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Atlanta Hawks Schedule: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Stand In Way Of Six-Game Winning Streak

Bring on the King!  After months of hearing about how the 82-0, 78-4, 76-6, 74-8 Miami Heat are the best team ever*, eclipsing the Harlem Globetrotters, the U.S. Dream Team and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls combined, the Atlanta Hawks will get to experience the unstoppable (except for eight times this season) LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat.  Atlanta (13-7) travels to South Beach for a Saturday night matchup against the league's best, second best, third worst team in the Southeast Division (7:30 PM, SportSouth, 97.9 FM).

For those of you who have been too engrossed watching Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles take on Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans on Thursday night, you may have missed that little basketball game that was going on in the "Mistake by the Lake" aka Cleveland, Ohio when LeBron "who didn't save their downtown" James had a homecoming of sorts against the team, city and region that he dissed when he decided to "take his services to South Beach."

And by homecoming, I mean more like a return home for a husband who was just caught by his faithful and dutiful wife spending the family money on Capri, his mistress/secretary, who moonlights as a stripper on the side.  LeBron, or who one of my friends likes to call "LeBum," was called just about every name in the book when he took the floor against a not-as-talented-anymore Cleveland Cavaliers team.  Oh yeah, and nearby Akron apparently hates him, too, or so the chant goes.

Anyhow, the result in the game was all too predictable.  James scored like a zillion points (really just 38) and the Heat (12-8) destroyed the Cavs by like a billion (OK, really just 118-90) in this made-for-TNT telecast.  Don't worry folks, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert got his revenge on that James guy for the whole city of Cleveland by making him do his post-game press conference in front of a Cavs backdrop instead of a Heat one.  Take that LeBron!

So we learned that the Heat can beat the team they stole their best player from.  But what about the Hawks?

Atlanta is playing without Joe Johnson, who will miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing right elbow surgery. And because the Hawks are not one of those sexy NBA teams that plays on TNT every Thursday night, they had to play on Friday before making a trip down to Miami.  (That's probably a good thing -- the guys got into South Beach late -- perhaps even too late to party. But is it ever too late to party in South Beach?)

The Hawks struggled for most of the night against the Philadelphia 76ers, trailing by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter before figuring out they had to actually put the ball into the hoop and stop the other guy from scoring to win a basketball game.

The good news is that they finished the game with a 21-3 flourish to defeat the Sixers, 93-88, and sent them back to the City of Brotherly Love with their eighth straight road loss.  Starvin' Marvin Williams lead the Hawks with 22 points while Al Horford and Jamal Crawford had 15 each for the Hawks, who won their fifth straight game.

In order to get a six-pack for the weekend, the Hawks must play their best game of the year against the Heat, who are about as deep as Charlie Sheen's relationship with that non-escort that he paid money to "go out to dinner" with in New York before trashing his hotel room while claiming that the (naked) non-call girl stole something from his room.  (For the latest "news" it appears as if the non-call girl Charlie's paid "entertainment" for the evening, Capri Anderson, coulda, woulda, may have taken a $160,000 watch from the "Two and a Half Men" star).

Josh Smith must find his game from the vapid place of nothingness that it's been the past few games.  Horford must come up big as well as Williams, Crawford and well anyone in a Hawks uniform.  The good news for Atlanta is that they apparently are just the side show -- think of them as the Washington Generals -- to the juggernaut that is the Heat.  No one expects to them to do much of anything against the best group trio of guys to ever put on a basketball uniform.  Ever. I tell you, ever. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, do you hear that?

Remember Hawks fans, if you are in the Miami area on Saturday and haven't jumped on the best team ever* bandwagon, you can head on over to Whiskey Tango in Hollywood, root against the Heat and get a free $25 bar tab if the Heat do the unthinkable -- get their ninth non-win of the season.

But that can't happen, can it? The decision has been made.

Take it away groveling Cleveland singers!

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.