So, how is everybody doing on all-star weekend?
If you’re like me, you’ve put more effort and attention on something else. Namely, Valentine’s Day. A full living room suite of furniture, a restructured garage, one glitzy expensive card, some chocolate-dipped strawberries and….wait a minute. Did I even get anything today? Maybe I’ll have to settle for watching the All-Star game in peace. Heh. We’ll see. Truth be told, I didn’t care to watch Steve Nash prove to the young guns that his fundamentals are sharper than theirs, or Kevin Durant win a game of HORSE, or Nate Robinson be given the Slam Dunk Contest again just because he’s short (okay that was a low blow…uh, no pun intended…really, I mean it), and I still haven’t read to see who won the other stuff. But I will watch the game. Maybe. I might get waylaid by a romantic movie instead. Ah well. That’s what the DVR is for. I do regret missing the Rookie/Sophomore game, though.
Two Hawks For Once
So much of this game isn’t serious, but in the end both sides do want to win (bragging rights and all that) and you always want the guys representing your favorite team to win. So, here’s to hoping that Al Horford doesn’t look star struck out there or try to do too much. On the other end of the spectrum, here’s to hoping that Joe Johnson doesn’t go scoreless like last year. Unless of course, he just doesn’t take any shots. Then again, does any of it really matter? What DOES matter is that the Hawks have representation twice over in the all-star game this year. When is the last time that happened? To be honest, I really couldn’t tell you off the top of my head. Maybe next year it will be three Hawks in the all-star game. Maybe not. Who knows? By the way, I came across an interview article with Al Horford on Hoopshype.com. In it, Horford talks about producing more on the offensive end. Well, that’s one way of saying it, anyhow. To be honest, it’s sort of a short interview (nothing at all wrong with that) , and Al is nicely diplomatic (nothing wrong with that either. But the part about his offense is what caught my attention. Here’s the link:
As usual, things are pretty quiet in Hawksville when it comes to trade rumors and what not. There was a quick byline on one site mentioning that the Hawks had some interest in Kurt Thomas, but as usual, all quiet on the western front, as they say.
In fact, more noise has been made about two of the “Big Three” making moves in the East, or about Joe Johnson’s impending free agency at the end of the season. So will the Celtics make a swing for Antawn Jamison? I wouldn’t put it past them. But perhaps the juicier and more dramatic move is the “eminent” deal that will bring Amare Stoudamire to the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Cavs make that move, it’s clearly to do one thing: win a championship this year. Will it work? That’s another story. But if there’s any truth to the rumor, or even just the desire of the Cavaliers to do such a deal, it has to be because they want to jettison one large, slow center, and add a quality big man who can score. How that works is Mike Brown’s headache. Seriously, would you want to be him after a trade like this? You get another all-star added to your team, one who will be reunited with Shaq (whom he didn’t play so well with in Phoenix) and who might add chemistry issues. Oh, and if you don’t win it all with him, your job’s in danger. Believe it…..
Back In The Saddle
When the Hawks come back from the all-star break, it’s business as usual. Better yet, it’s a bucket of cold water. They’ll embark on a 4-game western conference road trip that may just give them more than jet lag. It all starts against the Clippers, but that game will be followed by visits to Phoenix, Golden State, and Utah. The good news is that the Clippers don’t scare anybody on a good day, and the Hawks already have beaten them once. The bad news is that they are potent enough to beat the Hawks if they come in too rusty or nonchalantly. Golden State is a shoot-out waiting to happen if the Hawks don’t keep it under control (but they can win easily if they play their game). The two toughies figure to be Phoenix and Utah. Phoenix has gone 6 and 4 in their last 10 games, and like the Hawks, they lost one right before the break. However, they have two things the Hawks hate to face the most: a good point guard and plenty of guys who can hit it from the outside. The Hawks have one thing that Phoenix hates to face the most: Jamal Crawford!
All that being said, the biggest test will be against Utah. Right now, they’re the second hottest team in the NBA with a 9 and 1 record in their last ten games. Only the Lebrons are better (10-0). I don’t know what Jerry Sloan has those guys drinking, but something tells me it’s better than what Bugs Bunny was selling in Space Jam. Sloan’s crew is normally quite disciplined, but these guys are playing like they want the playoffs to start tomorrow. Are they going to keep it up, or will the heat fade a little as the normally tough second half of the season looms? Hard to tell.
Anyway, back to the all-star game and the hijinks that are sure to come. Who wins this time, East or West?