About the story

For those of you who turned in after the game ended, an interesting thing happened on the blog after I posted my first version of the story. Let’s just say that a handful of posts on the blog questioned my mental acuity and my fitness to cover the team, in large part because the story did not mention the shot-clock situation that happened with about two minutes left in the game. (I don’t think it’s up anymore, as it has been replaced by the later version.)

In the interest of transparency, and because you might find what we do on our end interesting, I hope I can explain what happened.

Basically, I missed it. Here’s why, and hopefully this comes across as an explanation and not me making excuses:

The first story that I posted has to be filed right as the game ends, or shortly thereafter, before I go to the locker room. It’s called the “running” game story. We write them and post them online immediately to give readers the news as quickly as possible before going to the locker room to get comment. It isn’t meant to be the paper’s final word on a game, but the first edition of the news. Generally speaking, I’ll file a second story, with quotes, which is ideally written with a little more perspective and thought, about 90 minutes after the game ends. That’s called the “write-through,” and it’s the version that goes in the paper (provided the game ends in time) and replaces the originally posted online story.

Given that it has to be written as the game is going on, the running game story is generally not the most insightful account of the game, at least when I write them. A lot of times, running game stories end up being a recitation of plays, but what I try to do (though not always successfully, as we’ve all learned) is provide some sort of picture of why the Hawks won or lost and what that means.

In a game like Wednesday’s, whether the Hawks win or lose isn’t known until the very end. So, Wednesday, I was piecing together a “Hawks win” story and a “Hawks lose” story as the game was finishing. In addition, I was trying to follow the action and take notes. And, the kicker, in this instance, was that I was seated a good distance away from the court with no television nearby for replays.

(This is an aside. Please skip if you’re not much for asides.) I don’t know if you’d call it an inefficiency or ironic, but, at least as I’ve found writing a game story on deadline, I often don’t get a complete picture of what is happening at the end of a close game – which is generally the most important part – because I’m trying to write, take notes and observe all at the same time. I think the best example of this that I can give you is a Tampa Bay-Indianapolis Monday night game I covered in 2003.

It started out perfectly for a writer trying to make deadline, as the Buccaneers took leads of 21-0, 28-7 and 35-14, and I started writing by halftime about how the game re-asserted Tampa Bay as the best defense in the NFL, having shut down mighty Indianapolis in Tony Dungy’s return to his former home.

However, Indianapolis chipped away and finally scored 21 points in the last four minutes to force overtime, where the Colts won on a field goal. As you can imagine, all my material about Tampa’s mighty defense didn’t make the final version.

I don’t want to say I have no idea what happened, but I can tell you I didn’t see much of this comeback, because I was having to write, re-write and re-write some more. I am quite sure my story did very little to capture the essence of the game.

(End of aside)

So, anyway, Wednesday, I flat-out missed what happened with the shot clock. When 6the Hawks called timeout and Mike Woodson argued the call, I was probably using that time to write. As I’d mentioned, there was no television near me so I could follow what was being highlighted on the broadcast and, to make matters worse, I wasn’t sitting next to any other writers who might have clued me in, either. The first I realized what had happened was in the post-game interviews. I am grateful for a lot of people helping me understand what happened.

I imagine if you’ve been to a game, you might have experienced something similar, where you come home, or listen to the radio in the car, and everyone who watched on TV is talking about, “Can you believe what happened?” and you have no idea what they’re talking about because you didn’t have all the replays of the botched play or blown call at your disposal from your seat in the stadium.

If you haven’t, maybe you should look into covering an NBA team. (ha ha)

So, that’s it. I sincerely hope this doesn’t sound like me asking for your sympathy, because that is not my intent, as I don’t warrant sympathy. I get to do something I enjoy (most days) for a living, a true blessing. And I also hope I don’t sound like I’m making excuses, because I don’t think I am. I’m trying to explain what happened.

I’m going to say a better deadline writer – someone who can more efficiently do the multi-tasking required for this particular task of our job – would have caught the malfunction. Hopefully the next time, I will.

Hope all this makes sense.

226 comments Add your comment

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
7:33 am

first again?

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
7:35 am

No problem Ken. You’re doing a great job.

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
7:51 am

I stated yesterday that the Hawks would lose this game because it was a big game on a big stage. Well, they lost. But I am proud of them.

There is no way that the Hawks could have won this game. The Cavs had 8 players on the court at all times (3 refs included) and one operating the clock. This game is an embarrassment to the NBA. I am not one for conspiracy theories but these refs should be investigated for payola. They obviously made EVERY attempt to insure that the Cavs won this game. Even though shoddy performances by refs have become the norm this year, this performance by the refs stands out as blatant intentional game fixing. Woodson should include in his protest a clause that these refs not be allowed to ref any more Hawks games.

If there were another decent B-ball league I would never watch another NBA game.

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
7:56 am

You ATL fans are a joke. Sure there was a shotclock malfunction, but how come no one on the Hawks team called timeout when they noticed it was off? If they saw the shotclock was messed up why didn’t your coach call a timeout and have them reset it? They only complained after Josh Smith was stripped of the ball and the Cavs won. Ya’ll are some sore losers.

octo

December 31st, 2009
8:02 am

Malachi – did you see the game? I doubt it,,when bibby saw the clock at 5 seconds, they tried to make a play.
To bad the donahahe lookalikes didn’t call it the same on both ends. If the NBA wants to regain credibility the last 2 minutes of this game MUST be replayed.

Afraid of that?

Dan

December 31st, 2009
8:06 am

Malachi,

Just stop it. I mean, really, just stop it. There is no bigger fraud team in this league than the Cavs. The Cavs are like Duke basketball, they live and die by what the officials will give them. Not only do they get the break with the shot clock, but have a 38-15 free throw advantage. That’s right, 38-15! In a game that physical and with so many drives to the bucket….38-15! Can’t wait to read your rationalization as to why that is ok.

I can’t decide which team I hate more, the Cavs or the Celtics. Don’t like the Cavs because they are a complete fraud. Take the officials away and they are 4th best team in the east, at best. Celtics are just the biggest collection of d-bags (not counting Ray Allen) that I have ever seen on the same team. It’s a tough call.

Here’s hoping we see the Cavs again in the playoffs, minus their 8 on 5 advantage (8 because I am counting the officials as members of their team). Would be nothing sweeter than sending that fraud of a team and their King home for the season.

Keep your heads up, everyone. The Hawks are still good and the sky is not falling.

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
8:08 am

Malachi – Last time I looked it was not the coaches OR the players job to insure that the clock is not being operated unfairly or incompetantly. It is “your” refs job.

Secondly, the shot clock debacle was the LEAST of the blatant cheating that went on in this game.

But I dont want to be a sore loser so let me wish the king a happy bday. I wont be giving him a gift because he already got tons of gifts from the officials.

Dashizz357

December 31st, 2009
8:17 am

The refs are all crooks….Hawks got robbed not only on the shot clock but there were alot of fouls not called….As Donahey said on 60 minutes there are refs out there that are bias to certain players & coaches…the Hawks, Josh Smith & Coach Woodson (like his mentor Larry Brown) are target’s… Wake up the officiating this year so far sucks….bottom line….half of those old @ss refs needs to retire….do they have a retirement plan?

GeeMack

December 31st, 2009
8:18 am

This loss is on the Hawks again. Shot clock malfunction or not, you still had almost 2 minutes to play. If the Hawks use that as an excuse it shows where the team is mentally. Meaning we are not ready for prime time basketball.

octo

December 31st, 2009
8:24 am

geemack – did you see the game? I doubt it, the teams were trading basket for basket when the cle shot clock mgmt and the donahaheslookalikes screwed the hawks at the most critical point of the game. How does any team grow like this? Oh unless your cle and you have 8 team members, is that how they are growing?

Sure hasn’t helped CLE in the playoffs, huh?

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
8:24 am

GeeMack – Of course you are correct. Any team that cannot overcome (in the last 2 minutes) 46 minutes of blatant cheating by ALL GAME OFFICIALS deserves to lose.

Fritz

December 31st, 2009
8:24 am

Ken,
Even if you missed the controversial shot clock episode, you still had to see the tremendous disparity in free throws, yet you didn’t comment on that. Not newsworthy that LeBron went to the free throw line more than the Hawk team in a hard fought game?

c-town fan

December 31st, 2009
8:37 am

Has anyone noticed that prior to the shot clock issue, Atlanta gave up a 17 point lead? I’m thinking the momentum was changing prior to the last two minutes of the game, about the time Cleveland became aggressive, offensively & defensively.
LeBron gets to the foul line because he drives more frequently than most. Watch a game without a dislike of LBJ or the Cavs and see who the games are called. It’s pretty much a wash when both teams attack the rim. The refs do not wear Laker blue when in LA, Celtic green in Boston or wine & gold in Cleveland.

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
8:38 am

You guys obviously don’t understand the game of basketball then. The reason the Cavs had more freethrows was because they were taking it to the rim ALOT more than the soft Hawks. Its called DRIVING to the hoop to create contact. Also, how many of those freethrows were hacks on SHAQ? You can cry and whine all you want, but the Hawks mental breakdown coupled with the Cavs great defense in the 4th quarter is what lost ATL this game. I mean you can’t blame this loss on the refs when your team blows a 17 point lead. If Josh Smith hadn’t been stripped on that possession when they had the shot clock malfunction ya’ll wouldn’t be whining now would you?

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
8:42 am

BULLCRAP!!! When the Hawks drove the ball they were HACKED and got no call. YOU watch the game without your head up the kings azz and maybe you will see it more clearly.

TFarr

December 31st, 2009
8:43 am

Good stat; JJ and Lebron both made 15 field goals, yet Lebron has 13 more points at the end of the game. JJ 2-2 free throws Lebron 14-16.

octo

December 31st, 2009
8:43 am

whiners? I think it is clear that CLE is the “king” of the whiners. I’m sure if the game had played out in reverse the LEAGUE would have already issued a replay game to made up when the cle based refs are avaialble.

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
8:44 am

And oh yeah…There was quite a momentum swing. The momentum was a result of the refs calls.

NC Braves Fan

December 31st, 2009
8:44 am

Ken – I missed the kerfuffle about the clock, and I didn’t get to see the game. Nice explanation of how things work – and I think you’ve done a great job the past several weeks.

Turning to Malachi, I think it’s a bit rich for a fan of the team with the player who won’t shake hands with an opponent after a loss to call anyone else “sore losers.” (Not to mention that nitwittery about the supressed video clip of the kid who dunked on LBJ over the summer.)

Some “king.” :lol:

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
8:47 am

TFarr

JJ had less points because he took so many damn jumpshots you idiot. Lebron drives to the rim which creates contact. Show me one video where he drove to the rim and didn’t get legitimately fouled… I know there were a few times were he drove to the rim was fouled and there was NO call.

Also, Octo…Josh Smith is the biggest damn whiner in the NBA

Ken Strickland

December 31st, 2009
8:48 am

MALACHI-Although I have no doubt about Lebron being an upstanding individual off the court, he’s an egotistical premadona on it. As a result, his ego is just too big to allow him to remain in Cleveland. Besides Lebron, your beloved team is comprised of a bunch of castoffs, 2nd raters and past their prime jocks.

I have no doubt the NBA would love to see him in a city that actually has both a pulse and an identity. Considering the way your fans were completely silenced while we were whipping Cavaliers butts, until the officials and clock operator bailed them out, you could have called your arena the city morgue.

Your boys had everything going for them last night. They were at home and coming off a solid win against us the night before. Yet, it took everything Lebron had, plus help from his friends in stripes and the local clock operator, to squeek out a win. YOU CAN BET ON ONE THING. AFTER WHAT WE SHOWED LAST NIGHT, AND WHAT IT TOOK FOR YOUR TEAM TO BEAT US, COME PLAYOFF TIME, WE’LL WHIP YOUR BELOVED CLEVELAND’S ECONOMICALLY DEPRESSED A$$.

Anthony

December 31st, 2009
8:49 am

Cavs are the better team. They showed a lot of heart coming back from being down 17 points. The Hawks offense folded for 2 nights in a row. They can only score against bad teams.

doc

December 31st, 2009
8:51 am

ken, not sure this needed to be a blog unto itself, could have been contained in last blog on one game essentially. a lot of broken continuity with three blogs now about the game.

games like this will make it easier to say no thanks to season tix come this spring.

yeah, cleveland folks it sounds like petty gripes but there were so many bad no calls that so many here saw it was shameful. stupid of you to come and try to defend it, that only makes it look like you agree it was indefensible and needed more shaded and jaded commentary. it was beyond belief and only emphasizes how shady nba bball is. sad but true. josh well set twice blown over by a mack truck no call shoot one was through two set players and i have never seen that before, williams grazes a player and gets called taking points away, v boy pushing off with both hands almost in what could have been a continuation and no call. so many it was unbelievable. anyway, enjoy, it maybe the last of the lebron years in 2010 because with everything else irrelevant in cleveland he is going to turn out the lights when he exits through the door to anything else cleveland might have. a dying industrial town and worse spots town than atlanta with the browns and indians and the bron brons. yeah, you guys are good front runners,crybabies when your efforts are disputed or when you lose.

ken, did you see any of these plays or were you that far out of the site lines? is it against policy for the beat reporter to not say the team he is watching and covering got jobbed? man where were you, nose bleed section? you need to go back and re-watch the game because it seemed in all your writing you missed it. it further betrays the integrity of your product as you try to explain it away. sorry, hard to accept it and it only makes it worse in my opinion. you would have been better off saying yes you missed it instead of saying you miss important parts of games as you write the summaries. i know you are a fill in doing a fairly credible job, leave it at that and just give it up to experience as we all make mistakes. no one is perfect including the guys so critical of you. report what you see or how you interpret things as that is what we are interested in; that is the reason we read it because we didnt see it or want someone else’s view point.

TFarr

December 31st, 2009
8:52 am

you either didnt watch the game or were not paying attention. Joe made a good number of floaters in the lane. Its just Joe usually ends up getting knocked to the floor with a no call while Lebron gets an and 1 on any driving shot he makes with someone near him. Josh is a big whiner but he had some legit beef on a lot the calls last night.

Lowenbrau

December 31st, 2009
8:53 am

Wow….I posted on this board last night and the Hawks fans seemed to be very classy. Now all most of them are doing is complaining about the refs. Why wouldn’t you complain about the fact that your team was up 17 points and blew it? Referees can’t turn around a 17-point game, even if they wanted to (which of course was not the case).

I don’t mean to criticize the Hawks, ’cause actually I’m very surprised at how well they played in the first half. I figured the Cavs would roll over them last night. But to call the Cavs frauds or to say they always have the refs on their side…..those are comments made by people who only watch a few Cavs games a year. We Cavs fans constantly see LeBron get hacked every time he goes to the basket. He gets a whistle maybe one out of every three times.

By the way, how about Anthony Parker’s circus behind-the-back shot late in the game? The foul there was so blatantly obvious, but the refs let that one go. Maybe in your perspective the refs didn’t see it because they were too busy daydreaming about the next opportunity to screw the Hawks over. (In reality, it was a game with playoff atmosphere and the refs were letting things go on both ends.)

As far as the shot-clock thing goes, look who’s talking. The Hawks’ scorers have messed up games on multiple occassions. Plus, it’s not as if this was a game-deciding play. Bibby or Smith should have noticed the problem, picked up the ball, and told the ref. The refs always make things right when they see the shot clock isn’t working. Atlanta would’ve gotten the ball side-out, and all would’ve been fine.

Woodson is grasping at straws on this one. It’s very simple….outplay the other team and you’ll win.

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
8:58 am

Yep. Its totally a conspiracy. I’m sure David Stern called the refs as soon as he seen the Cavs were down by 17 and said “They’re down by 17 boys do something about that”!

Man you ATL fans are seriously delusional.

Anthony

December 31st, 2009
8:59 am

Malachi… The fans are just trying to make an excuse because the Hawks choke against top flight teams. The Hawks are 2nd rate team with 2nd rate talent.

newkid

December 31st, 2009
9:03 am

When ‘the story’ becomes the story, we’ve lost our way.

I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, really appreciated Jason Collins’ contribution on the floor last night.

Hold your heads up guys, you played well. Keep evolving.

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
9:03 am

Anthony…I couldn’t agree more. I’ve watched that play with Bibby and Josh Smith several times and they didn’t seem rushed one bit. In fact, when Smith got stripped of the ball there was still several seconds on the shot clock.

ATL fans think they can hang with the big boys, but the Cavs just showed them they’re still nobodies. I hope the Cavs meet them in the playoffs so we can sweep them again and send em home crying.

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
9:04 am

@lowenbrau – You said ” Referees can’t turn around a 17-point game”. The refs can turn around ANY game they want to. They have ULTIMATE power and they know how to use it. And once again it is THE REFS JOB to insure that the shot clock operator is not CHEATING. But the refs just wanted to see the king have a happy bday. Mission accomplished.

You have absolutely NO CREDIBILITY if you wont admit that at the very least this was a HORRIBLY CALLED GAME, and more likely further evidence that the NBA instructs ite refs to manipulate the outcome of games.

Benjamin

December 31st, 2009
9:07 am

You need to watch that play again, Malachi, because the play didn’t get started until there were five seconds left on the clock. Bibby dumped to Smith, who looked up and went to the basket with three, at which point he was stripped.

Sure, the Hawks fell apart after that play, and credit to you guys for taking advantage of the situation and winning the game, but you’d be doing the exact same thing Hawks fans are doing this morning had the shoe been on the other foot.

And time will tell on how things wind up in the playoffs. We’re just starting to get good, and sometimes good teams go through things like this and come out on the other end a better team. Regardless, good luck the rest of the season and in keeping the Franchise around beyond the summer.

Mike is Back

December 31st, 2009
9:08 am

I want waste my time expressing my disdain for the officiating in that game…yeah the Hawks gave up a 17 point lead, BUT THEY WAS IN CONTROL OF THE GAME WITH THE LEAD…BEFORE THAT SHOT CLOCK VIOLATION…plus the replay SHOWED it was a foul on LBJ on that play when he scripted the ball from Josh.

The game is over with…I have moved on…great game by LBJ…TREMENDOUS EFFORT BY THE HAWKS. I hope the DISAPPOINTMENT of this loss…GALVANIZE this team and PUT A CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDERS for the remainder of the season. Then we can seek revenge in the playoff.

WOODY, I like the counter with Collins and going with big guards on MO Willian and JWest. Now ya coaching. Can we see more of that???????????????

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Benjamin

December 31st, 2009
9:09 am

I don’t think the “shot clock operator was cheating, “Jenious. It very well could’ve just been a user error.

Either way, we did blow a big lead in both games — that much is known. I’m not as mad about it as some Hawks fans seem to be this morning. It was a bad call on a night where we still should’ve won, but we’ll go through this experience and come out a better team down the line for it. (It will be interesting to see how the NBA rules on the protest, though.)

Ken Strickland

December 31st, 2009
9:11 am

One more thing. Since when did expecting professional quality officiating and clock management, and complaining about not receiving it, make the offended party a whiner or sore loser? You clowns come on these blogs and act like the inequities of last nights gm represents something we should expect when it comes to the Cavaliers and their employees. This sense of entitlement and arrogance you’re displaying is the very reason Lebron and his mates handled themselves so poorly and unprofessionally after they were embarrassed by Orlando. They simply couldn’t handle not being able to compete without the on court amenities they’ve become accustomed to receiving.

THE INCOMPETENCE WHICH LED TO THE EVENTS THAT DECIDED LAST NIGHTS GAME, AND YOUR INDIFFERENCE TO WHAT HAPPENED, IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LACK OF AWARENESS AND SENSE OF FAIRNESS THAT SEEMS TO BE PREVELENT AMONG YOU CAVALIER FANS.

Lowenbrau

December 31st, 2009
9:14 am

Jenious,

If the only way I can have credibility is to say that NBA refs are instructed to fix games, then I’ll be happy to not have any credibility.

A couple Hawks fans have it right on here. Don’t hang your heads, keep playing, keep pushing forward. You’ve got a good team this year, a team that I think can beat out Orlando for the Southeast division and the 3-seed. (In fact, I’m hoping they do.) These kinds of things happen, and if your team is in the right mental frame of mind, you’ll grow from it. If your team is in the wrong frame of mind, you’ll let it affect you and it’ll drag you down.

And hey, the Celtics lost last night…..that’s something everyone on this forum can be happy about.

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
9:15 am

Malachi- I dont know how often you visit this blog, but if you have been here much then you know that the fans here are EXTREMELY critical of the Hawks. If anything too critical. I myself predicted thgat the Hawks would lose this game because they would choke on the big stage. There is haedly ever any whining about the refs. This one is different. This one was so blatant that even the most critical of us must cry out at the obvious abuse by the officials. Like I said, the view is different from outside lebrons azz.

Anthony

December 31st, 2009
9:15 am

The hawks lost and Lebron won. That’s it.

Jenious

December 31st, 2009
9:19 am

Lowenbrau – Dont twist my words beerboy. I said that you have no credibility if you wont even admit that the game was HORRIBLY CALLED.

Benjamin

December 31st, 2009
9:20 am

Well said, Mike is Back. Couldn’t agree more.

Tough call. Tough crap. Great game by Lebron. Great game on the road by Atlanta. We’ll get ‘em next time…

Ken Strickland

December 31st, 2009
9:21 am

MIKE IS BACK-AMEN TO THAT! All most of us Hawk fans what to see from Woodson is consistency when it comes to doing the things that make us a better team. We’re frustrated and tired of seeing this team end up reverting back to the same crap that hasn’t worked and doesn’t make the team better. When we live by the jumpshot, we usually end up dying by it as well. We’ve got to come up with a more structured and imaginative OFF set that involves everyone when we are playing down the stretch.

WE JUST CAN’T SUCCESSFULLY AND CONSISTENTLY COMPETE AGAINST THE ELITE TEAMS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE FINAL MINS OF GMS, ALWAYS RESORTING TO ISO JOE AND RELYING ON LONG RANGE JUMPERS(WOODY BALL).

Benjamin

December 31st, 2009
9:22 am

Anthony/Malachi, what’s the real word among Cleveland fans as far as Lebron returning? Are you guys worried he’s going to New York or something along those lines next year, or are you pretty confident he’s going to return?

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
9:25 am

Hawks choked.

/end of story

Benjamin

December 31st, 2009
9:26 am

See previous question, Malachi.

Are you guys bringing Lebron back this offseason?

Malachi

December 31st, 2009
9:28 am

Benjamin

Most people in around CLE aren’t worried about it. The only thing we’re focusing on is winning our first chip.

LeBron’s not going anywhere, and thats about the only response opposing teams fans can come up with when their teams choke against CLE.

HawkATL

December 31st, 2009
9:31 am

Fellas – Im a Hawks fan so as to provide my bias.

Now, here is how I see it. First, the point that the Hawks were up by 17 and couldn’t hold on does suggest that the Cavs outplayed our boys down the stretch. And, that is where games are won and lost. The Cavs are a great fourth quarter team, a point that is hard to dispute. They are that way because of one great talent, a former great talent who takes up a lot of room which creates even more opportunities for the great talent, and a bunch of guys who understand their roles. Nothing wrong with that.

The Hawks are arguably among the best “nine deep” teams in the NBA and that will serve them well over time. This team has the potential to go deep in the playoffs and will if they continue to mature as a team in 2010. Don’t forget the win in Boston. They led, were challenged and game back and pulled it together. These Cleveland games – albeit disapointing – were great learning experiences for the team. Like him or not, Woodson has done exactly what he said he would do and he will get this team ready (as a 3 or 4 seed) for the games when they count. The fact the Hawks didn’t roll over after a tough loss in Atlanta should be encouraging.

Now, a comment about the officiating, coming from the perspective of someone who officiated at the high school and collegiant level for 10+ years. NBA officiating is as much about show as it is getting it right. While there are a number of very good NBA officials, there are also a number of average to downright sloppy officials who are more interested in being on the court with giants for ego’s sake than getting the call right. No doubt, NBA basketball is likely the most difficult sport of all to officiate because of the “compact” nature of the playing surface and the continually increasing size of the participants. Yet, the mechanics of officiating and the demeanor of officials should be consistent and it simply is not. We can argue all day about whether James, Garnett, Bryant etc. get the benefit of being stars (I beleive the answer is yes…largely because it is subconciouos human nature that the “stars” are better than others) but what cant be argued is that officials should have consistent control of the mechanics of the game and their own demeanor.

The shot clock issue was an official error. . .while you can say that Josh Smith, Mike Bibby or Mike Woodson should have done something that misses the point that the officials (and the table) blew it. And, while that wasnt the only thing that cost the Hawks the game, it created an artificial advantage for the Cavs.

Moreover, officials demeanor makes a big difference. Case in point during the Cavs game in Atlanta on Tuesday. Ref 51 (I believe that is Leroy Richardson) was clearly trying to get his 15 minutes of fame by chumming up with Labron in the Josh Smith battle to the point where it led to one of the most egotistical technicals of the season on Mike Woodson. Egos like that have no place on the court.

Officails should have one goal in mind – letting the outcome of the game be decided on the floor by the players. The clock issue and, especially, the Richardson T on Woodson are examples of errors and egos that interject officiating in the outcome formula for the game.

For the NBA game to be more pure and, candidly, more entertaining, offcial ego check should be Stern’s number one priority.

Two great games – the best team (especially in the fourth quarter) probably won. And, both teams should be proud of the back-to-back that may have produced some of the best basketball played in the league this season.

Just my opinion. Happy New Year, all!

doc

December 31st, 2009
9:33 am

this game is just a building block and leave it at that. good game, well played.

Benjamin

December 31st, 2009
9:34 am

Good call, Hawk. Agreed.

Lowenbrau

December 31st, 2009
9:43 am

Benjamin,

Most Cavs fans (I’m guessing 60-70%) think LeBron will stay. Almost everyone (probably 90+%) in the local media thinks he’ll stay. Me, I’m 50/50….I said three years ago that the only way we’d get him to stay is to win a championship. I felt last year was our best chance, and we epic failed against Orlando. In my view, it all comes down to this season.

As long as we get a championship — just ONE — I’ll be happy. Haven’t experienced one in my lifetime in any of the big three sports.

MsDee

December 31st, 2009
9:47 am

Granted, this game was offciated poorly, but there are 2 very important things the Hawks just should have known better to do..

1) If this was Kobe and the Lakers or even Doc and the Celtics, a time out would have immediated been granted once they noticed a shot-clock error. They would have done whatever it took to have the ref notice it as well b/c that was a very important possesion.

2) Josh Smith really needs to learn either how to talk to the refs, or learn to say nothing at all, esp in the 1st half of any game. I truly believe Josh costed us foul calls on them b/c he had most of the contact from the Cavs in the later part of the game.

So all in all, this should be more a learning experience than anything cause we will see the Cavs again and other great teams to come, just Josh learn to shut-up, and Hawks learn to observed and take care of every possesion!!

J.J.M.

December 31st, 2009
9:48 am

It was a very odd game. As I remembered Lebron had more free throws then the entire hawks team. I mean come on! Josh Smith drove the ball and got bump so many times. I think it’s because Josh is not a super star and has a bad attitude, so the refs didn’t care. As for the clock that really ruin the hawks flow in the game. They were up by one and was force to take a rush shot by Josh Smith which cant shoot jumpers that well. The rush shot lead Lebron to drive the ball and of course to get foul by like always. I will just say hawks should keep their heads up and lebron should thank the refs for the birthday gift.