Joining the action with 1:34 left in the first and the score tied at 23. Somehow, this is the only NBA game on tonight. Which is, of course, the only reason I'm watching it. Heck, it was either this or the end of "Superman II." And I know what happens in that.
It's just too bad that Shaun Livingtson is out (again), because he is really fun to watch—and he was looking even better this summer. But still, can't complain too much. Instead we've got Sam Cassell, Elton "Perennial All-Star Except He's A Clipper" Brand, Corey Maggette Cat Mobley and Chris Wilcox. Then, on the other side, Marvin Williams, Al Harrington, Josh Smith and Joe Johnson, who should have found a way to wear No. 70,000,000 this year.
Steve Smith is announcing, which is rad. Always liked Smitty, he was gracious to a fault as a player and was always a class act. Still is.
Zeljko Rebraca? Daniel Ewing? Quinton Ross? These are your Los Angeles Clippers. Bummer that Daniel Ewing isn't wearing No. 33. Or Ewings, for that matter. Hell, if he came out in Ewings, he'd be my favorite player in the L, Blue Devil or not.
Is Tyronn Lue on the Hawks because of his championship experience?
The Hawks animated/live action promo spot is good, I guess, but "Rise Up"? What other choice do they have?
There's someone named "Edwards" playing center for the Hawks—No. 54—and I have absolutely no idea who he is. None. He's replaced by Zaza Pachulia, who really should have signed with a playoff team. Or at least an NBA one.
If I played in the NBA, I'd rock everything. Headband, tall socks, wristbands, fingerwraps, calf sleeve, elbow sleeve, ankle braces, compression shorts, knee straps. Everything.
The Hawks announcer who's not Steve Smith goes on an extended riff about Corey Maggette's body, and I don't blame him. He ever goes to Greece, the damn statues are gonna start working out. It's ridiculous. He dives to save a ball, the seats'll move out of the way.
The Clippers are up 10, and I'm not sure how. The stands are half-empty, but that's no mystery.
It's good to see that Josh Childress is letting his afro come back. Wouldn't be right without it.
I know he's been gone for a while now, but it's a shame that Jeff McInnis isn't a Clipper anymore. I don't mean it in a bad way, but he just seemed like a Clipper. Ditto for Q and D Miles.
Cassell and Cat is a pretty decent backcourt, actually. Sam I Am needs to rehab his rep, Cat needs to show he can thrive without his partner in, uh, crime, Franchise. And with Wilcox, Brand and Maggette, there are plenty of assists to be had. Can't see the Clips cracking the playoffs, but they're gonna ruin a lot of people's nights. The Hawks, of course, are quite capable of ruining their own nights, thank you.
Can't remember whether the Stoudamire on the Hawks is Damon or Salim. I could look it up, but why? I assume he'll score at some point.
Chris Kaman's hair is impressively awful. (And it's Salim—just got a good look at him. I guess I'll have to look up where Damon is.) Al Harrington tries to draw a charge on Maggette, which is basically like trying to draw a charge on an 18-wheeler. Adding insult to injury, he gets whistled for the block.
The Hawks guys seem surprised that Maggette has started quickly after missing a month, but then again they didn't see him balling this summer. I did, and I can safely say he would have been ready had the season started in July. He doesn't take time off.
Someone on the Hawks has some ILL adidas. The team might be bad, but they've got a great arena and good colors. So there's that.
You can't help but admire Mike Dunleavy's commitment to the Rileyesque slicked-back do despite his obvious deficiencies.
Halftime. 50-47, Clips. And ha ha, I totally forgot that there was a doubleheader on TNT. Right now it's Heat/Rockets without Shaq or T-Mac, which honestly may be less compelling than the Hawks/Clips. OK, so maybe not, but I'm committed to this game. I think. Then again, it IS halftime. Guess I could change over for a while.
OK, this is bad. I haven't watched the new-look Heat yet, and the first possession I see has Antoine Walker and Jason Williams dribbling out the shot clock, with J Will losing it on a travel. Dwyane Wade, off in the corner, doesn't touch the ball. This is not good.
Yao Ming gets swatted by Zo, which is just plain embarassing. Not sure what he has to do, but Yao has to get MEAN. He hits layups on the next two possessions, but he needs to be dunking on people.
Can't say I ever thought Jeff Van Gundy would be coaching Rafer Alston. Is there a weirder coach/player combination in the League? Well, except Larry Brown and all of the Knicks, of course.
Antoine Walker, 3; Antoine Walker, airball 3. That's my Toine.
Yao's neck beard is quite disturbing. Two fouls in four minutes though, and who wants to sex Mutombo?
Pretty cool that Juwan Howard and Alonzo Mourning are on the court at the same time—two of the first $100 million men. It's hard to believe that anyone ever thought Juwan Howard was worth $100 million, but hey, these things happen.
Jeez, with those two, Deke and now Gary Payton on the court at the same time—what years is this?
The chances of my watching any of the rest of the Hawks/Clips game are somewhere between slim and none.
You know what would be shocking, Craig Sager? Come out one night in a grey pinstriped suit and a solid tie. Plain white shirt. Wingtips.
Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller in the booth. Either team would probably take Reggie right now. Actually, there's no probably about it.
Derek Anderson's cornrows look familiar—did AI have that pattern once? Someone did. Guess you can't patent hair designs. Although Anthony Mason should have.
What the hell? The Heineken sports update looks like it's coming FROM hell. What's with the red mist?
Whoops, lost some time there. It doesn't really look like that Zo's lost much. I still think he's a loser for bailing out on New Jersey, but he's definitely still got some game. Going after shots like it was 1993, snuffing Stromile Swift like he was some high school kid.
Yao's hair is...commie. Or something. Also, he's really, really, really tall.
It's still amazingly hard to believe that Jeff and Stan Van Gundy share the same parents.
I'm going to post this at halftime so if Safari crashes I won't have a nervous breakdown. Not that anyone will really care (or notice) one way or the other.
Soooo many new guys on both of these teams, it's actually confusing. Also, David Wesley looks like Marco Pantani.
Mourning goes after EVERY SHOT inside. It would be funny if he wasn't catching a bunch of them. Actually, he's only got three blocks, but it seems like more.
Reggie Miller just murked a Run-DMC lyric. It's "kill my dog, I'ma SLAY your cat." I think.
Yao misses a dunk, which is just plain absurd.
48-44 Miami at the half.