-5-5 type numbers, hits game-winners and big shots on the regular, leads a team that wins games and advances in the playoffs … but he somehow stinks now because he gets paid a lot?

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    This is an awesome video on the Bad Boys pistons from 1988.


    The entire team would be thrown out in the first quarter of a game today.

  • Soopa / b_malte

    Ehm Austin… JJ has never in his career averaged 20/5/5…

    He peaked in 06 doing 25/4/4 and have steadily declined ever since. He is sitting on 16/2/3 right now. Couldn’t Arenas do the same? Heck with JJ’s minutes, who couldn’t??

    I like JJ, class act, smooth and so on but he is just way over the hill.

  • Dana Walker

    Again, Lamar Odom made a HUGE mistake whining his way out of LA. They could use him, with Gasol wearing his little sports bra and getting his ass pounded on the inside as usual. I watched about 3 mins of the Lakers and said fuck this. This team they have now, without Bynum, would be worse thanthe 06 team. Its awful watching them jack up three’s that arent even close. Why is Artest still on that team. He and Steve Blake do not fit and need to be traded for anything else. Kobe also needs to stop jacking up insanely off three pointers. Has he seriously lost it and thinks he is 26 again? This Lakers team is in real trouble if they dont make some moves and quick, and I dont mean signing the white wonders, (Murphy and McRoberts) They have a jumbled roster that doesnt play well together and too many aging players. Gasol either has lost a step or is the most uninterested guy on the court from just the few mins I watched last night.

  • Soopa / b_malte

    My bad Austin, you never claimed that. My opinion on JJ still stand tho’.

  • silky

    checkin the ’94 gm 6 on hardwood classics- some serious low post battles with thorpe/mason/Ewing/keem/oak. back when u had to be a man to score down low. hell even the 2 guards were mad physical. u can see why they traded Thorpe with how horry came on

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    Damn son you on a crusade to save JJ like he’s being picked up by a giant gorilla and being taken to the top of the empire state building.

    He’s a good player, and an All-star, but you know damn well that n!gga don’t deserve no $120Mill contract. Not even close. I’m a big Joe Johnson fan, I wanted him here in Chicago more than Wade or Lebron, just not for that amount of money. But keep it real man, the Hawks f^cked up their entire organization with the amount of money they gave that dude. They literally could get the same point production from Nick Young for 1/4th of the money.
    Does ATL need to make some moves? Hell yes. Can they? No.

    And you are acting like this triple OT loss to a Bosh lead Heat isn’t bad. Just look back at the loss to Chicago. ATL was up 19pts late in that game and ended up losing it. Where was Joey and his big shots then?
    How about last years playoffs vs Chicago. The bulls had Keith Bogans checking him for a large portion of games (along with loul deng at times). How does Joey not put 25-30pts on the bulls guards when he was the biggest match up problem for the them?
    instead Joey put up 20ppg with 3ast and 3reb. If that’s what you think is a baller who doesn’t deserve criticism then I can’t help you.

  • Dana Walker

    and Austin, that ATL team is AWFUL. They lost to Miami in 3OT, at home, without the Heat’s first, second, and third best players (Bosh is a stand in until they get a real PF). I said aloud (like my wife is listening) that if I were an ATL fan I would have no hope for this season. One of the announcers hit it on the head last night perfectly about ATL: They have a ton of role players that would be great on really good winning teams. They dont have that star player. First round exits will continue their way (so what they beat ORL last year, that team was as disjointed as any and I think just about any team that made the playoffs could have beat them last year)

  • Big Island

    The Hawks aren’t going anywhere. They are a good team, but that’s it. Nobody on that team is a guy you build your team around if you want to win a ring, and they don’t have enough guys to win via committee like the Pistons a few years back. Joe Johnson is overpaid. It’s not his fault. He didn’t get paid and then quit, or go nuts with guns in the locker room. He shows up, does his thing, and goes home. I can’t bad mouth the guy. He isn’t as good as a few people think he is, he isn’t a great player, he doesn’t make anyone around him better, but he is a really good player who would be a steal at half his going wage right now.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    I actually watch those 94 finals games instead of watching the OT’s of the Hawks vs Heat. Thats how terrible that game was to watch.

    Ewing and Hakeem were balling the f^ck out. Shyt was beautiful to watch.
    Otis Thorpe would probably be a top 5 PF in todays game. Dude was like Amare Stoudmire…the grown up version.

    The most surprising player i saw balling was Kenny Smith. The game I watch, Kenny was looking like Chauncey Billups. Derek Harper was talking shyt to him and hand checking the f^ck outta him. But Kenny composed himself to knock down some big shots.

  • http://Dimemag.com Panchitoooo

    Im so happy the Lakers finally got rid of Odom. Dumbass laker fans from everywhere were arguing with me how great Odom is and how much we need his type of talents on the Lakers. And now the same people can see what ive been preaching all these years when hes on the court for Dallas. I cant wait till the Lakers play the Mavs so McBob can dunk on his weak ass.

  • silky

    yea cassel too! chewing that fkn gum like a cow with crazy swagger. that hand checking is so weird to watch cuz we just don’t see it anymore… except on the street. I still don’t need reminders of how playing scared Charles smith was…. ugh

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    You’re right, @Chicagorilla, this morning while reading the Smack comments I decided to become a full-fledged Joe Johnson apologist. I’m not hiding from that.

    Does he “deserve” $120 million? Probably not. But who does? Did KG deserve that monster contract he had in Minnesota? Did Chris Johnson deserve his contract from the Titans? What I don’t get is why the venom from Joe’s contract is all directed at Joe rather than being directed at the Hawks. Maybe it’s because the Hawks don’t have a visible face of the front office. Who’s their owner? Who’s their GM? I can’t even name them off the top of my head. Maybe if this were New York and people could point to Dolan, or Minnesota and Kahn, it’d be different, but Joe seems to be the only good player in the league who gets hated on for his contract. In every other case it seems, it’s the management that gets hated on.

    And that goes back to my point: Joe is a GOOD player. Atlanta is a GOOD team. And that’s not the worst thing in the world as an NBA fan. You can focus on the negative if you want — bad games Johnson had, bad performances by ATL, big shots JJ missed — but I could just as easily focus on the positive:

    How about the fact that Johnson has been the best player on a Hawks team that has advanced to the Conference Semifinals three years in a row — not just last year, as @DanaWalker said — AND took the eventual champion Celtics to seven games the year before that streak began? Dwight Howard was getting serious MVP talk last season, and the Hawks sent him home in the first round. Where’s the credit for that? (Not just for Joe, for the whole team.)

    How about that from 2007 to 2011, only SIX players have averaged at least 20 points, 4 boards and 4 assists, and Joe Johnson is one of them? The others are LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, Monta and Stephen Jackson. And even if you wanna say S-Jack and Monta devalue that list, consider that they played for the up-tempo Warriors. Joe Johnson put up those numbers in Atlanta, where the Hawks ranked 23rd in the League in FGA per game during that span. So his team played at a much slower pace than Golden State yet his numbers still rival LeBron, Kobe and D-Wade.

    For every game you point to where Johnson wasn’t clutch, I can probably find a game where he was clutch. Remember, the Hawks have won more games than they lost over the past five years, so I’m guessing their best player had a little something to do with their ability to close.

    And I missed the part where Johnson was expected to put up 25-30 points on Bogans/Deng. Aren’t those two supposed to be great defenders? Wasn’t Chicago supposed to be a great defensive team? Didn’t Chicago also neutralize D-Wade in last year’s playoffs? The entire reason Bogans even started for the Bulls was his defense, and last time I checked, Deng was being hyped as one of the league’s best defenders. (Christmas Day 2011?) So where’s the shame in NOT lighting Deng/Bogans up?

    I never said Joe Johnson was above criticism. But I don’t get why it’s so strong an so unforgiving. I can think of about 14-20 NBA fan bases who would trade their experiences over the past five years with that of an Atlanta fan.

  • silky

    watchin classics you notice that another way games are crazy diff now is foul trouble. back then when the game centered around the bigs… foul trouble was sooo important, coaches had to manage minutes and rotations so much more with that in mind.

    now the emphasis is on wing players and guards. teams don’t really emphasize d as much(when was the last time we saw “no layups” enforced??). the bigs are increasingly content on the perimeter. coaches rotations and subs for key players are based on getting them rest and favorable matchups

    show me the blood! lol

  • K Dizzle

    Just so it’s clear…as a Laker fan, I voted to see TWolve-Bulls. Actually shocked that Lakers-Suns was the people’s choice. Thinkin on it now, shyt makes sense: Casual hoops fan don’t know that Rubio n Love could be the next big thing and that the Bulls could be the most complete squad in the l. Lakers are the biggest brand in the NBA so that’s what the casual fan will vote for. They just don’t know any better so I don’t agree with it, but I understand…

  • Sporty-j

    I have a question for Net fans. Would u guys like my Heatles to just sit Bosh down to on saturday to make the game fair? Holla back ladies and let me know?

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Sporty-J — Actually, if you could let New Jersey borrow D-Wade for the night, that’d be interesting.

  • Sporty-j

    No way they can borrow Wade or Lebron. But they can have Howard if they hurry up and for him by the trade deadline or else I think D-Will will be in Dallas with Howard joining after Odom gets brought out next year and Marion gets traded. Mark Cuban is up to something and I dont trust that sneaky bit&#. Dallas fans will ne alright by next year and Net fans will be left cheering for there savior>>>KIM KARDASHION in there beautiful new Arena…

  • CLAW

    Great now we have to hear from Sporty Spice talking smack till the playoffs and they nut up again? RuPaul was bringing it last night!

    You sure the NBA Game vote wasn’t from back in 2007? That would have been a good matchup!

    Silky and Chicagorilla don’t be talking about those old games, why you watching today’s basketball instead! Get on em AB!

    Gotta agree with AB, JJ was the 3rd best on the Suns and who wouldn’t take a nice $40 million pay increase over the Sun’s offering. He is still just a better than average player, occasional All Star, but his game has declined the last 2 years and was never a leader. He would say he would let his game and work ethic be his contribution to leadership, dude was naturally quiet. You can’t build around that.

    Played ball got some Subway and caught the end of the Bucks/Kings game and that was pretty entertaining. Tyreke and Marcus were doing work, as Cousins till he fouled out and said something to the ref as he was leaving (was a BS call). SJax looked terrible in the 4th, is he hurt or just old?

    Nice win by the Kings, and those fans are solid.

  • Sporty-j

    Im sorry-hurry up and trade for him

  • Sporty-j


    I did not know that they had GAY basketball parks in Pheonix. Did u win? Rodman is getting his own female stripper league. U and the GAY Owner of the Suns got ur own GAY league staring QQ as Micheal Jordan. Whats next? Big Island big boys league. Get back to work wussie and remember. Make that money and dont let it make u…

  • Chaos


    Actually Austin its not that we don’t like Joe, I think most of us are fans of his game and talent and wants him to succeed, lead his team to victory and a chip and prove us and others wrong…but being a fan we are waiting for him to be a killer and prove that 120 mil wasn’t a waste. I have seen him become that fourth quarter killer too few times when this should Joe-Joe time and doing what he needs to win. He should have that “fuck it! We ARE NOT LOSING THIS/SERIES” when it matters. Last night was an example of his time to shine. Without Wade and LBJ and owning an early victory vs the Heat, he shopuld have realize that it was time to own this team. Look at melo, even with some games they lost, he came in the fourth qtr trying to make people pay, at least on the offensive end. DWade does it, Kobe does it, Durant does it, Dirk does it. As the leader and SUPERSTAR, he needs to get nasty and make ppl pay for thinkin they can win.

  • Chaos

    Good is just good, but not GREAT…and great players know when to turn it on and take over

  • Big Island

    Sporty – My Big Boys league would trash your Sporty-J and the Salad Tossers squad any day of the week. And twice on Sundays.

    The reason nobody watches the old games is the same reasons nobody watches recorded games. You already know the outcome. We watch sports to see who wins, and who plays well. If I know Dallas lost but Dirk dropped 40, I don’t need to watch it. Or if he drops 6. Whatever it is, I want to see it happen, find out who wins, and be done. I can watch the highlights later.

    If you erased my memory, and I had no idea who won what game or the Championship, I find the NBA games from the 80’s and 90’s were more entertaining. If they showed an old game between the Lakers/Bulls/Celtics/Knicks/Seattle opposite a Nets/Bobcats/Kings matchup, I would watch the old game. Otherwise, I want to know what is happening NOW.

    Joe Johnson took a ton of money to play in a place he liked better than where he was playing. If anyone here got offered twice or 3 times as much money, to do your job in a place you like better, you would take it in a heartbeat. You would be overpaid, people would hate on you, but THEY offered it. If he took the money and didn’t try, then yeah, hate him. But he brings everything he has to the table every night. His everything isn’t as good as some other everythings though. I. Cannot. Hate. Joe. Johnson.

  • First & Foremost

    @AB, For the love of God I have no idea why you keep saying the Atlanta Hawks have fans. They play like 60 away games every year. For a team that has consistently made the playoffs, their “home” crowd is non-existent. It even got to the point that Joe Johnson called out his own “fans” for not showing support.

    Last night when Lebron and Wade came out in street clothes, that literally sucked the air out of the building. I know people in the south have been laid back ever since losing the civil war but their arena is nicknamed “The Highlight Factory.” With Al Horford’s putback in the first half I’d be willing to bet 70% of the crowd was watching to see if Lebron still bites his nails.

    As for the Hawks blowing up their team, completely may be harsh but major moves need to be made. The Franchise has held on to too many pieces that aren’t getting any better.

    Starting with Joe Johnson, he averages 20-4-4 because his usage rate is d*** near 92%[not to be taken as a factual statement]. He is Lebron-lite in that department, constantly dribbling the air out of the ball. Next we have Josh Smith. Can you trade the local product? Probably not, his HS probably has a row in the upper level just for them. Can he somehow find a way to get better? Probably not, as gifted as he is his longest stretch of good games tops out at 4. WTF is he? Is he a 3, is he a 4, can he shoot, can he post up, can he hit free throws, can he not cry after every call? He has the pieces to put up all around numbers and he has shown glimpses of that but come the f*** on, he should be in the top 15 OF THE LEAGUE but he can barely be considered the in the top 15 of either forward spot. Al Horford, not his fault he is the biggest starting caliber Center on his team so I’ll give him a pass. Exhibit D – Marvin Williams. How many f*****g passes will this dude get. Similar to Josh, WTF is he? By the time you answer that question, he will probably run out of “potential”.

    Anywhere from 1-3 of those guys needs to be moved. But the Hawks have reasoned with themselves to keep all of them at all costs. Joe can’t be traded since he is the workhorse, statistically. Josh Smith can’t be traded due to hometown loyalty. Horford can’t be traded because you need a legit big. [Smith for Cousins straight up if Cousins is still available]. Marvin Williams can’t be traded because he was the lottery pick taken ahead of that one guy and that other guy, you know… the ones that keep making All-Star games and are considered franchise changing point men. The Hawks have created a log jam at the 4 position for no real reason and because of that that will neither rise nor fall. But everyone seems content with that. They beat the teams they are supposed to beat, and they play the contenders tough. But that is like being a solid B student your entire academic career. You know you need to study a little bit harder to get to that A or give up some habit to get better grades but you knowingly choose not to strive to be better. You could have gone to Princeton but you opt to go to Strayer.

    Let’s revisit this string on First round playoff victories.
    2007 Celtics – Moral victory
    2008 Heat – Each convincing win was followed by an equally convincing loss.
    2009 Bogut-less Bucks – Ref: 2008 Heat
    2010 Orlando Magic – Bottom line, they won.

    All in all, this team has grown together but they WON’T get any better. They have too many people hiding behind the “potential” label.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • First & Foremost

    @Big Island, I know a dude who was watching ESPN classics and wanted to BET on an Ali fight. Apparently their is a market for older sporting events.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I like watching old games to pick up on things I missed when I was a kid, or maybe just happened to miss last week. I remember Michael Jordan dropped 55 on the Knicks, but I don’t mind seeing HOW he got the 55 from an older, different perspective. Or maybe I missed the Spurs/Mavs game last night and I wanna see just how bad Dallas was. I don’t mind watching it even though it’s old news.

    @First & Foremost — I agree that the Hawks shouldn’t be complacent and should keep looking to make moves. I just don’t think they need to get rid of their foundation because they’ve “only” made it to the 2nd round year after year. If they can trade Marvin for something better, absolutely do that. Teague? Sure. I’m not a huge fan of Josh Smith, so if there’s a good deal on the table I’d maybe trade him too. But I would definitely keep Johnson and Horford, and wouldn’t even be too quick to unload Smith just because it’s something to do.

    It will take a significant leap forward by at least two of their Big Three in order for Atlanta to really become a true championship contender. Horford is young enough to maybe pull it off, but I think Josh and Joe kind of are what they are at this point. MAYBE Josh could develop a better jumper as he relies less on his athleticism. The main thing I’m saying is that what Joe and Josh are, though, should be good enough for a lot of people.

  • Ian

    horford is the best hawk you can keep jj

  • CLAW

    I need a Sporty Spice translator, but anytime you want to come to the Valley of the Sun see how those “gays” ball. Got a nice Harry Potter scar from a shot to the head and bruised my elbow on a dude’s melon. So it was a good day.

    Isn’t it crazy to watch old games, how the ball flowed and how many points they scored and always breaking. Damn, you think that would translate today with not being able to touch an offensive player.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @BIg Is

    I might be in the minority here, but I love to watch old games. Even going back to the 60s/70s. My only issue is that NBAtv seems to only want to show Celtics or Lakers games. They have footage of Dr. J when he was young, David Thompson, Artis Gilmore, Connie Hawkins, Clyde Frazier and Earl the Pearl but they insist on showing the same replay games of Bos vs whoever or LA vs whoever. Shyt gets irritating after a while.

    As for current games, when I’m out and im recording a game I make it a point to avoid having people tell me the score (not always successful in that lol). But if I somehow end up hearing or seeing the score, If it was a good game then I still go home and watch it. Even the Bulls games that replay the next day I’ll watch those sometimes if they were good. Of course it’s different for me because as a coach I keep my note pad and pencil close by just in case I see a play I can use or if i get an idea from something ive seen.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Chicagorilla — THANK YOU. I’m thinking NBA TV should have access to all kinds of gems, but they only wanna show Lakers, Celtics and Jordan games.

    I wanna see Alex English facing Dominique Wilkins, or Isiah Thomas vs John Stockton, or even some 90s Shawn Kemp vs Karl Malone games. Maybe I’m in the minority too, but it doesn’t always HAVE to be Magic, Bird or Jordan for me.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Austin – You hit the nail on the head. We ARE the minority. I’d love to see old footage of top 50 players at work. Gimme some Artis Gilmore, Nate Thurmond, Pistol Pete, Dave Bing, Oscar n Kareem, Unseld’s Bullets, championship Sonics, Run TMC, but we the minority. The majority only knows Magic, Larry n Mike and that’s who the NBA is targeting now.
    Exhibit A: Lakers/Suns won the fan night voting? I love my Lakers but I could give a shyt bout that game. Guess majority rules…

  • Dana Walker

    Austin I stand corrected but…of all the playoff teams that have been in it in the past few years when the Hawks have, the Hawks are either the last team you pick or the second to last team you pick to win it all. Seriously, last night was the worst game I have watched in my short memory…a depleted Heat team battling a full Hawks team, yet 3OTs. Thats pathetic. I found myself wishing Wade and James were healthy just to see how badly the Hawks would have been stomped. Stats dont mean shit either, so what JJ averaged that, thats like the old thing where said player averaged 20, 7, 7, or said player averaged 25, 5, 5. They always come up with some kind of stats to make that player look like they are doing something. JJ is at best your third option on a good team and at worst, your first option on a mediocre team…like he is currently.

  • First & Foremost

    You’d think they have those clips. FACT: There is not a complete taping of Super Bowl I.

    So the NBA spent 149 days crying wolf about the small market teams not being able to survive. The NBA also has its own tv station. Shouldn’t it promote small market games if it cared about small market teams. Tonight you have ATL-CHA; CLE-MIN; DEN-NOH yet they choose to play a LAL game.

    The league realizes that the only way to get people to include NBA TV with their sports package is to play the big market teams. I’m not buying NBA TV to see Toronto play. I’m buying it as an inexpensive alternative to league pass but still get decent games every so often.

    The NBA is well aware that their selection of classics and modern games is small.

  • Big Island

    Chicagorilla and F&F – An Ali fight is a different animal. I could watch those a hundred times. As far as Chi, it sounds like you study the game more than just watch it. And I would totally tell you the score just to be a dick.

    A couple of years ago when the Lakers were in the Finals against the Celtics, we had a softball game during game 7. We had a couple guys just say “fuck it, I’m out”. I was in the middle of my 19th NBA boycott because the officiating was SO BAD, so I showed up to the game and didn’t even care about the score of the Lakers game. We had something like 8 guys who were recording it and they were all going to go watch the game after softball. One of the dudes on the other team brought his 13 year old son to the game and he kept yelling out the score. Somewhere in the 3rd quarter/5th inning the guys on my team flipped out. Grown ass men telling a 13 year old that he was going to get the shit kicked out of him. I tell the kid that he is good, but he has to not yell out the score. The kid’s dad came up like he was going to hit me. Very calmly, I said “Ask your kid what I told him, and then think long and hard about what you want to do next.” He started to say something and I interrupted him with the old “I don’t like to fight, but if you want to, just ask. It can be arranged, but I will wear you the fuck out. In front of your kid, he’ll cry, and in front of your friends, none of whom will help you once I start.” So he calms down, the kid shuts up, and we actually won the softball game. As everyone is leaving, mind you, I live in LA, we all do, and cars are driving around honking and crap so you KNOW the Lakers won, I check my phone and say “Holy shit! The Lakers won!!!”, and SPRINT to my truck. Fastest I have run in years, and I haven’t run as fast since.

    Long story short, almost fought a guy for his kid blurting the score, then steal his glory and blurt it out myself. Fuck yeah.

  • Big Island

    And I know for a fact I totally didn’t sound all Clint Eastwood cool when I was saying that stuff, so please don’t read it that way.

  • control

    Anyone who watched the Chi-Lando game…tell me why is Joan-Kim getting the ball on offense at ALL? Other than offensive rebounds, which is he actually decent at, he is completely useless. That ugly mother fucker got passed the ball over 30 times, which ended up being a wasted pass most of the time, because he would just pass it to the closest person to him and set a moving screen, then he jumps around like an idiot waving his hands like he’s open. The few times he actually made a move with the ball, he threw up some horrible looking lay up, or just looked like an asshole. He is horrible at defense as well, Dwight isn’t an offensive master by any means, but he was completely bullying that ugly bastard. Boozer, who is a HORRIBLE defender was defending Howard 10x better, same with Taj Gibson.

    Glenn Davis is actually more useless than Noah, other than being a fat pylon, I don’t see how or why this guy is in the nba. The guy can make funny faces, smell like butter, look fat, and set a fat pick on guys (who are probably drizzled in grease after running into that chunk of blubber).

    I hate ny, but I’m glad that asshole who was guarding Melo on the Wiz ended up losing. Sure he took a small bow to the face, but he held his face like someone just curb stomped him, and thrashed around trying to get an offensive foul instead of guarding Melo. If the guy wants to be a dick, and cry to refs instead of playing defense, he can go fuck himself.

  • Lebron

    A lot of Atlanta bashing. Miami did still have bosh. They still had the best player on the court. Yes, Atlanta should have won, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. It was only a little luck going miami’s way that swung it against them (Atlanta).

  • trollne1

    33 shots for Melo wow. And they barely won against the stinking cadavers of the Wizards.

    People hate on Joe and his fat contract cause when he was rewarded that contract, people expected more from him. People expected him to improve. At least people were hoping that 06-07 wasn’t a fluke. Fans were expecting him to reach his prime since he was approaching his peak years. Nobody was expecting he would roll off the curve pretty fast. It doesn’t help that he shoots in the low 40s%. You may see it as management’s fault, but shouldn’t the player reward management that trust by doing more to help his team win?

    But hey, that’s guaranteed contracts for you.

    In the real world, if someone offers me 3x my current salary, then hell yes I would accept it. But of course I have to work 3x as hard and produce results 3x as much to justify that salary. Otherwise, I would get fired.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    control, even when I disagree with you, I end up laughing my ass off.

    I get NBAtv. I watch the classics games all the time. But I swear I’ve seen every game in the NY-HOU Finals at least twice, and that’s just after 3 months of watching.