Oh, freebird (Heat 108, Hawks 93)
Early in the 1st quarter, the Spirit of the Hawks somehow got loose and started flying around the Hawks' hoop, eventually settling on top of the TV camera above the backboard and on the backboard. It took a few laps above the halfcourt.
Amazingly, they didn't initially stop play. One of the refs even tossed the ball against the backboard trying to jar the bird loose, prompting Miami's Jermaine O'Neal to wrap up the ref to prevent him from doing it again.
Finally the hawk flew to its master.
But it created a strange omen for the game. Miami's Dwayne Wade couldn't miss, especially as he started jacking it up from behind the 3-point line and making it play after play.
I long for the old days of the NBA when that would have amounted to showing up the other team and -- whoops -- hard foul and your ass is on the floor.
I wonder if Wade was injured and was opting to just shoot perimeter shots. He didn't seem very mobile and spent much of the game just standing around. This may be an interesting series.
Live by the perimeter shot (ala Duke), die by the perimeter shot. If that's the best Miami has, then the Hawks should have no problem the rest of the series.
The Hawks have themselves to blame for an 18-point first quarter. In the playoffs, this is usually the death of the low-scoring team.
We'll see if the Hawks can take a game from the Heat this weekend. We know they've done it before in the regular season.
But oh, freebird. We could have used a second win at home to pretty much drive in the dagger in the series.