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Unfortunately, this was a miss. Goodnight Atlanta. You were maybe the 2nd most pleasant surprise of the post-season. (Grizzlies)

Unfortunately, this was a miss. Goodnight Atlanta. You were maybe the 2nd most pleasant surprise of the post-season. (Grizzlies)

Watch Joe Johnson earn $5.23 of his $120,000,000 contract. 

Keith Bogans forgot to buckle up as Joe hit the breaks and sent him flying. He’s going to need some ankle therapy after that crossover.

Also facepalm myself for messing up the series record, it’s actually tied 2-2. One good thing about that mistake was that I learned that this blog has a lot of angry Bulls fans. 

@Suga_Shane

The Woefully Misinformed and Wildly Inaccurate 2011 Playoff Report

While the Lakers Nation and Red’s Army clings onto hope that their veteran squads can pull off miraculous comebacks, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the NBA is heading back to 2006. Remember 2006? Songs like "Laffy Taffy" and "Bad Day" dominated the airwaves and a little show called, “The Hills” became an overnight pop culture senstation. It’s not that 2006 was bad year by any stretch of the imagination, I’m just not ready or eager to go back yet.

As much as I wanted to see the peak of basketball’s new wave meet in a mid west showdown, I have to face the facts. We all have to face that fact, we’re going to see the Big 2 of Miami Heat battle the unstoppable scoring machine Dirk Notwizki and the ridiculously deep bench of the Mavericks. It would a great series, no doubt and finally usher in LeBron James’ era as the king of the Association. However, this potential Finals match up seems to lack the sizzle of a Heat-Lakers final or a Lakers-Celtics final or a Heat-Thunder final or Bulls-Lakers or even Grizzlies-Heat final.

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Perhaps my own issues with Mavs owner Mark Cuban is preventing me from enjoying the idea of a Mavs-Heat final. I do not like Cuban. I think his shirts are too tight and as a Lakers fan, it sucks that Cuban’s team could potentially (and most likely) end Phil Jackson’s last playoff tour. The gloating will be even more insufferable and the t-shirts will become even more tighter than before. Cuban could proudly beat his chest and say that he was responsible for sending the Lakers into a summer of despair of turmoil.

Yes, Cuban is an ideal sports owner because he cares about his team, but at times, it’s a bit too much.

Other than finding a replacement for Phil Jackson, the Staples faithful (upper bowl/300 section people) will dominate sports talk radio airwaves with trade discussions and an eagerness to start a petition to force Derek Fisher into retirement. Since the game with the Mavs in late March (the one where Matt Barnes got into with Jason Terry), the Lakers obviously fell apart and expelled whatever energy they had on the court that night and haven’t been able to find it since. Perhaps, it is time for the Lakers to rebuild with those lofty ambitions of trading for Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in the off season and unloading the apparently loathsome Pau Gasol and the injured prone Andrew Bynum. You know the same game plan that the Knicks hope to work soon in the upcoming off season (pending a lock out).

Yet there’s so much to be excited about in the NBA Playoffs! For example, the jawing and slight shoves between everybody’s new favorite player, Zach Randolph and the stoned face Kendrick Perkins of the OK City Thunder. I can only imagine if the two were actually allowed to throw down, it would be a tussle on par with the Rock and Vin Diesel tussle in Fast Five. Then again, after watching Fast Five, nothing in this current round of the NBA Playoffs seems as exciting. The much ballyhooed Heat-Celtics series has been as engaging as a game of 52 pick up.

The Bulls-Hawks match up has been about as sloppy a couple of Captain Karl Sloppy Unjoe’s. The playoffs where we expected Derrick Rose to rise to that next level and become a megastar hasn’t exactly happened yet. It’s been a struggle. Every victory for Da Bulls has been struggle.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It’ll be a struggle to get the pass the Hawks and it doesn’t seem like Da Bulls will be lucky enough to struggle all their way to the finals. Unless, you get bonus points every time Carlos Boozer yells something after an offensive play. 

Yet there is a positive amongst the muck of the second round, Memphis Grizzlies V. Oklahoma City Thunder. Aside from the ZBo-Kendrick Perkins tension, there’s the apparently heavily tattooed Kevin Durant scoring a bunch of points, Russell Westbrook is taking too many shots, Grizzlies’ head coach Lionel Hollins’ great suits, the controlled chaos of Tony Allen and of course, Marc Gasol is playing the way his older brother used to play. If we can hang our hats on anything, it’s this series. Also, Zach Randolph is quickly becoming one of the most popular players in the league and it’s been fun to watch. I just wish that ZBo could jump.

If the NBA is heading back towards a 2006 flashback, we can only hope that the Mavs don’t get jobbed by the officials again. We can also hope that Kenny Smith raps again.

Verrrrrry excited for this matchup. Two of the tournament’s overwhelming favorites, both for different reasons, are squaring off today.
The Bulls logo needs no introduction, as we remember a certain 23 boosted it to undeniable prominence in the 90s. The Hawks logo is only 6 years older, but boasts a completely different look, a classic and fresh take to be sure.
This also mirrors the actual NBA playoffs… but you can affect the outcome of this one. Get voting! (and don’t forget to eat your Wheaties)

Verrrrrry excited for this matchup. Two of the tournament’s overwhelming favorites, both for different reasons, are squaring off today.

The Bulls logo needs no introduction, as we remember a certain 23 boosted it to undeniable prominence in the 90s. The Hawks logo is only 6 years older, but boasts a completely different look, a classic and fresh take to be sure.

This also mirrors the actual NBA playoffs… but you can affect the outcome of this one. Get voting! (and don’t forget to eat your Wheaties)

Rebounds can be highlights, too. Because everything in Atlanta is a highlight: the rim shops, the roller rinks, the strip malls, the strip clubs; even shot selection.
Josh Smith, maybe more than any other player in the league, is applicable to the city for which he plays. If you’re going to shoot that three, rock that three. It’s sugar sweet breezes in a city fueled on gangsta dreams. Roll up your sleeves, blow out some bubble, then take a big ole’ sweet country swing at it.
-SlapClap

Rebounds can be highlights, too. Because everything in Atlanta is a highlight: the rim shops, the roller rinks, the strip malls, the strip clubs; even shot selection.

Josh Smith, maybe more than any other player in the league, is applicable to the city for which he plays. If you’re going to shoot that three, rock that three. It’s sugar sweet breezes in a city fueled on gangsta dreams. Roll up your sleeves, blow out some bubble, then take a big ole’ sweet country swing at it.

-SlapClap

Look At This Hawks Fan.

Look At This Hawks Fan.

NBA Playoffs Throwback: Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls, 1993 Eastern Conference First Round; Jordan coasting. 0:55 for just an insane play.

*Game 1, 8PM Monday on TNT

Zaza Pachulia and Hedo Turkoglu tentatively square off, each desperately wishing that a teammate would arrive to hold him back from a fight he’s not willing to have.
(AP photo)

Zaza Pachulia and Hedo Turkoglu tentatively square off, each desperately wishing that a teammate would arrive to hold him back from a fight he’s not willing to have.

(AP photo)

Everything about this shot was pure Jamal Crawford. 
With under 30 seconds left in a 1-point game Atlanta was up and Orlando chose not to foul. Jamal, who lives for moments like these, decided to end the game in the only way he knows how, an incredible yet brainless banked 3-pointer from 30 feet out. 
My favorite part of all of this was the behind the back with the dribble he tossed in there for absolutely no reason at all (except for the fact that he is Jamal Crawford).
Fancy stuff. 
By the way, don’t forget to check out Evan’s tumblr, litandbasketball, where basketball meets literary classics. It’s a fresh take on basketball. 
-@Suga_Shane
litandbasketball:


Most things are predestined, but some are just darn sheer luck.

- Lucy M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

Everything about this shot was pure Jamal Crawford. 

With under 30 seconds left in a 1-point game Atlanta was up and Orlando chose not to foul. Jamal, who lives for moments like these, decided to end the game in the only way he knows how, an incredible yet brainless banked 3-pointer from 30 feet out. 

My favorite part of all of this was the behind the back with the dribble he tossed in there for absolutely no reason at all (except for the fact that he is Jamal Crawford).

Fancy stuff. 

By the way, don’t forget to check out Evan’s tumblr, litandbasketball, where basketball meets literary classics. It’s a fresh take on basketball. 

-@Suga_Shane

litandbasketball:

Most things are predestined, but some are just darn sheer luck.

- Lucy M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

In Case You Missed It….

Atlanta Hawks big man Zaza Pachulia and Orlando Magic scorer Jason Richard got into a bit of a tussle. Heavy emphasis on bit, less emphasis on tussle.

(by dportal2006)

Hi, gotta make this quick because flying to Atlanta for research study on prefrontal cortex inside Jamal Crawford’s brain to see if it has ability to reason the limits of possibility, okay bai bye.

~SlapClap

You can be sure, Etan Thomas will be sending an angry haiku to the Orlando locker room after this game.
(AP photo)

You can be sure, Etan Thomas will be sending an angry haiku to the Orlando locker room after this game.

(AP photo)

Series Preview: #4 Orlando vs. #5 Atlanta
Last year, two teams met in the playoffs, and one of them was booed off the court by their own fans after a four-game sweep. That team pretty much stayed with the status quo. Their superstar, so maligned in last year’s series, was re-signed to a six-year contract extension. At midseason, they swapped one overpaid aging point guard for a younger overpaid point guard. There’s a new coach that no one listens to in place of the old coach that no one listened to. Otherwise, the Hawks said, “We’re good.” 
Orlando, the team that swept the series, blew up their entire team, taking on millions of dollars in future salary commitments. They acquired the second-saddest player in the league, Gilbert Arenas, but managed to lose the saddest, Vince Carter. Orlando is doing everything it can to keep Dwight Howard from leaving when his contract expires in 2012, and he’s totally leaving.

Everyone involved in this series is either waiting to move on to a different place, haunted by their past, or resigned to never leaving. Sometimes it’s all three! Let’s take a look:
Coach Stan Van Gundy: Still haunted by Pat Riley’s betrayal in 2005, which cost him a chance to coach a team to the championship. Other heartbreaks include Courtney Lee’s inability to tip in a lob, Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting, and the tighter dress code regulations for NBA coaches.
Coach Larry Drew: It’s the first coaching job for this longtime assistant coach, and considering how much attention his players pay to him, it’s also going to be his last. And his son left the North Carolina basketball team after losing his starting job at midseason.
Gilbert Arenas: The former Agent Zero was broken by last year’s gun charges and suspension. He got traded by the Wizards, though realistically, he was exiled. His knees don’t work anymore. He doesn’t play pranks anymore. He got served with child support papers at halftime in February. Once his shark tank gets repossessed, his will to live will disappear for good.  

Joe Johnson:  “If I told you that Joe Johnson had really died thirty years ago, and what we know as Joe Johnson is actually a basketball-playing ghost, would you be surprised?”
"Not at all." (A real conversation I overheard this week.)
He got booed off the court last year, but since Atlanta paid him way more than anyone else, he still re-signed with them. And his contract makes him untradeable. Even if he does manage to tell someone the secret that will let him move on to the afterlife, he still has five years left on his deal to dwell in the purgatory of Atlanta.
Hedo Turkoglu: Left Orlando for big money in Toronto, which both parties regretted immediately. Now he’s back in Orlando, the only team that would trade for his terrible contract. He’s like a kid who leaves home to start his own business, then the business fails, his parents bail him out of debt, and then he moves right back home. Though this time, he’s living above the garage instead of in his old bedroom. I mean, it’s practically like an apartment!
Marvin Williams: The second pick of the 2005 Draft, he might as well be nicknamed “Not Chris Paul or Deron” Williams. On the plus side, at least he’s not Shelden Williams.
J.J. Redick: He’s J.J. Redick.
Jason Collins: Whenever he joins a new team, he’s convinced that the organization really wanted his twin brother Jarron instead, and that his entire NBA career is a lie.

Ryan Anderson: Even Brook Lopez won’t call him when he comes to Orlando, even though he knows how much Anderson loves going to Disney World!
Josh Smith: He tried to escape Atlanta by signing an offer sheet with the Grizzlies, but the Hawks matched and kept him. That’s right: Smith wanted out of Atlanta so bad, he was willing to go to Memphis. But he’s trapped.
Who’s the saddest? The NBA, who can’t believe one of these teams, by rule, must advance to the second round. That’s why they’re hiding this series on NBATV. Why couldn’t the Knicks couldn’t get it together and grab the five seed and spare us all?
(Sean Keane)

Series Preview: #4 Orlando vs. #5 Atlanta

Last year, two teams met in the playoffs, and one of them was booed off the court by their own fans after a four-game sweep. That team pretty much stayed with the status quo. Their superstar, so maligned in last year’s series, was re-signed to a six-year contract extension. At midseason, they swapped one overpaid aging point guard for a younger overpaid point guard. There’s a new coach that no one listens to in place of the old coach that no one listened to. Otherwise, the Hawks said, “We’re good.” 

Orlando, the team that swept the series, blew up their entire team, taking on millions of dollars in future salary commitments. They acquired the second-saddest player in the league, Gilbert Arenas, but managed to lose the saddest, Vince Carter. Orlando is doing everything it can to keep Dwight Howard from leaving when his contract expires in 2012, and he’s totally leaving.

Everyone involved in this series is either waiting to move on to a different place, haunted by their past, or resigned to never leaving. Sometimes it’s all three! Let’s take a look:

Coach Stan Van Gundy: Still haunted by Pat Riley’s betrayal in 2005, which cost him a chance to coach a team to the championship. Other heartbreaks include Courtney Lee’s inability to tip in a lob, Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting, and the tighter dress code regulations for NBA coaches.

Coach Larry Drew: It’s the first coaching job for this longtime assistant coach, and considering how much attention his players pay to him, it’s also going to be his last. And his son left the North Carolina basketball team after losing his starting job at midseason.

Gilbert Arenas: The former Agent Zero was broken by last year’s gun charges and suspension. He got traded by the Wizards, though realistically, he was exiled. His knees don’t work anymore. He doesn’t play pranks anymore. He got served with child support papers at halftime in February. Once his shark tank gets repossessed, his will to live will disappear for good.  

Joe Johnson:  “If I told you that Joe Johnson had really died thirty years ago, and what we know as Joe Johnson is actually a basketball-playing ghost, would you be surprised?”

"Not at all." (A real conversation I overheard this week.)

He got booed off the court last year, but since Atlanta paid him way more than anyone else, he still re-signed with them. And his contract makes him untradeable. Even if he does manage to tell someone the secret that will let him move on to the afterlife, he still has five years left on his deal to dwell in the purgatory of Atlanta.

Hedo Turkoglu: Left Orlando for big money in Toronto, which both parties regretted immediately. Now he’s back in Orlando, the only team that would trade for his terrible contract. He’s like a kid who leaves home to start his own business, then the business fails, his parents bail him out of debt, and then he moves right back home. Though this time, he’s living above the garage instead of in his old bedroom. I mean, it’s practically like an apartment!

Marvin Williams: The second pick of the 2005 Draft, he might as well be nicknamed “Not Chris Paul or Deron” Williams. On the plus side, at least he’s not Shelden Williams.

J.J. Redick: He’s J.J. Redick.

Jason Collins: Whenever he joins a new team, he’s convinced that the organization really wanted his twin brother Jarron instead, and that his entire NBA career is a lie.

Ryan Anderson: Even Brook Lopez won’t call him when he comes to Orlando, even though he knows how much Anderson loves going to Disney World!

Josh Smith: He tried to escape Atlanta by signing an offer sheet with the Grizzlies, but the Hawks matched and kept him. That’s right: Smith wanted out of Atlanta so bad, he was willing to go to Memphis. But he’s trapped.

Who’s the saddest? The NBA, who can’t believe one of these teams, by rule, must advance to the second round. That’s why they’re hiding this series on NBATV. Why couldn’t the Knicks couldn’t get it together and grab the five seed and spare us all?

(Sean Keane)

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