I have a million thoughts running through my head about my experience in Miami. This is going to be a good old fashioned vent. If you're looking for a well thought out cohesive post you should go ahead and move on now.
Let's start with American Airlines Arena. It's really really nice upon entry. The bathrooms are big and clean and there's just a lot of walking space it seems. Unfortunately they only have an up escalator so you have to take regular stairs to get back down which isn't a big deal, but it is slightly confusing.
I don't know if it was just the side I came in on, but no one and I mean absolutely no one checked to see if I had a ticket before they let me in the arena. They frisked me and checked my purse, but didn't bother to make sure I had a ticket to attend the event. Strange.
I finally decided to go to my seat about 30 minutes prior to the tip. The usher was nice enough to ask me what section I was in and then promptly directed me left when I should have gone right. I would not find this out until after they played the National Anthem. Whatever. While I was sitting there the announcer was going through the crowd urging the fans to put on the "Black is Back" t-shirt that they gave them at the door. The cameras panned the crowd and when they'd land on someone who wasn't in black he'd ask them nicely to put the shirt on.
Eventually the camera worked it's was around to me in section 113 (shoulda been in section 112) and he said Miss can you please put on the black shirt. I had on a white t shirt with a little Hawks emblem on it that wasn't apparent upon first glance, but once the fans noticed it and saw my big blue Hawks flag they booed me. Ha! That was the highlight of the game for me and the Hawks, but I wouldn't find that out until later.
A couple of people I know from Atlanta and from Miami came to my section to say hello. Again, no one bothered to make sure they should even be there. I honestly think I could have made my way courtside unimpeded. I mean, I knew they were laid back in Miami, but damn.
Anyway, the season ticket holder whose seat I was occupying showed up and informed me that I in fact was in the wrong section. Whatever.
I made my way to my seat and luckily for me I was in between two rather nice middle aged men. They didn't even give me a hard time for being a Hawks fan. The game started and you all know it was a complete ass whipping so I really need not get too much into that at this point. I will say that Heat fans feel just as strongly as D Wade does that he get a foul call everytime someone breathes on him. That was slightly annoying.
I've always wanted to see what it feels like to be in an arena surrounded by fans who have a legitimate superstar. I felt it Saturday. The arena was insane. D Wade could have murdered a man (the dunk on Horford doesn't count) and they would rally behind him anyway. It was loud and louder and I know our guys were shook. I could see it in their eyes, and their play coincidentally.
Their overall game operations were really really good. They had lots of energy and they seem to appreciate all of their fans, not just the ones who can afford the $100 tickets. The cameras were consistently panning the upper levels. I don't even think the cameras in Philips Arena go past the 100's.
The Miami Heat dancers are provocative. Provocative may not be a strong enough word to describe them. Hawkstr8talk, would have given them major kudos. The A-Town dancers need to step it up.
Their mascot sucks, but the fans loved him. I can only assume that's because he's all they know. Trust me, Harry is better than him by a country mile.
I guess I should share a few thoughts about the game. It was awful
When Al started the game with an airball I knew it was going to be a long night.
When they stuck to the game plan of not doubling Wade I knew it was going to be a longer night.
When Joe got his shot blocked 13 times in the early stages of the game I knew it was going to be an even longer night.
When Mike Bibby threw a lob to Za Za Pachulia I wanted to put on the black is back shirt.
The most disturbing thing about the game was that I had to watch it sober, but I'll be damned if I pay $17 for a cocktail.
The fact that Mike Woodson is being out coached by a rookie head coach tells you everything you need to know about how good of a coach he may or may not be.
Everytime Joe touched the ball he had the man who was guarding him and then the man closest to the man that was guarding Joe would leave whomever he was initially guarding to double Joe. If Erick Spoelstra bothers to double Joe why won't Mike Woodson bother to double Dwyane Damn Wade??? Seriously get the ball out of his hands. I can take getting beat by the Heat role players if the Hawks keep Wade in check, but I can't stomach getting beat by both.
I can't tell you how many texts I got stating Woody needs to make an adjustment or he needs to rethink this "defensive strategy". I could only respond with that's not something he does.
When it's time to renegotiate Woody's contract Rick Sund need only pull out the tape of Game 3 and make him watch it in it's entirety. Then he should make Woody look him in the eyes and explain why he deserves to be a head coach of an NBA team. Then Rick Sund should immediately stop listening.
Next time I'm in Miami I am not going to Dwyane Wade's house. He doesn't know how to treat company.
Dec. 6: Cavaliers vs Hawks
24 minutes ago