Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 7, 2008 12:10AM

The NBA is back and my Hawks are on fire!

Rate: 4 Flag




As Atlanta Journal-Constitution sportswriter Sekou Smith put it today, “Let’s talk about some change that you can believe in.”

 For those of you who allowed your campaign addictions to keep you from noticing the start of the 2008-2009 NBA season, allow me to fill you in on a little shocker… 

 My Atlanta Hawks are 3-0. 

 (I use the terms “my” and “we” when describing MY Hawks because I have been with this team since I was old enough to realize who 'Nique, Spud, ‘Cack, Kevin Willis and “The Plastic Man” were.  I was there for the 22 straight home wins with Deke, just like I was there for the 13 win season.  This is my team as much as it is JJ’s or Smoove’s or Big Al’s or Woody’s or The Duck’s.  I’ve watched every game that I could (and studied the box scores for those that I couldn’t) for over 15 years. 

 Like I was saying, WE’VE started out 3-0.  Two of those wins came on the road (we only won a dozen road games last season).  All three of the wins were against teams that made the playoffs last year. 

 3-0… after sportswriters all across the land mocked us for finally making the playoffs and then turning around and notoriously losing our talented young sixth man to a team in Greece.

 The two-time all-star who "captains" my Hawks, Joe Johnson, is leading the league in scoring.  Last week, Sports Illustrated published an anonymous comment from an NBA scout stating that JJ was no better than the supporting third player on a decent team.

 Ok.  I don't know where that dude came from, but I do know why he refused to let them use his name... 

 Again:  3-0, folks.    

 No major basketball writer (other than my boy Sekou) predicted us to do anything this year besides regress.  To listen to those professional nay-sayers, our seven game playoff series against the league champion Celtics this spring—which followed the NBA’s longest playoff drought—was nothing more than a flash in the pan.  According to them, we’re not even supposed to sniff the playoffs this year.

 But, in three games, JJ, J-Smoove, Marvin, Big Al, Bibby, ZaZa and the new bench veterans Mo Evans and Flip Murray have played like real contenders.  We convincingly beat Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Hedo the Amazing Turk and the Magic down in Orlando to kick off the season.

 Then we overcame a 23 point deficit at home against a very good 76ers team that includes ballers like Andre Iguadola, Andre Miller and Elton Brandt. 

 AND, the day after Barack won, we traveled to New Orleans to hand Chris Paul, David West, Peja, Tyson Chandler and the Hornets their first loss of the season. 

 Many of those same hate-on-the-Hawks NBA writers predicted Paul and company to make it to the NBA finals this year. 

 I know it’s early, but we haven’t been 3-0 since ’97 and I need to relish this moment. 

 My Falcons are surprising people on the gridiron, but my real hopes fly with MY Hawks.

 The NBA is here.  Watch it. 

 It’s the best show on your t.v. sets.

(photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images)

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
As I am more of a doer than a watcher, I don't really follow sports. Plus I had serious issues with being forced to go to games at the Academy, especially plebe year when on top of home football games there was a requirement to watch one other sport in the Yard every weekend. But by just breathing San Antonio air part of the year, I am saturated by Spurs, Spurs, Spurs mania. How do your Hawks measure up with the Spurs? I'm genuinely curious.

A good start to the season, my friend. Then again, it's a loooong season before it's all said and done. I'm not personally invested in the NBA, so I'll go ahead and send good vibes towards your team :)
LT and MT, thanks for reading and commenting.

The Spurs got off to a slow start. Manu being out hurts them obviously, but they are still more than likely going to be a playoff contender. Tony Parker played a brilliant game the other night against Minnesota. "The Big Fundamental" is "The Admiral's" legacy and he's still one of the best power forwards in the league. The Spurs will be fine.

(is it hard to get tickets out there? I imagine it is, with the Spurs being the only major sports team--college or pro--in town).

As for boat school mando-sports... I got out of most of that. I was an always-in-season varsity athlete for most of my time there (xc/indoor/outdoor track). We missed the football games and had team tables and all that stuff. I'm a huge Navy football fan, though. Coach Ken has done a great job this year--especially with our Kama'aina Quarterback having injury troubles. Did you see the 20 point fourth quarter comeback third string QB Ricky Dobbs (of the peach state) orchestrated against Temple on Saturday? It was incredible.
I'm an avid NBA fan and I've been saying watch out for the Hawks since they got Joe Johnson. They've got a young team built around him. As a former Atlantan, I hope this is the year they pull it all together again. I lived in Atlanta during Hubie Brown's hey day and the great late 70's Hawks teams and the Hawks really had the community pumped.

Let's hope the winning is just beginning!

I don't know, I just can't get into Pro b-ball. The season is really just pre-season because damn near every team makes the play-offs. There's no defense and the refs never call any offensive fouls.
But best of luck to your Hawks although 3 and 0 in a thousand game season? Ya' might not want to bet the mortgage on them going all the way quite yet.
I hear ya, but I don't think I'll ever trust a Mike Woodson coached team. I believe they've had good enough players the last few years but have been poorly coached in every season. We'll see how the season plays out though.
My recollection is that the Atlanta Hawks had horrible attendance even when Dominique Wilkins was scoring 30 points a game and the Hawks were winning.

By the way, I read that Sports Illustrated basketball preview article. That was one of the most journalistically shameful articles I've read in regards to sports. EVERY scouting report of the 30 teams contained quotes by anonymous scouts.

Most of the anonymous scouts ripped EVERY single player on the team they were scouting. A few lavishly praised every player on the team they were scouting -- even when they were talking about scrubs who were a fraction as good as the stars that other scouts ripped. Johnson was one of many stars who was ripped.

The entire preview section was extremely weird. It should have used basketball experts who weren't hypercritical of the NBA and would reveal their names (ex.--the basketball writer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the basketball writer of the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, LA Times, etc.)

update: We lost Josh Smith for 2-4 weeks Friday to an ankle sprain, but still pulled off a win against yet another playoff contender, Toronto.

Tonight we beat (the admittedly lousy) OKC Thunder (aka the Seattle Supersonics) on the road.

So, that leaves the Hawks and the Lakers as the NBA's only undefeated teams after two-plus weeks.

Already we've won 25-percent as many road games as we did all of last year. My Hawks are making me smile.
After winning in Chicago for the first time in half a decade last night, (Big Al Horford had his best game yet. It was incredible to watch) we're 6-0 and heading back to Boston tonight. It doesn't get any better than this...
"The NBA, where vengeance happens!"
The game in Boston last night was the best one I've watched all year. The Atlanta v. Boston rivalry has become the highlight of Eastern conference bball. I can't believe it. This is effing great.

I think I'm going to have to wear my Joe Johnson jersey every day for the rest of the season.