Doc tweaks ‘Nique, but then the Hawks outslug the Celtics

An apparent example of Wilkins' "skill set." (Fulton County)

An apparent example of Dominique Wilkins' previously hidden "skill-set." (Fulton County)

The Hawks beat the Celtics on Friday, and it was a night of pugnacity. Zaza Pachulia reprised his “Rocky” act of spring 2008, and his rebounding told the tale. But much earlier, all one inquiring mind wanted to know was:

Had Doc Rivers, the former Hawk who coaches Boston, ever been punched in the face by Dominique Wilkins?

“No, I have not,” Rivers said, deadpan. “I told him yesterday I was considering hiring him for security. I had no idea he had that skill-set.”

As you might have heard: Wilkins, the Hall of Famer who’s a Hawks’ TV broadcaster, was confronted after Wednesday’s game by Rashan Michel, a former NBA referee who claims Wilkins owes him money for clothing. Fisticuffs ensued. Michel was charged with two counts of simple battery.

The celebrity site TMZ unearthed video of the melee’s end, which showed Wilkins landing punches. Be advised that Rivers, even on short rest, took time to click on TMZ.

“I told ‘Nique I was real impressed,” Rivers said. “You know how he is: ‘I didn’t mean to do anything, I didn’t throw any punches.’ Then I saw the video and I thought, ‘Wait a minute’ ”

Wilkins couldn’t be found at Philips Arena before Friday’s game. (ESPN was broadcast, as opposed to the Hawks’ regular TV crew.) Speaking via phone early Thursday morning, Wilkins told this correspondent, “Everything’s all right.” Then, at the Hawks’ apparent request, he started ducking the media.

It will, however, be hard to duck his ex-teammate for long, and Rivers will be certain to bring up the incident. “Now that it’s all over and everybody’s all right,” Rivers said, “what I’m thinking is: I can use this to roast him.”

OK, back to basketball. (We were talking about basketball, weren’t we?) Beyond the postgame brawl, something else newsworthy happened Wednesday: The Hawks beat a good team. This hadn’t happened in a while. Then they went out Friday and beat another, which, if not yet a trend, certainly represents a favorable-looking blip.

March opened with the Hawks surging from 19 points down to beat the Chicago Bulls on a night when Josh Smith didn’t play, and there could have been no better start to a fairly significant month. Matters deteriorated forthwith. The Hawks wound up losing six home games in March — they lost only seven at Philips all last season — by greater and greater margins.

On March 18 they trailed the Miami Heat by 29 points after two quarters; four days later they trailed the Bulls — yep, them again — by 29 after two quarters. “This is starting to get embarrassing,” Smith told reporters after the latter game, and to that we could only ask: Starting to get embarrassing?

March concluded with the Hawks beating Orlando, the team that annihilated them in Round 2 of last season’s playoffs and the team they’re sure to face in Round 1 this time. After a series of retreats, the Hawks finally made some sort of stand.

Said coach Larry Drew, speaking before Friday’s game: “I thought we needed to have it  a lot. It was good to really beat a team with a plus-.500 record. If we’re going to be mentioned in the same breath as those teams, we have to be able to beat them. That should be a confidence-booster for us.”

The Hawks caught a break in scheduling, getting the aged Celtics one night after the Green People played (and won) in San Antonio. “We got in a 4 o’clock,” said Rivers, who looked as if sleep had come grudgingly if at all.

The game was no classic. The Hawks fell behind by eight at the half, by 12 in the third quarter. And here you thought, “They’re doing it again.” But they didn’t. They rode the will of Zaza and a cluster of misses by the Celtics’ Glen Davis to a five-point victory. It was a game that meant far more to the Hawks, and to their credit they grabbed it.

And if you’re thinking these two wins could suggest that the Hawks, who we’d all but written off 10 days ago, might have a puncher’s chance come the postseason … well, punching is suddenly he rage, is it not?

By Mark Bradley

207 comments Add your comment

Ryan

April 1st, 2011
7:50 pm

Use nique to make josh stay in the paint lol

Nunna!!

April 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

Sonny Clusters

April 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

For a vice-president ‘Nique sure hits hard.

Sonny Clusters

April 1st, 2011
7:56 pm

We have about $12,000 worth of suits in our closet but we paid for ‘em. We would never hit a haberdasher.

Sonny Clusters

April 1st, 2011
7:57 pm

Usually fights like these start with an inseam measurement.

Sonny Clusters

April 1st, 2011
7:58 pm

3 Clusters posts in a row. That’s called Clustering.

Sonny Clusters

April 1st, 2011
8:00 pm

Mark, is this the guy that makes suits for Arthur Blank? We was noticing the fine tailoring.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:01 pm

I’ve never seen such a cluster of comments, if you take my meaning.

Sonny Clusters

April 1st, 2011
8:01 pm

We can retire now knowing we did 5 in a row. Something tells us this blog is not gathering a lot of interest. Try blogging some baseball and see what happens.

Duckafawg

April 1st, 2011
8:01 pm

I’m a Tech fan but have always admired Nique’s work ethic….I say….beat that LOSER’s A** Nique!!!….at 51 he has that “old man’s” strength….don’t mess with #21!!!!!

Nunna!!

April 1st, 2011
8:04 pm

I can see it now..Coming to a TV Network near u..
The Nique-A-Nator!!
NaNa for short..
Announcer says:
“Out of the bowels of Phillips Arena comes the Equalizer for truth,justice,and the players way”!!
Dominique will be terrorizing the former refs of the NBA..He will set out to even the score on all
of the bad calls he may have gotten(like maybe 3 out of the 23 fouls called on him in his career)..

You will see former refs talking on a roundtable sports talk show about the playoffs and out of nowhere comes nique,his nephew damian,his brother gerald,and lenny..And nique will announce before the beat downs of the former nba officials that,” i got my my neph,my brother,and a cat wit da same name i had and this time I GOT NIMBERS!!”

Did u think it would stop there?? Heck No!!

Nique will be going after NFL officials,College Basketball and Football Officials,HS,and pop warner refs too..

Will any ref in any sport be safe??
Nooooo!!

And it won’t stop there..Prisoners with prison strips who resemble refs will get it..

And so will all employees of foot locker..Especially in the West End…

Be on your guard..Dominique is coming..

Patrick

April 1st, 2011
8:05 pm

I agree with Ryan, holy cow. That makes perfect sense.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:13 pm

Drew said Jason Collins would start. But he doesn’t. Hawks go with the small (regular) five.

concerned mothers

April 1st, 2011
8:14 pm

All the facts haven’t come out yet!!! The tape shows Dominique hitting first and maybe he does own money. There are a lot of ball players that are in debt and make bad investments and lose all there money. If he can prove that he owes him money then Dominique should pay it and stop getting over on people. Like big names do

AG

April 1st, 2011
8:16 pm

Why does he refuse to start Teague. Mark, can you ask him. I really think that JT,KH,JJ,Js,AH lineup is our best. Marvin has been playing good ball off the bench. JT plays better with the starters. It will be interesting to see if he even gets any burn. The last time these teams met, he scored 18.

Nunna!!

April 1st, 2011
8:16 pm

Hey Mark,im not gonna ask u about Teague..Well,not yet..
But how does the team look to u?
If they look too loose and free spirited,then they will look good for da 1st quarter,then after that the old celtics will look new again..

LD should keep the big center playing alongside Horford to start.It frees him up to get all of the downcourt passes like josh was giving him the other night..

a few other questions if i may?
what do u think has to happen in the playoffs in order for the ASG to resign Sund,and let LD keep his job?

Is Gearon the only talking piece out of that group?

Is there a front runner to buy the hawks yet??

would it have been a better trade in your opinion if we had got rid of Jamaal Crawford instead of Jordan?

Has Marvin said anything about what has made his turnaround with his play in the last few games?

And last,Who would you choose if you had to make a decision to hire a GM for your basketball team?
I bet u say rick sund,lol

dagnabit

April 1st, 2011
8:17 pm

I don’t want Nique oweing any money to me if this is part of his payment schedule.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:17 pm

Hawks look fine so far. They’re up 10-6. Boston looks tired.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2011
8:23 pm

Hawks look pretty discombobulated though.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:25 pm

Where’s ‘Nique?

Joe Johnson knocks Paul Pierce down. Pierce gets up and shoves Johnson. Gets a T

Nique's Revenge

April 1st, 2011
8:26 pm

pierce needs to stfu and gtfo

tired of his ugly azz

IF IT TAKES throwin punches to take your game to the next level hawks LETS DO IT

battle of wills

Nique's Revenge

April 1st, 2011
8:27 pm

JJ >>>>> uglyazz pierce

dawg4u

April 1st, 2011
8:28 pm

Herschel Walker has announced that his next MMA opponent will be Nique. Niquie has a big height and reach advantage but it should be a good clean all UGA fight.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:29 pm

Two former Bulldogs. Cage match?

Runner-

April 1st, 2011
8:31 pm

Gonna be a great game tonight :D

Runner-

April 1st, 2011
8:31 pm

Gonna be a great game tonight

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:31 pm

You know, I always thought if any announcer punched someone it would be Steve Holman. Don’t tell him I said that, though.

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:34 pm

I think Steve Holman is ready to punch some of the Hawks.

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:35 pm

is that Damon Evans in the column picture?

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:37 pm

Now Zaza shoves somebody. Gets a T. Jermaine O’Neal shoves back. Also T’up

dawg4u

April 1st, 2011
8:37 pm

I think they are about the same age and graduated from UGA only a year at the most apart or maybe the same year.

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:37 pm

I think that picture was taken after his wife heard about the red panties.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:38 pm

Oddly enough, the image of Damon Evans after his arrest did cross my mind when I saw Mr. Michel’s photo.

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

The Human Highlight Film vs the Heisman Hurricane. Where is Don King when we need him!

dawg4u

April 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

If Steve Holman isn’t ready to punch someone after broadcasting as many consecutive Hawk games as he has then he has my vote as one of the most composed announcers ever.

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:40 pm

As I understand the situation, Mrs. Evans was arrested shortly after that picture was taken.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:40 pm

Hawks up 23-21 after the first. Led throughout.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:41 pm

Should be ahead by more, though

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:41 pm

Broadcasting too many Hawks games lead to Skip’s overzealous consumption.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:41 pm

Now Zaza fouls 80 feet from the goal

Runner-

April 1st, 2011
8:43 pm

Faster Teague, starting to look like JJ

todd grantham

April 1st, 2011
8:44 pm

speaking of announcers, it was good to hear Don Sutton on the radio again dropping the “s” from words like Braves.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:45 pm

Perhaps Mr. Sutton chooses to emphasize the singular.

Runner-

April 1st, 2011
8:46 pm

Damn Big Baby, Dirk type shot right there

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:47 pm

C’s by a deuce. Big Baby just hit a three at the clock horn

Runner-

April 1st, 2011
8:47 pm

Things starting to get out of hand, once the crowd starts wowing at the Celtic’s moves, that’s when things usually get out of hand

dawg4u

April 1st, 2011
8:49 pm

Celtics still look tired but Hawks can’t separate.

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:50 pm

Players watching Kiss Cam. Hilarity!

Mark Bradley

April 1st, 2011
8:50 pm

Marvin Williams falls for the fourth time in the game. Jeff Green gets a layup.

James on Pharr Rd

April 1st, 2011
8:51 pm

I’d like to see Nique square off with Stern, the great tyrant.