By Sekou Smith, NBA.com
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – While NFL fans wait around for the start of their beloved draft, we hoops lovers are already engrossed in Game 2 of the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets.
You can have Johnny Football, that Jadeveon Clowney fella and the draft that never ends (in the NBA we go 60-men deep, that’s it). I’m rocking with the round ball tonight.
Give me LeBron James and Paul Piece, Kevin Garnett and Dwyane Wade and Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Damian Lillard in the nightcap when the Spurs and Trail Blazers get it on in Game 2 of their conference semifinal showdown.
I don’t care how choppy it is early, still waiting for someone to knock down a shot here, I’m sticking to NBA basketball tonight …
(I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t intrigued by this one wrinkle, though. The prospects choosing their walk-up song is a splendid idea. The fact that we already know which song each guy has chosen steals just a little bit of the thunder. But I love the idea and wouldn’t mind if the NBA poached it come Draft night next month.)
Oh and big ups to my main man Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers on winning KIA Sixth Man of the Year honors for the second time in his career. Well deserved honor for one of our faves around here.
24 – For all of my anti-NFL draft hype, this one didn’t exactly start with fireworks. Brutal start for both teams in the early going. no one wanted to score, or even hold on to the ball, for that matter.
Did the math: The 3:31 tonight was Miami's longest scoreless drought to open a home game since Feb. 26, 2005 — 443 games ago.—
Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 08, 2014
23 – We’re two hours from tip in San Antonio and already there is more action than we’ve seen from the Heat offense, which has produced just 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting (1-for-8 from deep) after the first 12 minutes.
22 – Nets guard Shaun Livingston slipped on a wet spot under the basket early and I missed the replay. He kept playing, so I didn’t think it was that serious. It didn’t hit me until a few minutes later that when you hear the words “Shaun Livingston” and “slipped under the basket” you can’t help but freak out. Glad it wasn’t anything serious. He’s one of my favorite players. Loved his game coming out of high school. He’s the embodiment of the power of perseverance. We were all robbed of what he might have been …
Shaun Livingston may never reach potential he was had, but he's worked his way back to being a remarkable role player.—
Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) May 08, 2014
21 – Why don’t we just let Rashard Lewis and Mirza Teletovic play a game of H-O-R-S-E to decide this thing …
All hail the King (of Bosnia)!—
NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) May 08, 2014
(@netw3rk) May 08, 2014
20 – Sorry LeBron, but we don’t always get what we want …
But you did get it cranked up the closer we got to halftime …
Last 5 Heat possessions: LeBron TO, LeBron 2, LeBron 2, LeBron 2, LeBron 2.—
Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 09, 2014
As great as Teletovic has been offensively, probably don't want him switching onto LeBron so much.—
John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) May 09, 2014
19 – Joe Johnson scores on an isolation play and ESPN’s Mike Tirico talks about his nickname in Atlanta being “Iso Joe.” My memory could be a bit shaky, but I swear I coined that nickname when I was the beat writer for the Hawks. Seriously, I think that’s one of mine. I wonder if the url is already taken?
There are other Nets stars in the crosshairs at halftime, though, K.G. and D-Will in particular …
The Nets won't win this game unless Deron Williams shows up in the second half.—
Tom Lorenzo (@TomLorenzo) May 09, 2014
Roy Hibbert, Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady are gonna start mocking Kevin Garnett on Twitter.—
Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 09, 2014
18 – Welcome to San Antonio folks …
So, Portland coach Terry Stotts confirmed that there indeed was a freaking rattle snake in the visiting locker room at the AT&T Center.—
Dan McCarney (@danmccarneysaen) May 09, 2014
17 – The battle of the role players continues with Teletovic ballin’ out for the Nets and Ray Shuttlesworth doing the honors for the Heat. We can watch this all night …
This has turned into a 6-9 and under game.—
Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) May 09, 2014
Watch how many teams line up to sign Ray Allen this summer. Almost 39, still clutch, still among game's best shooters. Could play for years.—
Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 09, 2014
16 – There has been a breakout of happy feet in these playoffs. I was going to refrain from bringing it up, until my favorite WNBA player went and did this …
Is traveling ever called in the NBA? I want someone to just run like a running back down the lane without dribbling and dare em to call it..—
Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) May 09, 2014
This is a nutty game. Watching some of these elder statesmen battle each other as much as they’re battling Father Time can be painful at times. KG missing wide open jump hooks and D.Wade walking the ball up the court and passing up open shots repeatedly …
If you just looked at the box score this game makes no sense. Even if you're watching, it makes no sense.—
Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) May 09, 2014
Too bad the game isn’t the story of the night. The NFL draft is a role player, too. This is the night of the snake …
We're told the snake was not a rattler and was not venomous, but still. THERE WAS A SNAKE IN THE FRIGGIN LOCKER ROOM—
Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) May 09, 2014
14 – BALLGAME!!!! The Heat just finished off a 100-second possession (they got three offensive rebounds) with a LeBron layup to push the lead to 89-79. Nets vets moving like those zombies on the Walking Dead …
Nice ball-control drive by the Heat here to run out the clock.—
Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) May 09, 2014
13 – Ray Ray was fabulous. And the Heat did what you expect a championship team to do. But D-Will’s 0-for-everything shooting night sticks out to me as the most glaring item of the night.
12 – Always figured TP for more of a win guy, being from France and all …
Do French guys like beer? I think Parker's going to smell like one for the rest of the game.—
Mike Tokito (@mtokito) May 09, 2014
11 – Still no sign of the team willing to take the leap and pick Johnny Manziel. #struggleface …
10 – What is it with Lillard and these buzzer beaters?
Lillard owns the buzzer.—
Sarah Hecht (@sarahhechtNBA) May 09, 2014
Portland faring much better tonight and they’re still down after the first 12 minutes. Thanks to Kawhi Leonard’s relentless assault. Don’t let the #tbt cornrows fool you, KLeonard is the future of the San Antonio Spurs …
Kawhi Leonard pulls up in transition. Even Manu looks at him like "Man, that's an ill-advised shot." But it goes in. Leonard's rolling.—
Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) May 09, 2014
9 – Crusty old Spurs, huh?
Now the Spurs have scored 27 points on their last 11 possessions. 11 straight scores.—
John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) May 09, 2014
8 – I love the fight in these Trail Blazers. They’re getting cracked in the face and still pressing the action. #betterbasketballclinicfromthespurs …
I will say this of the Blazers, they've taken a hell of a shot from the Spurs but they're still in attack mode, not giving up.—
Ben Hunt (@benhunted) May 09, 2014
#nosleeptilbrooklyn for the Heat and Nets
7 – The Spurs’ second quarter burst was a thing of beauty, coordinated chaos and fury from the crew that’s supposed to be boring but has been anything but so far …
41 points in the 2nd for the Spurs. On 25 possessions.—
Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) May 09, 2014
The police office in the AT&T Center is wearing a cowboy hat- that's how confident the Spurs are.—
Tas Melas (@TasMelas) May 09, 2014
Johnny Football is a Cleveland Brown with the 22nd pick, joining Kyrie Irving as one of the professional sports saviors of Northeast Ohio!
Brett Freaking Favre lasted until the second round for some of the same reasons Manziel went 22nd. Browns stole this draft.—
Rick Cleveland (@rick_cleveland) May 09, 2014
NE Ohio is a football Mecca… Manziel will be loved. Trust it. If he comes and ball he will be loved forever ….—
Maurice Clarett (@ReeseClarett13) May 09, 2014
Bad news Cleveland? LeBron's not coming. Good news? He sent Johnny football your way.—
Bill Reiter (@foxsportsreiter) May 09, 2014
6 – The KLeonard walk off interview at halftime was quality stuff. He’s every bit as no-frills as his coaches and teammates insist. And the #tbt cornrows got some prime time love. That’s always a good thing …
5 – The power of the #NBAPlayoffs … you’re welcome Pit Bull!
I wasn't really into the Pitbull song "Timber" much before the playoffs . . . smh—
Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) May 09, 2014
4 – See Roy Hibbert prior to Game 2 of Pacers-Wizards series …
So Deron Williams. What happened?????—
RICHELLE CAREY (@RichelleCarey) May 09, 2014
3 – Young fella is 4-for-4 from deep and helping maintain control at a time when there is. Big 3!
Barbara Titus (@BarbaraTitus) May 09, 2014
2 – There’s a first time for everything …. especially in the playoffs!
1 – A fitting nugget to end with on “draft night” …
Reminder: Kawhi Leonard went #15 in the 2011 NBA Draft. Jan Vesely, Derrick Williams, Bismack Biyombo, Jimmer Fredette, etc. went above him.—
Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 09, 2014