It was all going so well. The Hawks had swept the Celtics in convincing fashion this year, beating them just about every way you can (at home, on the road, in box, with Jamal Crawford being a pox). They had managed to deliver a late season win over Orlando, at least providing some measure of confidence that they can beat the Magic, despite losing the season series 1-3. The Hawks aren’t looking to be the favorite this postseason, that’s unrealistic. But a win over the Cavs in Cleveland, getting the Hawks the last laugh against the Eastern favorites before the playoffs start, would give them confidence heading into the postseason.
And they were up two with 6:28 to play in the fourth! It was within reach
Then LeBron James happened. James was simply dominant, Mo Williams and Z chipped in, and then all of a sudden that’s a 13-0 run, and a series sweep for the Cavs.
But we know about the Cavs. What about the Hawks? We can throw out the usal prefaces about “the playoffs are a different animal” and “the regular season doesn’t matter” but matchups are matchups. And from the looks of it,the Hawks may have found their concrete ceiling. Better than Boston, almost able to beat Orlando, outmatched by the Cavs.
So, essentially, the 3 seed. Appropriate.
The Hawks’ athleticism is neutralized by the length and ability of the Orlando perimeter and wings, and the Hawks’ offense is marginalized by the Cavs’ experience on defense. Barring a marked improvement in the playoffs, the Hawks may settled into where they should be. Which isn’t bad at all, it’s remarkable considering the mess this team was in five years ago, and the future is bright.
But this year, not quite good enough.
Matt Barnes is an instigator. He has been arrested for domestic violence. He also had a weird thing where he implied he was dating Rihanna only for her to claim they’d never never met.
Which is to say this is believable – that the Grizzlies forward attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife.
Ian Mohr of the New York Post:
Sources said Fisher was at the LA home of Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife, who stars on “Basketball Wives LA” — on Saturday. Fisher and Govan have been dating for “a few months,” a source said, after Fisher filed to divorce his wife of 10 years, Candace, in March.
But when Barnes learned that Fisher was at his former home with Gloria, he drove 95 miles to LA to “beat the s–t” out of Fisher, sources said.
“Derek was in Gloria’s back yard with about 10 people having a bonfire on Saturday,” said a source. “Derek’s separated from his wife and there’s a relationship with [Gloria].”
The source added, “Barnes was in Santa Barbara [at Memphis Grizzlies training camp] and heard that Fisher was in his house. He went crazy. He got in his car and went to the house and went after Fisher.”
A source close to Fisher confirmed the fight but said, “Matt came after Derek but he only had a few scratches … Derek’s not going to press charges, he’s going to let it go.”
Even if Fisher – who missed practice Monday for what the Knicks called “personal reasons” – isn’t pressing charges, the NBA is investigating.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This is a weird jurisdictional issue, especially if no criminal charges are filed. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the league punishes Barnes – a former Lakers teammate of Fisher – if it finds evidence to support the Post’s description of events.
Caron Butler wrote an autobiography, a recently published excerpt details his accounting of the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident when they were with the Wizards.
An excerpt of the excerpt in The Washington Post:
When I entered the locker room, I thought I had somehow been transported back to my days on the streets of Racine. Gilbert was standing in front of his two locker stalls, the ones previously used by Michael Jordan, with four guns on display. Javaris was standing in front of his own stall, his back to Gilbert.
“Hey, MF, come pick one,” Gilbert told Javaris while pointing to the weapons. “I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.”
“Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,” said Javaris, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. “I’ve got one right here.”
He pulled out his own gun, already loaded, cocked it, and pointed it at Gilbert.
Other players who had been casually arriving, laughing and joking with each other, came to a sudden halt, their eyes bugging out. It took them only a few seconds to realize this was for real, a shootaround of a whole different nature. They all looked at each other and then they ran, the last man out locking the door behind him.
Somebody outside the locker room called 911. Flip Saunders was the coach back then, but he was too scared to even come into the locker room.
Click through to read the entire excerpt. It’s captivating.
Arenas is essentially retired and still spouting off silly takes.
Crittenton is currently serving a 23-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.
Butler plays for the Kings.