HAWKSVILLE - You’ve got to love Mike Bibby.
Aside from being hilarious, no player in a Hawks uniform is more likely to surprise you with what comes out of his mouth than the savvy point guard.
While most everyone else roaming the bowels of Philips Arena last night was either dazed and or confused as to what had just transpired (the Hawks’ 90-64 thrashing of the Heat in Game 1 of their first round playoff series), Bibby was already pumping the brakes.
That’s what veterans do, even after blowout wins. They provide gravity that others might not realize is needed.
Bibby surely remembers the talk in Boston last year after the Hawks were routed in Game 1. People there were proclaiming the series was over and the Celtics would sweep the Hawks.
Six games later the series was over. But it was much harder work than anyone could have imagined after Game 1.
Bibby is well aware that the Hawks need to pump the brakes today. Game 2 is Wednesday night and it’s every bit as crucial to the Hawks’ chances of winning this series as Game 1.
“This series is 0-0 as far as I’m concerned,” Bibby said. “It’s a brand new series Wednesday night.”
JOSH SMITH IS …
I stopped reading my text messages and emails midway through the third quarter. I didn’t think there was any other way people could express to me how stunned they were to see Josh Smith’s high-flying act.
My best friend, Ivory “Twit” Brooks (a Seattle native and school principal in Oakland with a basketball jones like many of you here) hit me repeatedly with messages like, “Josh Smith is a #$%&! beast,” and “this is ridiculous, truly.”
And his notes were just the beginning. The onslaught came from every direction. It was hilarious reading the reactions of people watching all this stuff in HD while also seeing the reactions of the folks in the arena who were watching it live.
Like many people, Twit rarely sees the Hawks (when the Hawks play the Warriors in Oakland or one of the rare occasions when they’re on national TV. So he’s always taken aback by the Hawks’ wicked athleticism and penchant for alley oops and spectacular plays.
“Why don’t they play like this all the time?” his final text read.
If he only knew how many times that phrase is uttered around here.
SOUTH FLORIDA REPORT
Mark Bradley has whipped up enough links and polls to make your head spin in the latest installment of Bradley’s Buzz (I was still snoring when he did all that work).
I’ve got a couple more interesting things you might want to read from our visitors from the MIA.
My man Chris Perkins caught up with Heat owner Mickey Arison and team president Pat Riley before the game, and as you might expect, they were still optimistic then.
I didn’t realize just how poorly Dwyane Wade played Sunday night until I read Mike Wallace’s story in the Miami Herald a few minutes ago. Wade had nearly half of Heat’s 19 turnovers. That’s crazy.
Ira Winderman highlighted former Hawks and now Heat assistant coach David Fizdale and the unique role he’ll play in this series going forward. Fizdale left the Hawks last summer after being one of the key figures in the development of many of the Hawks’ young players that abused the Heat last night.
Orlando is actually in “Central Florida,” but they’re in much the same predicament as their neighbors down South Beach way after Sunday’s humiliating home loss to the Andre Iguodala and the 76ers.
Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi let the Magic have it after they blew not only home court advantage but also an 18-point lead.
FOR YOU STAT GEEKS OUT THERE
Much will be made about the Hawks’ balance in this series, and rightfully so.
It was on full display in Game 1, the folks at Elias Sports made sure of it with this little statistical ditty: The Hawks got double-digit scoring from all five of their starters in their 90-64 victory over the Heat. It was the third time in Atlanta’s last eight playoff games (dating back to last year’s series against the Celtics) that Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Mike Bibby each scored at least 10 points. Prior to last postseason, the Hawks didn’t produce double-digit scoring from all five of their starters in a playoff game since 1999 (Steve Smith, Dikembe Mutombo, Grant Long, Tyrone Corbin and Mookie Blaylock).