Sports Outside the Beltway

The last blow(out)- Atlanta Hawks eliminate Miami Heat 91-78

My father, who coached future NBA player Toby Knight as a youth, used to say about basketball- “If you don’t watch the game till the last five minutes, you aren’t missing anything. Even then you may not miss anything worth watching.” That statement would apply well to the NBA series that finished today.

The final blowout went to Atlanta, so it’s the Hawks who’ll get a shot at LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Joe Johnson scored 27 points to make up for a mostly disappointing series and the Hawks won the first Game 7 ever played in Atlanta, beating Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat 91-78 Sunday to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in a decade.

A series totally devoid of drama ended in appropriate fashion. After a back-and-forth first quarter that ended with Atlanta ahead 20-18, the Hawks pulled out to a 49-36 lead by halftime.

They might as well have started the celebration right then. There were only 15 lead changes in seven games — not one of them after the opening period. Every game was decided by at least 10 points, and this one wasn’t nearly as close as the final margin.

Atlanta gets to face Cleveland and Lebron James next. I predict a Cavalier sweep.

As for the Heat, they need to build a team that doesn’t entirely on the temperamental and injury prone Dwyane Wade.

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