Archive for April, 2011

Hawks Fans: Are you beginning to enjoy this?

After criticizing this Atlanta Hawks team’s playoff performances, some of us may have to change our tune. We’ve seen the Hawks win first rounds before, in the last two years. Both times it was an escapish situation, wherein the Hawks made of with a game 7 win. But how about tonight’s win? The Hawks did everything right in a sense, not succumbing to the mounting pressure of a possible Orlando turnaround. And you know what? They earned it. Yes, there is a difference between winning a series 4-3, and winning it 4-2. The difference is caring enough to knock a team out before they get a chance to take the series from you. The difference is wanting it to happen on your own court, instead of trying to ice skate uphill on your opponent’s. The difference is everything we thought the Hawks probably weren’t. Maybe we were just wrong. And yet, the Hawks needed to believe in each other far more than they needed us to believe in them. Do we believe in them now?

Are you beginning to enjoy …

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Atlanta Hawks – The team you thought you knew

These can’t be the same guys that got swept in the most embarrassing fashion in the 2009-2010 playoffs, can they?

The Atlanta Hawks made dubious history in last season’s playoffs, losing to the Orlando Magic by a record number of averaged points. The only way they could do worse is to make history again, by giving up a 3 games-t0-1 lead to the Magic in this year’s first round series. NBA history is on the Hawks’ side, and unless Dwight Howard’s supporting cast decides to don a collective set of capes, the Hawks will drive on to round 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs.

Half Empty, Half Full

Most folks didn’t give the Hawks much of a chance against the Magic in this series, but now some quickly changed their tune, even before last night’s win. But what do the fans think of all of this? Did the Hawks fool us all season long into believing that they are less than they truly are? Have they reached their potential? Or is Orlando truly that bad, despite the dominating …

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Hawks can kick habits, underdog status

Game 1 of the first round series between Atlanta and Orlando has been labeled an upset by some, and a surprise for many. Game 2 was a little more like people have been expecting. Yet in so many ways, the Hawks have already begun to prove themselves against their Southeast Division nemesis. With the series tied at 1 game apiece and Orlando’s homecourt advantage virtually gone, is there a clear favorite anymore? Differing theories abound about who will win and why, as well as explanations about how the first two games went.

Star power and the Theory of Inevitability

Magic center Dwight Howard has put up some very impressive individual stats against the Hawks, but his performance is still not winning the hearts and minds of basketball pundits the way guys like Derrick Rose and Chris Paul are currently doing. All the same, his is the only name with star quality in this series, as nobody has much to say about anybody else. As such, the average sports writer or commentator will lean …

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Playoffs – Hawks face Magic, face themselves

Saturday, April 16th can be the beginning of the end for the Hawks. Or, maybe the beginning of the end was several games back in the regular season, when they got trounced by the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that had no business beating Atlanta by 41 points. The Hawks insist it’s not over, that they’ll rise in the playoffs, that a season record against Orlando is proof that they can win this otherwise dreaded first round playoff series. Losing six straight games to end the season hasn’t given fans and experts any reason to believe the Hawks, and some have already written them off for the postseason.

So perhaps few people believe in the Hawks. What reasons do they have for believeing in themselves? Does a 3-1 regular season record against the Magic really mean anything in the playoffs? All such speculation and pondering aside, let’s dive into some matchups:

Coaching

Talent and star power make a big difference in the game of basketball, but there can be no substitute for solid, …

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Hawks are three above, with three left

Atlanta winds down the season against Washington, Miami, and Charlotte, and with a chance to make a slight improvement on their otherwise underwhelming record. Could the Hawks succeed in their final three games and at least match their 2008-2009 record of 47 wins? If the loss to Indiana last night, coupled with the need to rest ailing starters is any indication, then answer is quite possibly “no.” Besides, resting the starters is something the Hawks really need to do, what with their impending first round battle with the Orlando Magic.

In the meantime, guys like Jeff Teague should see plenty of minutes. But what about the backup bigs? It may be somehat prudent of Larry Drew to give Hilton Armstrong and Etan Thomas some minutes just in case they are needed in the postseason. We may even have another Pape Sy sighting, though that has nothing to do with the playoffs, and everything to do with trying to make offhand observations about a 2nd round draft pick whom we still know so …

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Atlanta Hawks – decidedly devisive

The AJC’s Mark Bradley queried whether or not fans should have some faith in their team. On Sunday night, the Hawks gave the answer they’ve been giving all season :  “Do so at your own risk.” 

Maybe there is little reason to be upset. After all, Atlanta has all but locked up the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, and they pretty much know who their playoff opponent is going to be. Then again, maybe that just isn’t the point. After beating two of the East’s top teams, they should have figured out how to win against quality opponents. Why the complete letdown on defense?

Three-headed monster strikes again…

After allowing the Rockets to hit on 57% of their shots, the Hawks were all in a scramble to explain why it went down the way it did. Enter our three team captains, who always know what the problem is.  Let’s take a look at some very telling quotes obtained by the AJC’s beat writer, Michael Cunningham:

From one captain -

“We gave up too many dribble-drives, too much …

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