A Tough Call

Let’s start this post with the rightful, and righteous, congrats to our home team Atlanta Hawks.  Let’s highlight just how strong a 47-35 record is.  Let’s note that there was nothing flukish about that record, as the Hawks season-long point differential was as clearly fourth in the Eastern Conference as their fourth-seed finish.

And let’s not bother with the seemingly endless discussion of whether Billy Knight should be credited with this years’ success, or be held largely responsible for the fact that, with some fairly obvious alternative personnel moves, this kind of season has arrived several years later than it should have.  Because Billy Knight is gone, and this season is about the folks who are here, now.  This season is about the current players, coaches and front office, because at the end of the day you dance with the one that ‘brung ya’.

So now that we’ve dispensed with the well-earned platitudes, we need look no farther than the recent history of our Atlanta Braves to remember that no matter how well you end the regular season, the playoffs reset everybody’s record to 0-0.  And the games will not be played on paper, but on a 94-foot long, hardwood court.  To be honest, it’s more important that the Hawks be cognizant of this point, than us, the fans.  Because the most we can contribute is a frenzied, screaming, sold-out Philips, but at the end of the day, it will be the rotation of players, on the court, who will have to win four games against Dwayne Wade and “the heat”.

That’s no typo, that’s just an accurate representation of our first-round opponent, like ‘Diana Ross & the supremes’.

Two weeks ago I posted one man’s opinion that the Hawks would rather see the Sixers than the Wade’s, er, Heat.  Lot’s of folks weighed in, and only time will tell if that was a wrong-headed position.  But since that post, Wade put up 55 on the Knicks, and Beasley (who a few folks were quick to scoff at, after I suggested he was a factor of concern) closed out his final five games, after my post, averaging 24.2 and 11.2, on 56% shooting from the field.

And while my opinion, as always (as frequently wrong as right, when it comes to game outcomes; though I’ll put my track record for draft options against anybody’s), was independently determined, I was not surprised to find that the Fox Sports’ NBA writer, John Galinsky (yeah, I know, who the hell is John Galinsky?), placed the Heat ahead of the Hawks (12th and 13th) in his final power rankings, with a prediction that the Heat would beat the Hawks in the first round.

So here it is, the Tough Call:

Heat pull off a mild (4th versus 5th seed, folks) upset, and defeat the Hawks in the first round.

I know, I know, Ando is a Hater, not a fan.  And I can understand how some folks could mistake me in that fashion (though the members of the Hawks’ blog community, who know me personally, would most certainly support the fact that I am truly a fan; just prone to possibly unrealistic expectations and definitely a bit of a pessimist, by nature).

OK, then as a fan, why am I predicting a Heat upset?

Because there are more reasons, in my mind, to support that expectation, than a Hawks’ win.  And those reasons, in no particular order (some of this will be redundant from my post two weeks’ ago), include:

1) Wade.  He’s one of three superstars in the league who can single-handedly pull a “Jordan” on a second-tier playoff team like the Hawks.  And as I touched on in my last post, there’s the “conspiracy theory” component regarding the NBA’s desire to see certain match-ups in the playoffs, from a TV/marketing perspective.  Can the Hawks shut down such an individual talent?  And will the officials make that task even harder by giving him every call?  Guess we’ll see….

2) Beasley.  Again, redundant, but less so since he followed my previous post, touting his potential impact, with the numbers I noted above.  I don’t think any of our front court can cover him.   And I think that the Heat have been holding him back for much of the season to develop his professionalism, far more than his on-court ability.  But the Beasley that you’ve seen over the last few weeks is the real deal.

3) Chalmers. OK, so I’m now resting two of the first three points, supporting a Heat upset, on rookies.  I’m either clueless or crazy like a fox.  But when I look at Chalmers quickness, and his defensive/steals’ output, and I consider just how slow Mike Bibby is, I can’t help but flash back to last years’ Celtics series, and the way Rondo ran circles around Bibby.  Am I the only person who sees a similarity between Chalmers and Rondo?

4) The Hawks.  I can’t shake the sense (and I’ll be stuffing my face with a healthy heaping of crow if I’m just blinded by my ‘glass half-empty’ perspective) that some of the Hawks are entering the playoffs with a sense of accomplishment and entitlement.  It’s cool to point out that some folks underestimated your upside.  But, again, one has to only look as far as several of the Braves’ teams, of the last decade, to remember that the only thing that matters is the next four wins.  And Boston is an even better example of what happens when a team enters the playoffs on cruise control, as these same Hawks took them to seven games last spring.

If the Hawks enter the first round with the same chip on their collective shoulders that they exhibited during the first six games of this past regular season, then they’ll dismiss the Heat in short fashion.  But if they show up thinking about a second-round upset of Lebron ‘and the cavs’, then they’ll spend this summer wondering what went wrong.

As always, there’s a large part of me that unrealistically expects that any type of less than positive post, essentially my version of a challenge, will find its way to the players and coaches, and that they’ll seize the opportunity to ‘prove the Haters wrong’.  I’ve said, in the near five years that I’ve participated in the AJC’s Hawks’ blog community, that I’d always rather see the Hawks prove me wrong, when I’m less than certain about their upcoming performance, than be right and see them fail.

Beat the Heat, Hawks, and expect this Hawks’ Hack to return, give credit where credit is due, and let all your fans enjoy your continued growth as a legitimate force in the Eastern Conference!

GO HAWKS!!!!

73 comments Add your comment

doc

April 18th, 2009
8:16 am

ando, you are right, it is about which hawks team will show up? however seeing your recent losses on the blog this year first hand i hope you havent gone and bet too much on your hunch. lacsho you, samuel and aj got your bucks yet?

chalmers will make his share of significant mistakes. beasley will give up more than he gets if the real inside game hawks take it straight at him, it is because beasley hasnt quite gotten the defensive schemes yet as much as professionalism. the boss will place o’neal on the bench and force them into small ball. i also think pacing the game will be important to give wade fewer chances to score and what woody had stressed the last few days in practice. still say, hawks in 6.

all that said, i think you are right, this is one of maybe three playoff games i see that could end up in a lesser seed winning. of course there isnt that much difference between a four and a five seed. it aint a stretch or a huge disappointment. whereas, the celts were stunned they were taken to the brink but braved the storm and grew from it. it is a very different scenario but to be tested by the hawks might have proven beneficial in the long term for the celts. if you are right, then so be it. wade has done it to better.

doc

April 18th, 2009
8:16 am

ando, you are right, it is about which hawks team will show up? however seeing your recent losses on the blog this year first hand i hope you havent gone and bet too much on your hunch. lacsho you, samuel and aj got your bucks yet?

chalmers will make his share of significant mistakes. beasley will give up more than he gets if the real inside game hawks take it straight at him, it is because beasley hasnt quite gotten the defensive schemes yet as much as professionalism. the boss will place o’neal on the bench and force them into small ball. i also think pacing the game will be important to give wade fewer chances to score and what woody had stressed the last few days in practice. still say, hawks in 6.

all that said, i think you are right, this is one of maybe three playoff games i see that could end up in a lesser seed winning. of course there isnt that much difference between a four and a five seed. it aint a stretch or a huge disappointment. whereas, the celts were stunned they were taken to the brink but braved the storm and grew from it. it is a very different scenario but to be tested by the hawks might have proven beneficial in the long term for the celts. if you are right, then so be it. wade has done it to better.

doc

April 18th, 2009
8:19 am

usually this site blocks first posts much less the the second. not sure how i did that, not wanting to be redundant.

MannyT

April 18th, 2009
9:23 am

I’ll give Ando credit for being the devil’s advocate on the Hawks Hack. Then again, it seems to come as easy to him as that Mel guy that always whines about Atlanta teams on the radio.

Here’s what you skipped on the optimistic side while looking at the half empty side of things…in no particular order

1) We should have a better bench with Flip, Zaza, and the guy that doesn’t start at SF (Mo or Marvin)

2) The Hawks should be hungrier as a team than the Heat. I’d think the guys at the end of their contracts see this as the big chance to be seen as players worthy of some free agent love.

3) Having been in the playoffs last season, there should not be any big surprises for the guys that we expect to play. Only 3 guys have no playoff experience and if we have to rely on Gardner, Hunter, & RandMo for big contributions, it’s over.

4) I have to laugh as I type this, but what has the Heat coaching staff done to deserve more respect/credit than Woody’s crew? Seriously, most of their deal is give the ball to Wade and get out of the way. They have a rookie coach who has not lead a team in the playoffs. Until they prove that they have some wrinkles to whip out, I don’t see them as better.

5) The Marvin factor is not as critical in this series…i.e. we should be able to defend their SF more successfully than the big punishing playoff SF we would see the rest of the way in the east. Even with Ando’s Beasley bromance, we should be more successful against Beasley/Moon than we would against LeBron, Hedu, or Wheelchair (Pierce).

We would need Marvin’s height & heft to slow those guys down. No so much of an issue against Miami.

That’s my fave 5 for this conversation…and if it doesn’t work, then we’ll have to have Barkley call up Wade all through the series ;-)

BWAF

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
9:38 am

1) I saw Galinskiy’s prediction a few days ago he’s a F@%%$ot. What’s with fox news in general? Bill O’Rilley, Galinsky, the old guy with the ponytail……they just can’t get their act together huh?

2)Ray, I don’t remeber which article it was, but it was Joe talking about how they wouldn’t take the Heat lightly because they’ve got wade and they know anything can happen as eveidenced by their stint in the postseason last year……besides no one gives us any love outside of tha ATL, so why wouldn’t we play with a chip on our shoulders?

3) Shoutout to the KIA NBA shootaround crew for picking the Hawks over the heat (Avery Johnson, My main man Jalen Rose, and Tim “Legz” Legler) I think they’re the first to pick us. BTW, if you’re not subscribed to Jalen Rose’s youtube and twitter, do that…..good stuff. Also, They picke Josh Smith as the X-Factor, and Avery said 1-6 can get you twenty points at any give time…..too many weapons for only one answer(wade)

4) Everyone needs to get a twitter, Micah Heart has TONS of playoffs stuff already up on Hawks.com. Lang Whitaker is doing his thang on the hawks site and on slam. They twitter you with all of the latest info as soon as it comes out…..get on thet guys.

5) If the Heat don’t score over 100, they loose. Check our record and the only game the heat bet us in they had over 100 I beleive.

6) 50 points from wade is like 25 from Bibby & Joe. Or 20 from Flip, Smoove, Horford. Or 30 from Joe and 20 from marvin. OR 40 from Joe and 10 from MO. It’s not that big a deal. As long as we play unselfishly we will be fine.

7) Bibby is defending a little better this season lol. No foot problems and his is in shape and healthy, so hopefully it won’t be that bad. Hopefully he’ll take it as a challenge.

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
9:39 am

Ando, point #2 is addresed to you of course and not ray lol.

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
9:49 am

I posted this on a previous blog a few days ago:

It’s funny how wade droped 50 against the Magic one night, and then the next night he gets held under his season average against tha ATL huh? Teams like NYK and Orlando make great players look extrodinary with their weak defenses. Orlando doesent care as long as they are outscoring you….likewise for the Knicks.

The Heat love to put wade in a pick n’ roll. Well stuff like that doesn’t effect the Hawks b/c we have long and athleic bigs/wings that can keep up with wade….and If they get beat…..guess whose waiting on on ya boi at the rim…..J-Smoove/Solomon Jones/Marvin/Horford….pick your poison.

With that being said, the Hawks will probably just opt to Double off the pick in order to get the ball out of his hands. I was a little worried about this but with guys like Luther Head out with a broken hand….not so much anymore. James Jones isn’t a strong defender so I doubt spolestra will keep him on the court long enough for his shoting to become a factor. He’ll more than likely be a liability first. Cook and Chalmers are decent when givin space…but space is hard to find in the playoffs…..especially against the Hawks who are exellent at closing out on open shooters.

Wade is 6′4. When we double him, he will likely be unable to see over our taller wings/centers thus creating potential turnover situations for the Haeat. Unfortunately for the Heat, tunovers are the Hawks specialty…..and I’m sure you know what the Hawks do with tunovers on the Break right?

The Hawks Achilles’ heel are Ultra Fast point guards and Really long Big men on the inside. The Heat have neither of these, thus making them the Ideal matchup as opposed to the Bulls(Rose,Gordon/Miller,Thomas and Noah) or the Sixers(Dalembert/Miller, Williams and Igoudala)

This is the matchup we wanted. And leave it to the National media to add fuel to the Hawks fire by coutnting them out in 6 or 7 games. YOU KNOW the Hawks are hearing this and YOU KNOW they will want to make everyone eat thier words(and predictions lol).

To add insult to injury(pun intended) O’Neal has a Bum Shoulder, No telling how Haslem’s hand will react after getting those stitches taken out today, Moon has a gimpy ankle(and a Sore Groin muscle) and Luther Head(who probably would have caused a lot of trouble for the Hawks) is out for Indefenetly with that broken hand.

My take?…
Hawks in 4= 20%

Hawks in 5= 50%

Hawks in 6= 30%

Chances of 1st round victory= 100%

BTW, The Hawks have held Wade to an average of six points under his
season average compared to the rest of the leauge in four games against the Heat this season.

I don’t even hink I touched upon the fact that O’neal is a mere shell of his former self. He used to be a 20/10 threat every time he stepped on th court. Now he’s nowhere close to that. It’s quite sad. At least Chris Webber still managed to average between 19-21ppg after having his knees sewn up. He may block a shot or two but in the grand scheme of things he poses no threat to the Hawks’ Ultra Athletic front line.

The Celtics had KG and we STILL took them to seven games. O’neal and KG may have similar salaries but that’s about it. From a production standpoint O’neal just doesn’t measure up……Well, they DO both have that BUM knee thing in common heh!

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
10:11 am

MannyT, LOL@Wheelchair (Pierce)

Native Son

April 18th, 2009
10:28 am

HB: CAWWW! CAWWWW! Taste Just Like Chicken.

MannyT

April 18th, 2009
11:45 am

Just because an idle mind causes trouble. I created one of those leagues on NBA.COM 2009 Pick N Roll. Join up, have fun, let the smack continue.

League Name Blogging SKS AJC
League Creator MannyT
League Type private
Password Sekou

BWAF

HB Ando

April 18th, 2009
12:11 pm

Good stuff, guys, and exactly, to quote Ray, “the other side of the coin” response I was counting on. The opposing and supporting logic, defending the Hawks chances in this series are solid as a rock. But as doc and I both mentioned, there’s not much difference between a 4 and a 5 seed, so it will come down to a few big plays, or one pivotal game. Truth be told, IF the Heat are to pull off an upset, they are going to have to do it six games. ‘Cause there’s just no way, D Wade or no, that the Hawks will lose Game 7 at Philips.

The gauntlet has been laid, and it’s the kind of moment where this franchise will literally take a huge step forward, or spend the summer kicking themselves for a monster of a missed opportunity.

doc, not sure what wagering you’re talking about. Gambling is illegal in Georgia and inappropriate for AJC affiliates to engage in………..

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

…..after listening to Del Negro coach the Bulls and their offensive scheme work over the celics so far, I say we either get an offensive coordinator, or a new Head Coach….

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
2:10 pm

Oh my gawd! Derrick rose just single handedly diffused a Paul pirece three point barrage by himself…..something the whole Hawks team couldn’t do by themselves…..damn……I want PATTY MILLS DAMMIT!!!!

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
2:44 pm

I’m Still watiching Derrick Rose, and I’m scared. He’s very scary. Thank GOD we don’t have to play them. Mike Bibby would get violated.

Harry Hawk

April 18th, 2009
3:17 pm

The Bulls tried to lose it in regulation, but Pierce wouldn’t let them.

(The Celtics will probably win this by five or six in OT, though.)

Big Ray

April 18th, 2009
3:39 pm

Speaking of gauntlets being thrown, is anybody catching what just happened in Boston??!!

Whooooooeeeeee! THIS is why Chicago took Derrick Rose, and not Beasley. WOW! That’s my BOY!

Okay, back to Hawks Hacks bashathon…. :)

Big Ray

April 18th, 2009
3:40 pm

We can only wonder what it would be like to have such a dynamic point guard. Of any kind. Man….

Harry Hawk

April 18th, 2009
3:41 pm

Nevermind. I was wrong. Great game by Rose, man.

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
4:12 pm

Rose had 36pts and Rondo wasn’t far behiend him with 31pts…….as expected Ray Ray flopped again with a bad shoting performance 1-12 W/4pts. I think he needs to be the focal point of the offense in order to be succesful often. He’s a much better shooter off the dribble,and a deadly scorer when the ball is in his hands the madjority of the game…..i guess he’s STILL getting used to not being the man.

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
5:43 pm

……We should sign Rasheed in the off-season…..Most of our Hawksare calm so it shouldn’t be a problem.

doc

April 18th, 2009
5:51 pm

oh, then i hope it got lost in cyber heaven ando,

MannyT

April 18th, 2009
6:26 pm

Ariose, even if he has a bargain price, I doubt we bring back the Hawk for a Game. Even though ‘Sheed’s career average as a Hawk is a higher than with any other team at 20 pts & 5 blocks/game, he is not a company man. I doubt Sund or Woody wants to put up with his passion. Woody gets enough of that from Josh.

All that said, swap ‘Sheed for Zaza on this roster and we could do something special if he has 2 or 3 more decent years in him.

BWAF

Najeh Davenpoop

April 18th, 2009
7:14 pm

Ando, very in-depth write-up, but there are four points of supreme importance that you did not mention:

1. Dwyane Wade averaged five points below his season scoring average against the Hawks this year. Only five teams in the league did a better job against him defensively.

2. Atlanta is 31-10 at home.

3. Miami is 15-26 on the road.

4. Atlanta has home-court advantage.

Hawks in 6.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 18th, 2009
7:18 pm

My thoughts on that Celtics-Bulls game:

1. I used to think Tyrus Thomas was the no-IQ Josh Smith, but has improved a lot — his jumper is better than Josh’s already — and his athleticism is just ridiculous. He’s not on Josh’s level yet but I could see him at that point within a year if he develops some court vision and a post move.

2. Joakim Noah crashes the boards real nice, but man is he an idiot. That foul against Pierce at the end of regulation was one of the dumbest plays I have ever seen in the playoffs.

3. Derrick Rose is a G. That was an incredible performance, against one of the premier defensive point guards in the league.

Big Ray

April 18th, 2009
7:38 pm

Najeh,

All too true on point #1. Now ask yourself these questions: Do you think Wade realizes that? And…does that make him LESS or MORE dangerous?

Motivated superstars are scary guys. That’s ALL I’m saying.

Ariose,

Derrick Rose would AVERAGE 36 and 11 against Bibby. Which is why Joe would have to guard him. Then Bibby would get torched by Gordon. I am SO glad we’re not facing the Bulls, even though we’d have a bit of an advantage down low. But they also have a high-energy rebounding machine in Noah, a shot-blocker who has developed a jumper in Tyrus, a solid backup pg/sg in Hinrich, and Salmons and Miller to fill in wherever needed. I really am glad we’re not facing them.

Rose is a natural leader. He just proved it by doing in the first game of the playoffs as a ROOKIE, with a ROOKIE COACH, what we couldn’t do in the playoffs last year. Of course, they’re not facing KG either, which cannot be ignored. But I seem to recall us not facing KG during the regular season….and we lost….

HB Ando

April 18th, 2009
8:26 pm

The Bulls win can’t be that big of a shocker. No KG??! What would we expect if we went into our first-round knowing JJ would be out the whole series? And JJ is no KG (with all due respect). Rose is obviously the real deal, and there’s no argument that Paxson made the right choice when he took a potential superstar point guard over a very talented (but easier to replicate) combo forward, in Beasley (just got an odd sense of deja vu on that thought). Jury is still out on Del Negro, but after several player personnel decisions, in the last few years, that were simply disastrous by Paxson, you have to give him credit for following up the Rose pick with the primary reason the Bulls have come on so strong (in my opinion): the acquisitions of Salmons and Miller. Salmons is essentially JJ-lite. He can play the one through the three, and is equally comfortable scoring or distributing the ball. I haven’t gone back to look it up, but my guess is that the Bulls played about 10 games over .500 after acquiring those two from Sacramento.

I think the Bulls can upset the Celtics (duh), but, more importantly, I don’t think it would be viewed as a shocker on the level of Dikembe’s Nuggets taking out the Sonics 15 years ago. No team can be expected to survive the absence of a player like Garnett, who was last years’ NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Ariose, your points, echoing others, are valid. But as Ray mentioned, pointing out Wade’s season performance against our Hawks could well be a matter of waking a sleeping giant. My whole thought is that there’s far more pressure on our guys than the Heat, and how the Hawks have handled success, over the course of this season, has been a tale of two very different teams. Every time it’s looked like the Hawks have it figured out, they’ve seemingly imploded for a short period. And every time it looks like they’ve lost their way, they’ve rebounded in the strongest of fashion.

I’m just not sure which team is going to show up, and I don’t think the margin for error is big enough for them to play anything but their best ball of the season.

Come tomorrow night, we’ll get a quick sense of which Hawks we’re going to get. But we’ll also get a pretty quick sense of whether the Heat are showing up with the Wade and Beasley that NY saw about a week ago.

Can’t WAIT to see tomorrow nights’ game. Anybody got a spare ticket???????

Astro Joe

April 18th, 2009
9:40 pm

Is anyone else concerned about how our starting frontcourt will mesh given their lack of playing with each other this season? This is not a slam on Marvin, he just happens to be the last one to come back to the party. But I’m guessing this trio has played less than 35 games together this season. I like the idea of starting Marvin because he helps defeat the opposing team’s double-teaming of our primary offensive player, Joe. If Joe has 2 perimeter scorers on the floor with him at all time (any two between Bibby, Marvin & Flip), it just makes it that much more difficult to contain Joe. So while I worry about them finding their chemistry during the 1st round, I certainly wouldn’t want Marvin in street clothes nor have him coming off the bench.

Ariose

April 18th, 2009
10:17 pm

Ando, no doubt. We did a good job of Dealing with the Big boys, usually loosing at their place and them loosing at Phillips.

With that being said, we left a lot of very winnable games on the table, usually to lesser opponets. Some of that is due to energy and some to a lack of effort, BUT I hav no doubt which team will show up in at Phillips. On the road is where the question mark lies.

Also I believe MArvin is the Key…..my X-Factor. Which Marvin will show up? The Post January Marvin that put up great numbers regardless of who was on the floor with him. Or the timid Marvin who doesn’t know when to call his own number, isn’t aggressive on defense, doesnt Rebound the ball well, and had to be subbed out for Childress for lack of defensive intensity?

Only time will tell, but We’ve seen the good Marvin more times than the bad on this season. Marvin is a foul Magnet. He even got LeBron in foul trouble a guy, notorius for NOT picking up a lot of fouls despite plying very intense defense. If Marvin can duplicate that against guys like Beasley and Moon, he can potentially make thm non-factors in this series.

Astro Joe

April 18th, 2009
11:04 pm

Well the good thing about playing tomorrow is that the Hawks get to see Boston and San Antonio lose their home court advantage today. And if Portland doesn’t start playing defense, they will be added to that list, too (Yao is demolishing them in the first quarter). Just because you get it doesn’t mean that you can keep it.

Wabe

April 19th, 2009
12:35 am

I know this isnt the time or place, and we have a long ways to go till draft day – but Patty Mills or Ty Lawson should be around late in the 1st. The Hawks need to jump on EITHER one of those two.

LA Hawks Fan

April 19th, 2009
3:21 am

Just to let everyone know, I am born and raised in LA and am a Hawks fan!! so you guys DO get love outside of ATL. GO HAWKS!!!!

doc

April 19th, 2009
9:15 am

ando you said: Every time it’s looked like the Hawks have it figured out, they’ve seemingly imploded for a short period. And every time it looks like they’ve lost their way, they’ve rebounded in the strongest of fashion. this si what makes it difficult to say one way or the other who is going to win. if we play our best then we win if not the heat are good enough with wade to take it to us in a bad way.

less than 12 hours and counting.

Rise Up, Atlanta!

April 19th, 2009
4:28 pm

What’s this year’s playoff motto? Last year, we had two “Shock The World” and “Get Fired Up,” so hopefully this year it’s “Shock D-Wade, and Get Woodson Fired!”

Astro Joe

April 19th, 2009
4:49 pm

Loathe the coach; Love the results!

HB Ando

April 19th, 2009
5:15 pm

doc, that’s it in a nut shell, no?

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
7:35 pm

so hopefully this year it’s “Shock D-Wade, and Get Woodson Fired!”

It doesn’t work that way. Winning and success is spread all the way around. You don’t achieve a higher goal than you’ve been able to reach in some time, and then celebrate by firing somebody that is a part of your success.

Then again, this is corporate America….

But don’t be looking for a first round win to translate into a canned Woody. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Astro Joe

April 19th, 2009
7:53 pm

I’ve got a good feeling about tonight’s game. A REAL god feeling.

Astro Joe

April 19th, 2009
7:59 pm

Wow, Philly is shocking the Magic.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
8:43 pm

Consider the Magic fully shocked. Another giant loses homecourt advantage.

Meanwhile, we’re holding the line. Barely. Let’s see what happens with Marvin guarding Beasley….

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
8:44 pm

Marvin looks good.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
9:01 pm

Check that. Marvin looks better than good. Leading the team in scoring.

Unfortunately, Wade is still running circles around Joe and…cough, cough…Bibby…

We’re still winning, though.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
9:06 pm

Marvin isn’t the only one that looks good. Josh may have jacked a 3 (and missed), but he’s hit all of his free throws and has 12 points. Nice!

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
9:22 pm

This is awesome. Up by 20 at the half? Who saw that coming? I couldn’t be happier!

Astro Joe

April 19th, 2009
9:24 pm

Like I said, I have a really good feeling. I can’t wait to come back here and call out the Doubtin’ Thomases (which happened to be the subject of my pastor’s sermon this morning).

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
9:55 pm

Was talking to Sautee on the phone, and he remarked on the disparity in shots taken. Bibby and Joe are not getting too shot happy, and they’re hitting the majority of what they’re attempting.

He also remarks that Bibby and JJ have been spreading the ball around a lot, and that’s where this has to come from on offense. Major kudos to them, as our frontcourt continues to destroy theirs.

Nice to see Bibby playing like a pg, and not a sg.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
9:57 pm

Joe,

If there’s a Hawks fan who doesn’t have a really good feeling RIGHT NOW, then they have no feelings at all.

I wouldn’t be too hard on the doubting thomases if they included the proper caveats in their presentations…

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
9:59 pm

As it is, I am very pleasantly surprised at this current dominating blowout.

I didn’t expect this, and I don’t think anybody else did either.

Now you wanna talk about giving people hell…..I am not going to let up on the Smith detractors ONE BIT. :)

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
10:02 pm

Gotta give Woody credit for preparing these guys defensively. They haven’t let up on Wade at all. While he will no doubt come back in the next game fired up, he will also know that NOTHING is going to be easy for him, and he may not even get all the superstar calls he was getting.

Woody has these guys ON POINT.

Astro Joe

April 19th, 2009
10:06 pm

Dude, I called my feeling at 7:53, not 9:53. And Smith, yeah, his athleticism was on display tonight… thanks to the lockdown defense provided by the entire team. The game ball goes to the team’s defensive architect and the execution of the players.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2009
10:13 pm

Love the results, loathe the player, eh Joe?

And I’m not questioning when you said you had the good feeling. I saw that part. I simply said that I don’t think anybody saw a domination of this magnitude coming. If you posted that you did, I apologize for having missed it….

By the way, in case you missed it: I gave Woody full, unconditional credit for this defensive effort, which is winning this game.