“Relax! I’m just demonstrating to Jeff and Dennis how to stay in front of people!”
Boo, Brooklyn! Boo this team! Boo!
Oh, only now do the Brooklyn Nets want to fall completely flat on their collective face. Now that the Atlanta Hawks have squeezed as much of the vapor as they could out of not one, but two first-round swap deals for Josephat Johnson, only now do the Nyets want to try Gunnin’ for That #1 Draft Slot. And to think, they’re not even doing this for themselves! They’re doing this for the benefit of a division rival!
The kahma gahds are really making us Hawks fans pay for Tree Bites Man back in 1983. That was one costly nibble, Tree. Danny Ainge, you lucky, plucky ducky you! If we could give you The Finger, Danny, it would be your own.
Well, guess what, Danny? You’re not going to get off so easy. Especially given the way our Atlanta Hawks have been playing lately. Tonight’s game at the Highlight Factory (7:30 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast, YES Network) is not going to be another automatic L that you winking, pipe-smoking, Sansabelt knickers-rocking leprechauns up in Beantown can stick in your little three-leaf clovered, ensemble-matching derbies. Nosiree!
We see exactly what you’re up to, Danny Boy. Your former team from your home state magically got right back in the game last night in Brooklyn. The Portland Trail Blazers were down six in the fourth quarter and, one thing leads to another, ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing, they’re up five. Tony Brown’s Journal probably doesn’t have “foul Damian Lillard” as a discussion topic, and yet that’s what the Nets did anyway… while Lillard (33 points, 10 assists, ZERO turnovers) was in the midst of shooting a three-pointer. Mmmm hmmmm. The jig: it’s not down!
Down to 11-29 on the season they go. In the one year where 2-through-12 means a playoff spot is up for grabs in the East, this is the season the Nets chose to be a solid 14. Well, down here in Hotlanta, we’re not going to just take this lying down, Danny! We don’t care if it’s the Nets, or the Bucks, or the Knicks, or the Hornets. We’re going to do what we’ve done the past few games, and play right to our opponent’s strengths, and put ourselves in position for a disappointing loss against yet another team who’s just waiting to be defeated. We’ll see who laughs last tonight, Danny!
“OMG, they called Kenny! You bastards!” Okay, not quite yet. But you just know another Danny is hanging around Brooklyn to make his grand NBA comeback, taking over for the recently-deposed Dookie buddy that stuck his neck out, while this Danny was in ATL suffering from the lingering effects of foot-in-mouth disease. Once that Danny takes over, and once the Nets are decidedly out of postseason play and coach Brown gets his Thanks for Coaching parting gifts, rest assured that he won’t be blaming Long Islander Kenny Atkinson for the Hawks’ floundering, listless play of late.
Maybe Mike Budenholzer is trying to poison the well, so Kenny won’t go all Quin Snyder on him. Head-scratching rotations, failure to exploit opponent weaknesses, overplaying guys with five fouls at crucial junctures suddenly seems to be en vogue. With all the consternation directed at Coach Bud from the refs’ union for piggybacking people, why are we allowing various and sundry Bucks to hang around the rim, stripping and clawing at them like they’re an unwitting millionaire wanderer in The Bluff, in front of Marc Davis of all people, and then acting appalled when our starting forwards (including poor Paul Millsap, the one Hawk who hasn’t gotten The Memo) are riding the pine, and the free-throw-attempt deficit is 37 to 6? That could not possibly have been the game plan for Milwaukee. Unless…
Mike Scott going for style points on point-blank dunk attempts? Paul and Kent Bazemore racking up fouls against the Bucks’ bigs while Tiago Splitter is on some kind of preservation plan? Jeff Teague driving right into three Bucks on a clearout and aiming his shot right at their antlers as the clock expires? Kyle Korver forgoing mildly-contested threes for swatted-to-Kenosha long-twos when the Hawks (23-17) are down by multiple scores in overtime? No way is that the intelligent design on Bud’s whiteboard. Surely, there’s something sneakier going on. Sorry, Kenny, but you ain’t getting out of here so easily.
We’ll reconfirm our suspicions today when Brook Lopez is allowed to freely camp around the high post like it’s a national wildlife refuge or something. When Joe Johnson gets to suck what little energy is left out of the building, dribbling the ball through the Georgia maple for 95 percent of the shot clock. When Donald Sloan and Shane Larkin (filling in for out-for-the-season Jarrett Jack) look like the most competent lead guards on the floor. When Thad Young and Thomas Robinson (9 O-Rebs between them last night) will have NBA fans running to Twitter to hashtag them for All-Star votes. When Andrea Bargnani finishes with a positive plus-minus for the first time since the Nets were in New Jersey. Coach Bud is onto both of you, Danny A and Danny F. And he’s not having it.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… The Jig!
Let’s Go Hawks!