He was wearing a throwback Hawks hat, the orangish-red one with the old logo, and told me right off the bat that, "Man, you know what you should be writing about? Talk about the 2 chainz promo night! Did you hear about that? Seriously. Put that in there!"
Which, being totally honest, is a pretty cool promo night. First, Tinder night (swiiiiipe right!), and now this? Why can't we have a Based God promo night? I mean, he already jinxed and/or injured Durant! Get that dude on board STAT! Especially if we have to play the Thunder in the first round. Anyways. Getting off topic here.
Justin Holiday got the start in place of an injured Klay Thompson, whose Harry Potter Voldemort scar is becoming more and more a thing. Shout out to Klay looking stylish if albeit slightly wizardly on the bench last night.
"Yeah," said Feinberg (my buddy), "I get that Klay is out, but Kyle Korver is out too, so, you know. It evens out."
"What happened to Kyle?"
"Someone punched him in the face. Or something. His nose is broken."
"Poor Ashton. Face'll never be the same."
In his place, KENT BAZEMORE got the start! What up homey??
Man, I love seeing Baze thrive on a good team. I miss that dude.
MUCH LOVE DAWG!
It was fitting. Klay out. Korver out. Holiday in. Baze in. Holiday is the heir apparent to Baze's throne (minus the awesomeness on the bench celebrating threes and dancing around like a buffoon and getting his car filled up with popcorn). Long arms. Crazy active on defense. Can hit the three.
Let's roll it back, for old times sake:
And one more, because I'm feeling nostalgic:
The game tipped, and away we went.
"Man, it's wierd," said Feinberg, "Jeff Teague gets forgotten in the elite point guard conversation in the East. Seriously, who else is playing as well as him? BLT, man BLT!"
"What is BLT?"
"Big League Teague!"
And Teague followed this high praise by immediately throwing a no look, fast break four-on-one pass into the stands.
My notes from that moment:
Hahaha! Teague turnover GIF pass to no one!
Also from my notes:
HOW MANY FU###ING TURNOVERS??!
9 - 0 ATL run.
Ah, good. Harrison Barnes ends it with a nice running layup.
Crazy Green pass cross court to Barnes. Saves it from going out of bounds -> Curry 3!
5:12 WTF CURRY PASS??!
"I'm gonna protest!" Feinberg yelled, gesturing towards the screen with his beer. "I'm gonna have to protest that pass! Write the league or something. That was not possible! That was ... That was some black hole, alternate universe type s##t. How did he ...? How did he do that?"
The Hawks were really hounding Stephen Curry. Crazy trapping every time he touched the ball. Doubling him up above the three point line, almost pushing him back towards half court. Trying to force turnovers. For much of the first half, they were successful. With 10:50 left in the 2nd quarter, the Warriors picked up turn over number eight.
And yet, through the second quarter, little by little, you could feel the momentum swing. The crowd was getting into it. Iguodala had a few break away dunks.
Screaming in the stands. Clapping and smiling and having a good time at ol' Roaracle.
And then, things escalated. Draymond Green hit a crazy one handed, three point, buzzer beating shot (with .8 to shoot!!):
Feinberg jumped up. "Man, take that ridiculous, no good, bulls##t three point, buzzer beating, one handed dumb--oh, okay, Hawks answered with a three." He sat back down. "That's more like it."
But then Livingston dunked and Curry hit an amazing three pointer, got fouled, falling backwards, and then hit the free throw. Suddenly the Dubs were up by 10.
Well, that escalated quickly. Dubs up 10 just like that. Draymond buzzer-beating three, Livingston nasty dunk, and Curry 4-point play. Wow.— Sam Sorkin (@samsorkin23) March 19, 2015
At this point, Feinberg would not be swayed from his belief that the Hawks were coming back.
"I still feel like there's plenty of time. You know? As long as we keep it reasonable for the second half. Don't let the game get out of hand."
1:14 left in the 2nd: Green's defense leads to Bogut diving on the floor to save it, shuffles the ball to Curry throws it ahead for the IGGY JAM! #Teamwork
"No one's really playing super great so far. You know? And what are we shooting, like, thirty percent??! Damn. This is disgusting. But I'm afraid of Steph Curry. He terrifies me. If he gets hot... Man."
Green hit another three, and right before the half, the Warriors had four different players with 11 points.
"If we weren't shooting thirty some odd bulls##t percent, this would be a two possession game."
Halftime: Dubs led 59 - 47.
In the third the teams ran back and forth from one side of the court to the other, putting the ball into the basket with varying levels of success. By which I mean to say that the Warriors maintained their 10 - 12 point lead until Draymond hit a big three, leading Feinberg to yell at the TV, "What?! That's bulls##t! He's not supposed to make those!"
The national announcer was screaming, "Draymond Green is four of five from behind the arc!"
I was smiling like mad, scribbling away in my note pad.
4:20 in 3rd: Barbosa out of control --> Curry --> behind the back!! --> BARBOSA 3!! What?!
Michael and I both screamed, "OOOOOOOHHHHH!" at the same time.
His girlfriend was in the other room, "What's happening in there??"
"Nothing good," said Michael, putting his head in his hands for five seconds. Finally he looked up at me. "Man. I miss Kyle Korver."
2:00 in 3rd - Technical called on Pero Antic
"Nah, man. This game is out of hand. The way it's being called?! S##t. Shooting thirty fu##ing percent! The worst all season. I mean, s##t, to be down, only, what? Fourteen at this point is a moral victory. Damn it all."
He took a deep breath and another pull on his beer and then set the beer down and clapped his hands loudly, digging in his heels. "Okay! Come on Atlanta! Get it going! Come on!"
And then things really got out of hand.
:55.4 left in 3rd. Green has five three pointers. Curry's 11th assist.
Iguodala CIRCUS SHOT.
Maaaaaan if that Barbosa shot counted. Cray finger roll from the three point line!
Iggy! 3!! --> Steal -->Dunk
--> PINPOINT PASSING!
22 point game
Damn! Iggy another 3!
Barnes having a career night.
Stepping up huge with Klay out.
So many people talk about Draymond's contract situation, but what about Barnes? He's showing his potential here. THROWING DOWN without Klay.
102 - 76 with 6:00 left in the game.
"He's 11 of 13! 25 points!"
29 point Dubs lead
When it was all said and done, Michael just shook his head in disgust.
"End it with a flourish. Goddamn. What a poor performance."
He turned away from the screen and, almost to himself, rattled off the silver linings.
"Well, okay, s##t. We scored 95 points, even though we couldn't hit a goddamn shot all night. We're still number one in the East by, like, 10 games or something. We shot 30 percent with no Kyle Korver and still scored 95 points."
"You said that already."
"Shut up, let me console myself in peace. Where was I?"
"You scored 95 points."
"Right. And we're still number one. In the East. By like..."
"I hope we get to do this again."
"Me too, because it would mean we both made it to the Finals."
--- = ---
Post game thoughts:
Continuing the "Justin Holiday is heir apparent to Bazemore" line of thinking: They both shot 1 - 6 in the game. Freaky.
It truly was a game of shooting percentages.
Barnes was 11 - 13 and Draymond was 6 -11, while Al Horford shot 4 - 18 (22% - ouch!).
The Dubs are now two games up on Atlanta in the loss column. You know, for home court advantage. If it's ever needed. (Read: FINALS).