So I'm finally getting settled in
the press box my living room to call a fantastic evening of live basketball television watching. Our target demographic tonight: the lost souls who somehow have access to the internet, but not a television; and the very bored.
A few months ago Thomas "I Heart Ron Paul" Francis wrote a live blog about the local elections, with help from his civical dog. So my co-pilot for the evening will be my greyhound (pictured above). She is both a retired athlete and an expert at sitting around watching television. Sadly, I'm pretty sure our editors are paying her more than me.
8:07 p.m. I'm watching the SUN broadcast of the game right now (channel 38 here). After tip off, the Heat score early, and D-Wade is called for his first foul. Score: 2-1, Heat. I asked my color commentator what she thinks so far. She didn't answer. She doesn't talk, and her owner isn't one of those people who pretends she does. I will, however, credit her with some points throughout the night, mostly because it's easier to make stupid jokes.
8:14 p.m. So the Heat already have three fouls and don't look much cleaner than they did in the debacle of a game one. In other television-watching news, The Old Adventures of New Christine seems to be about some sort of confusion between the woman who played Elaine and Seinfeld and her ex. And Scrubs seems to be about an emotional learning experience as viewed through the eyes of sarcastic, macabre young doctors with a lot of sexual tension.
8:17 p.m. I'm already thinking that flipping through other channels is a bad idea. When I got back to the game the score was 7-3 Heat and Wade was missing an open jumper. I'm not sure what's going on here.
8:27 p.m. My sidekick has pointed out that the Heat were five-point dogs coming into tonight. I'm gonna go ahead and take any opportunity to insert canine-related references into this blog. D-Wade just hit a three-point jumper making the score 18-11, and giving him seven points on the night. Things are looking good.
8:30 p.m. I just watched a Geico commercial (we've switched to TNT) about a lizard getting a new suit with my dog. Then I sat around for three minutes trying to come up with something snippy to say about it. Then the game came back on. I hope as you're reading this you're coming to the same realization our editors are surely having: blogging about watching the second game of a best-of-seven series in the first round of the playoffs might just be the point where this little fascination with internet, real-time, high-tech news thing has gone just a little too far.
8:36 p.m. There's 47 seconds left in the first quarter. The score is 22-17, Heat. And my color commentator has not moved once, unless you count flatulence as movement. A lesser man might resort to drinking right now to make this any kind of interesting. But not me. Well, not again. Well, not again yet.
8:44 p.m. So yeah, still sitting, watching the game at home. Jermaine O'Neal is getting owned in the paint, but everyone else looks much more physical than last game. Maybe this would be funnier if the event was more important. Or if I wasn't in my own living room. Or if LOST was already on.
8:47 p.m. Daquan Cook just hit his second straight three pointer. Score: Heat 32-25. OK, apparently Cook had his foot on the line. But I didn't want to delete that first sentence. True, I've typed at least three more sentences since then, but I'm sticking with my original decision.
8:54 p.m. My girlfriend just got home. She was at Whole Foods. She told me she bought me something special to eat, but I can't have it until after the game. She also won't tell me what it is. I hope it's either some sort of luxury...she just saw me typing this and she looks pissed. She's very pretty.
8:59 p.m. My girlfriend just came downstairs after reading what I've written so far. "What the hell are you even blogging about?" she said. "This is the worst thing you've ever written. They're never going to ask you to do this aga--wait a second...you're a genius." The dog has no comment. She still doesn't speak.
9:05 p.m. Damn there are a lot of McDonald's ads during and at NBA games. I always like when companies advertise products that, if consumed, will specifically prevent you from doing the things you're watching the pro athletes do. It's like the exact opposite of those old Be Like Mike commercials. On the next commercial break, TNT had a Gatorade ad where a cartoon kid learns to hit a golf ball like Tiger Woods. After that: another McDonald's spot. It's been a while since I've said anything about the game. It's 41-33 Heat.
9:07 p.m. During the last time-out, I took another photo of my color commentator. She's fixed on the TV. Seeing her focus and dedication, I now see why this company pays her the big
9:15 p.m. It's half-time. The Hawks waited for the last shot of the half, and missed. Then Haslem missed a desperation shot for the Heat. Dwyane Wade has scored the last 13 points for the Heat. He has 21 so far and the team has almost matched their entire point total from game one. Score: 54-41. Hard to complain about the way Miami is playing. And it's hard to believe this wretched live blog is only half over.
9:18 p.m. My color commentator needs to go out for a walk.
9:29 p.m. We're back. The walk went well. The color commentator had a few thoughts on game one, then had lots of thoughts on number two. More than I was expecting when I only brought one bag, actually. It looks like half-time went well too, as the score hasn't changed. Everything is working for the Heat and everything is going through Wade. In the first half he already has two points more than he had all of game one.
9:33 p.m. Game's back on and the Heat have picked up where they left off. The Hawks can not stop Wade at all. I didn't mention it in the first half when it happened, but the Atlanta mascot - a live Hawk - got loose in the arena. They had to stop the game for a moment before he was called back. Perhaps that was an omen.
9:40 p.m. The Hawks just went on a 7-0 run, making the score 65-55 Heat. Flashes of what can happen when flash is off the court.
9:47 p.m. Wade just hit another beautiful three. He has 28 so far. Score: 71-57. If you've found the last few posts particularly game-centric, it's no accident. And if it seems like I'm passionately rooting for the Heat now, that's also no accident. Those are the new marching orders. My only problem is that I've always been more of a bitterly sarcastic fan--the kind of guy who sort of hates all the teams he loves, until they look like they might win a championship. I'm not sure how that translates into liveblog-ese.
9:53 p.m. I sent my color commentator on a little reconnaissance mission to learn what the "surprise" from Whole Foods. She seems to think it's in the fridge.
9:57 p.m. Atlanta just got their fifth foul when Bibby reached out and yanked Wade's arm. Wade's free throws give him 30. Score: 77-62. Fuck yeah! Additional generic passionate cheer!
10:03 p.m. At the end of the third quarter the Heat lead 83-72. The Hawks scored the last seven points of the quarter and really seemed to take some momentum. D-Wade had his third turnover of the game and looked a little dejected.
10:10 p.m. The fourth quarter is underway, and kicking ass. Jamario Moon hit a three to extend the Heat lead to 13, and right after Josh Smith looked like he tried to fight Mario Chalmers. They got double technicals. This is the first true feistiness of the game. Unless you count the dog shaking her Woolman around for a few minutes when she came in from the walk.
10:13 p.m. Now ordinarily I wouldn't respond to comments during a live blog. But ordinarily I have more material (transparency here, folks). So I'd like to take this time to tell "Gunther" that yes, we do have discotheques in America, but rarely do they allow live blogging with the sort of salty language we here at The Juice like to employ. And to "Word," I'm not fucking sure what you're talking about.
10:17 p.m. The Heat just let the shot clock expire and had an offensive foul on back-to-back possessions. The lead is down to 10. This is not good.
10:22 p.m. As Joe Johnson hit a three for the Hawks to take the lead down to seven, and I scanned some of what I've written so far, I just had a horrible realization. I've kind of, maybe, in an attempt to be funny, at times, complained a bit about this assignment. What kind of an idiot would complain about being asked to sit on his couch with his dog? This kind of idiot. So I decided to give my editor a call, to say, "you know...please don't fire me...please?" As it turns out, he isn't home. Apparently he is actually rescuing orphans from a fire somewhere. Orphans with diseases. That guy is seriously fucking awesome. Even if some of his employees appear shitty and ungrateful at times.
10:28 p.m. I feel the Heat pain. They had a huge lead. They got cocky. Now with three minutes left it's much closer than it should be. Score: 96-91 Heat. They're wondering--like I am--where did it all go wrong?
10:30 p.m. Wow. Dwyane Wade just hit his sixth three pointer of the game and it was amazing. As the shot clock expired and he drifted backwards he let it go, and in a very ugly arc it banked off the backboard and in. Even the Atlanta crowd gave a collective "Wow." Score: 101-91.
10:35 p.m. Daquan Cook just hit his sixth three pointer of the game to make it 104-91 with less than two minutes left. Safe to say it's just about over. It's incredible how different this team is when Wade is on. He scores, he defends, and he opens up shots for everyone around him. And now Miami essentially has home-court advantage in the series.
10:37 p.m. We just learned that this is the first time teammates have each scored six three pointers in the same playoff game. Cool.
10:38 p.m. Game over. 108-93. The dog is asleep. Dwyane Wade just said of that amazing last three: "I was mad at myself for not giving myself more space...and I had to pull something out of my butt." We should all be so lucky to pull such phenomenal playoff moments from our rears. That man is good. (I'm pretty sure our editor could still take him one-on-one though.)
10:41 p.m. Well we've come to the end of a pleasant night of television. I never got to see LOST, or that interesting documentary on the Sundance Channel. I did get to tell the world random details about my Wednesday night though. We laughed. We cried. The greyhound emitted a perfunctory odor. I hope if you've read down this far it wasn't nearly as bad as I joked. And if it was, I blame the dog.