How to win Game 5

I’ve never been a big fan of thuggery, on the court.  I think the way the game evolved, during the heyday of the Bad Boys, from Detroit, was not the way the game was intended to be played.  That being said, everybody knows that once you’re in the playoffs, there should be no easy layups.

So, as I watched D. Wade limp his way through Game 4, with back spasms, which clearly limited his outside shooting accuracy, I couldn’t help but think that, simply put, if he’s on, the Hawks likely lose that game.  Which begs the unsightly question, “should the Hawks go “all Detroit” on Wade” in Game 5, everytime he attacks the basket?   You know he’s going to recklessly attack the hoop.  You know he hits the floor 10 times a game.  So does Zaza, or Horford, put a little extra oomph into every foul they give?  I’m not saying be dirty or cheap (which actually would be “going Bad Boy” on him), but how valuable would it be if Wade just wasn’t able to suck it up and play at his usual, ridiculous level?

Not saying, more asking for opinions…..

That being covered, even if he’s on the floor for the full game, it doesn’t appear likely that he’s going to be at 100%.  Now he’s a warrior, and, not unlike some of Jordan’s biggest playoff games, he’s capable of limping his way through a historic performance.  Given the motivation that would provide for his teammates, it’s all that much more important that the Hawks do everything they can to limit his having a big game.

Because as far as I can tell, this series has come down to two Hawks’ wins, when Wade has been off, and two Wade wins.

As I mentioned the other day, after the Hawks took down Game 4, there’s a part of me that wonders if the ultimate winner of this series is the team who screws up less.  This hasn’t been a very pretty series, and neither team has the look of a squad ready to seize this series, and take momentum into a Round 2 match up with a Cavs team that looks certain to play in the NBA Finals.

Again, with no outside help, for either the roster or the coaching staff, it’s down to pride and fortitude, and an unwillingness to yield another game at home.

Crowd should be full tilt tonight, with the series tied at two apiece.  Wade looks iffy.  No real excuse for the Hawks to lose this game, but you probably could have made the same argument going into Game 2, so we all get to watch, from the stands, or on the tube.

Me, I’ll be there, with some of the fellas (thanks to Jhan AND doc; you guys know….).

I’ll try to join in with the post-game assessment, but I’m confident that the usual suspects will have summarized the proceedings, whatever they end up being, quite well.

Go Hawks!!!!!!!

18 comments Add your comment

KevinA

April 29th, 2009
7:01 pm

One hr away from crunch time. Time to Rock and Roll.

Big Ray

April 29th, 2009
10:27 pm

Ando,

I noticed the part you mentioned with Wade hitting the floor 10 times a game. According to Rod (or is it Sam?), that’s the sign of a klutz. Hmmmm. ;)

Wade is going to play well, and is playing well currently. I still think the series comes down to whether we shut down Wade’s supporting cast or not. We don’t have a supporting cast, simply because we don’t have a superstar. But we have an all-star and some very good players.

Big Ray

April 29th, 2009
11:13 pm

Great win!

Highlights include the Hawks having a grand total of only 5 turnovers.

JJ going to the line 15 times, and hitting on 12 of those.

Flip Murray catching fire and leading the 2nd unit.

Zaza being himself.

Josh Smith having 0 turnovers.

Woody using his bench.

Solo producing.

Randolph Morris

April 29th, 2009
11:14 pm

PLAYING TIME!!! PLAYING TIME!!!

KevinA

April 29th, 2009
11:27 pm

Ray you forgot turn overs for the entire team, free throw shooting and rebounds. What a fun game.

KevinA

April 29th, 2009
11:37 pm

Ray, Man I wish Marvin was healthy. Another player whose game is made for the playoffs, willing to take hard fouls to get to the line. That is why ZaZa is so important to this team. He sets the toughness tone. I hope we don’t trade him.

Trashing Wade and his klutz is a little unfair. Agressive basketball and giving up your body is what it is all about.

Best part about our team is Flip, Evans, JJ are starting to drive more. I credit Marvin and ZaZa for a lot of this. If JJ would get more physical and drive more to get the foul we might even scare Clev. What do you think?

GZA

April 29th, 2009
11:48 pm

Hello?! Hawks have been playing dirty, scrappy basketball since Game 1. And clowns like Josh Smith are only trying to escalate the intensity with unsportsmanlike conduct. The refs are obviously calling it in Atlanta’s favor too…

Big Ray

April 29th, 2009
11:54 pm

KevinA,

Agreed. The part about Wade was in referrence to the guys who come on here and say that Marvin falls down 10 times a game. They say he’s klutzy because of that. Yet Wade does the same thing, for the same reason. I was pointing out the hypocrisy in criticizing Marvin for the very same thing when all he’s trying to do is play aggressive, draw fouls, etc.

Big Ray

April 29th, 2009
11:56 pm

Now, of course, the same sources will no doubt tell me that I’m comparing Marvin to Wade in regard to talent, and what not. I’m not, but they’ll say I’m saying they are the same caliber of player, when clearly I am NOT saying that.

What I AM saying is that both guys are willing to drive to the basket and take contact, much of what KevinA is already saying.

But no doubt this statement will get taken out of context… sigh…

KevinA

April 30th, 2009
12:25 am

I also would not even think of compareing Wade and Marvin. When we were hurt Marvin displayed the stones to put the team on his back and drive to the hoop. falling down all the way. Knocked down would be the point. We have played a much tougher style of ball the last month. Tonight even Bibby took it to the hole. I’m just saying if we play like this next year I can pencil in 55-60 wins. While not perfect – an improvement. One more key big to cover injury and a possible Chill return, would make us a deep team.
As already commented the team seems to be willling to trust each other and we see little of the JJ iso.
The JJ iso was not that long ago. We have grown up quickly, lately. All good news.

HB Ando

April 30th, 2009
1:02 am

Well, this game was over in the first quarter. And, ironically, the collision between the back of Wade’s head and the Philips Arena court had absolutely zero to do with any discussion regarding the upside of the Hawks playing Wade in an aggressive fashion.

What’s more perplexing is that the Heat continued to leave Wade on the floor, well after the outcome was clear (to most). I’ve repeatedly noted that there is no value in margin of victory in a playoff series. So at the point where it was fairly clear to anyone with a clue, that the Heat were not going to win Game 5, and given that Wade was physically limited, I can’t really understand why they didn’t put him on ice (literally) by half-time, and turn their attention to Game 6.

Yet with less than half of the fourth quarter remaining, there was Wade, on the floor, risking the increasingly shrinking possibility that the Heat might win Round One.

Have to cast my lot with the home team, at this stage. I said that if the Heat were going to pull off a first-round upset, it would have to be in six games. That’s no longer viable, and I’m resolute that there is no way that the Hawks, regardless of whether they fail to close out the series in Game 6, in Miami, will possibly lose a potential Game 7 at Philips.

Great crowd tonight. Seriously……

After dancing with the devil, and going down two games to one, the Hawks have recovered control of round one, and now have no excuse for failing to close out the Heat.

Assuming the soundness of such logic, at the very least the Hawks have taken another step forward, by making the second round of the playoffs, after last years’ compelling first-round battle with the eventual champions, the Boston Celtics.

Let’s leave the discussion for a round-two series, against the Cavs, for another day, and stay in the moment that is a Hawks 3-2, round one, lead.

Let’s allow the Hawks to prove to both themselves, and their fans, that they’re ready to ascend beyond the first round.

Let’s enjoy that expected success, and, once it’s confirmed, turn our attention to round two.

Great win by the Hawks tonight, never in doubt from the earliest stages of the game.

Wabe

April 30th, 2009
1:56 am

Great game.

Hope Horford’s alright.

Hope the Hawks bring the same urgency+intensity on Friday in Miami.

Good stuff Hawks!

Astro Joe

April 30th, 2009
9:30 am

I know Marvin gets discounted among many bloggers in the city, but I was most impressed with the way the Hawks played without 2 starters in the second half. I truly expected a nail-biter after Horford went down. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised that we were able to keep our foot on the gas and pretty much coast to a victory. This has been a strange, strange series. I bet that there have not been any (certainly not many) lead changes after the first quarter in the first five games. That’s especially bizarre in a 4-5 match-up between division foes. I hope Smith is ready to be head-hunted Friday night. I’m thinking that there are some voodoo dolls with a little #5 jersey being produced as we speak in non-tourists neighborhoods in Miami.

ZacheryGoldsmith

April 30th, 2009
9:52 am

I think the Hawks finally realize how good they are….thank goodness!! They have some of the best talent in the league but were unable to show it the last couple of years despite making the playoffs. Each player brings unique skills and if you feed off their strong points and strenghs, it will be easy to utilize their skills to the teams advantage, win big and win consistently (case in point/two starters out last night; Horford gets banged up and Williams is in street clothes; no big deal; who cares. result=15 point Hawks blowout win). Do you get my point. The best is yet to come and the stage is set for the Hawks to close out the Heat and bring on the King. LaBron James and the Cavs are up next. Stay tuned. There is a reason David Stern was at Phillips Arena last night. Stern knows which is the best game in town and knows where the best highlights in the league come from. Absolutely. They come from the Highlight Factory. Where else.

Rod from College Park

April 30th, 2009
11:13 am

Big Ray,

Come on man. First of all Wade knows how to fall. Believe it or not, there is an art to falling after contact. D. Wade does it on purpose to get calls. Marvin does it because he is clumsy. Marvin goes to the hole totally out of control, and can not finish, Wade is totally under control. Funny how you guys continue to bring up the things I said about Marvin, but won’t admit that they are true. He is injured because he is clumsy. He had a worse year this year statistically than last year, but you guys say he is better. I told you I would take 15 other forwards in the league over him, including Trevor Ariza, and somebody told me I was crazy. Who looks crazy now. Hurt or not. He is a bust. Plain and simple! If he plays, he is just another body. That’s it.

doc

April 30th, 2009
5:38 pm

ando, did they follow your script well enough?

Big Ray

April 30th, 2009
9:36 pm

Rod,

I figured a Marvin comment or two would bring you out of the woodwork.

First, if Wade is so darn good at “knowing how to fall”, then why is he experiencing back spasms. Oh, I’m sure it has nothing to do with all that contact. Couldn’t be. Hmmm, let me think….Marvin falls and has back problems. Wade falls and has back issues. Nope, couldn’t have anything to do with falling. Why? Well, because his name is not Marvin. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

Second, “if Marvin plays, he’s just another body.” Oh, you are SO right! Just another body. Oh, uh…a body that produces meaningless stats like points, rebounds, steals, blocks, assists, junk like that. And on a team that is experiencing injuries at the worst possible time (the postseason), who needs another body?

Speaking of “just bodies”, I guess it would be okay if Horford just went on home, too. I mean, chances are, he’s just another body. And we don’t need those.

Big Ray

April 30th, 2009
10:42 pm

New blog up, guys and gals….