March Madness (NBA style)!

 

 

Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are stalking the Hawks for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are stalking the Hawks for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

HAWKSVILLE - If you think the college kids are doing it big these days (and they are), check out Dwyane Wade in March.

The Heat superstar has all but ruined the good vibrations from the Hawks’ four-game win-streak, one that can reach five with a win today (provided they can beat back Portland at Philips Arena).

Wade’s not only been the best player in the NBA the past few weeks, he’s been the best player on the planet (sorry LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, but D. Wade’s my pick for MVP and I don’t care what his team’s record is right now).

“I don’t want any part of D. Wade in the playoffs, man,” one of our founding members wrote in an email yesterday. “He’s playing right now the same way he did during the playoffs in 2006. And you know what happened then.”

The Heat won the title that year riding Wade’s cape tails past Dallas in the NBA Finals.

While playing at an otherworldly level in March doesn’t exactly mean your team will get out of the first round of the playoffs in March, Wade’s current tear does pose a clear and present danger to the Hawks.

With the way both the Hawks and Wade (I mean Heat) are playing right now they are setting up a first round matchup in the playoffs. That means the home court advantage fight is going to come down to the final weeks of this season. And the team that gets it almost guarantees itself a win in the series.

That’s why every game the Hawks and Heat play between now and the end of the regular season, including their April 14 tilt at Philips Arena, becomes a battle of epic proportions.

The Hawks already know how important it is to “take care of home” court at all times. They knocked off the eventual NBA champions three times on their home floor during the playoffs last year but couldn’t find a way to even stay close in Boston.

You should expect more of the same in the playoffs this year, with the home teams ruling the roost. The Hawks would best served to be one of those teams. And that means taking care of teams like the Pacers the way they did Friday. Because most of the teams the Hawks will see between now and April 15 are of a much higher caliber.

Slip up against the likes of Sacramento, Minnesota or Indiana – all visitors to Philips between now and the end of the season along with heavyweights like the Celtics, Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks (okay, light heavyweights) and Magic and – and Wade will be kicking the Hawks’ door down for that fourth spot.

Every single Hawks game between now and the end of the season is its own one-and-done tournament.

Did someone say something about March (and a little bit of April) Madness?  

276 comments Add your comment

Chea

March 15th, 2009
11:58 am

Whether Wade plays the way he did during the 2006 playoffs does not matter as much as whether the refs call the games the way they did during the 2006 playoffs. If they do, there’s no hope for anyone. Al Horford will foul out within three minutes of every game on Wade charg…er…drives.

Ariose

March 15th, 2009
12:11 pm

didn’t wetake care of wade AFTER his 50 point outburst in orlando….i’m sorry sekou but the teams he’s(they) are playing right now(the Utah Jazz and their weak single coverage…….and the bulls….and Orlando) are making him look good. He hasn’t looked that good against us and all of our athletic swing players.

Ariose

March 15th, 2009
12:19 pm

He’s not getting the spot we’ve held down all year and if i’m not mistaken the next time we play them it’s here in Atlanta. I expect them to loose in Philly today….wade will be out of gas, it’s not at home, and the sixers will run them into fatiuge by halftime.

Besides, we’re the team with the most home games left. We’re finally reaping the benefits of our horrible schedule this year. Wade should just give up while he’s NOT ahead….If marvin comes back we handle them easily in the playoffs. We’re possibly one big man away from being a contender, to say that we can’t handle this team that has no shot at a title……whatever……

I’m not enamored with the heat like some, and I see our gap increasing in the coming weeks. Hopefully we won’t loose more than four games this season.

Mike

March 15th, 2009
12:39 pm

Not worried about dwade. We have the better team and that is what will count playoff time. Like Ariose mentioned, our boys will create matchup problems. I see us taking care of the heat in 6.
Should be a good one today.

Reggie

March 15th, 2009
12:51 pm

Sekou

Now that you’ve had time to think about it. Who does Al Horford remind you of?

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
1:06 pm

are all you Brandon Roy jock riders in place… last meeting the blog was flooded with comments on Roy being better than Joe, yadda…yadda…yadda…

Get em Joe..!!! Go Hawks…!!!

Blast

March 15th, 2009
1:14 pm

We ain’t scared of Wade. Hawks have his number.

ValdostaMike

March 15th, 2009
1:26 pm

I agree with Chea, if you stare a DWade they will call a foul on you. If you get close to his shadow the call a shooting foul on you.

However, I suspect injuries will creep up on him. He has been going to the deck a lot.

I like our chances with home-court, especially if OUR fans show up.

Sekou K. Smith

March 15th, 2009
1:28 pm

That’s a good look Reggie, I can’t decide if he’s more D. Coleman or Mychal Thompson. He’s not flashy but he’s a monster to deal with because he plays so much bigger than he is. He’ll have his hands full today, by the way. Portland is loaded in the frontcourt. He and Josh Smith both are going to have to bring it against these Blazers.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 15th, 2009
1:41 pm

Acie and Mario in the 2nd quarter? Is Woody finally starting to trust his young bench players?

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
1:43 pm

Nice 1st qtr by the Hawks. Hawk def was pretty good. Roy didn’t hurt us but he does have the ability to get it going. We have to do a better job against Aldrdge because he had his way in the 1st.

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
1:46 pm

What a stat!!! Bob R. mention that AC hasn’t committed a turnover all week. Keep in mind, his playing time has increase over this time as well.

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
1:57 pm

Look like Roy is heating up…

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
1:59 pm

We are starting to shoot too many 3’s…..

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
2:08 pm

Good 1st half by the Hawks. Up by 3. Hopefully we can do a better job to contain Roy in the 2nd half…

Sautee

March 15th, 2009
2:13 pm

We need to go inside more, but we’re hangin’ with ‘em.

Big Dave, would you trade Joe for Roy straight up? Just curious.

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:21 pm

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:25 pm

thats beautiful… way to make the extra pass Josh…

ray

March 15th, 2009
2:26 pm

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:27 pm

wow Woody… screens…? im impressed…

Sautee

March 15th, 2009
2:33 pm

Big Dave,

I Love Joe, but I’d have to do that trade based on age alone. I think their games are remarkably similar. But Roy’s already where it took Joe 3 or 4 years to get.

Glad to have Joe today, though.

Blast

March 15th, 2009
2:35 pm

Play Joe Johnson one on one, especially how he’s been playing lately, and he will burn you everytime.

I thought that was hip check?

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:35 pm

what a horrible call!!!

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
2:36 pm

Got dang Joey Crawford. You watch LaMarcus tip the ball out…

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:38 pm

I cant say ill make a trade based on age, Joe is still young himself. Roy is a good player but we arent the best perimeter defending team. Roy also plays with a big man that demands a double team in the post, and can stretch the floor with his shooting ability. would love to see Joe with that option..

Joe is a better 3 point shooter, and passer… i dunno… but then again Joe’s my boy…

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:39 pm

Josh with the Dr. J yolk…

Sautee

March 15th, 2009
2:41 pm

Agree wholeheartedly that I’d LOVE to see Joe with a big that demands a double. Maybe Horford can grow into that.

For now, however, I’ll just enjoy watching JJJJJoe.

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:42 pm

that Marvin Williams stat is crazy… undefeated without him..

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:43 pm

our defense has been stout forcing teams to eat the ball and take rushed shots..

Rod from College Park

March 15th, 2009
2:45 pm

No Marvin= wins

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:45 pm

or one that can stretch the floor…
Aldridge is a young Sheed…

Najeh Davenpoop

March 15th, 2009
2:45 pm

For all the talk of how deep the Blazers supposedly are, they have got nothing from their bench today.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 15th, 2009
2:49 pm

5 of those 7 games without Marvin were home games. I’m not saying there couldn’t be something to this stat, but I don’t think there are enough games to make that judgment. The Hawks have been dominant at home all year, Marvin or no Marvin.

Astro Joe

March 15th, 2009
2:50 pm

The grass is always greener with Hawks fans. We’re ahead of every team but 3 in our conference but we’re looking in the rear-view mirror and admiring the car behind us. WTF?

Somewhere, a south Florida fan, reporter, sports talk host or columnist is thinking “Wade is playing like he’s all world but we’re not gaining any ground on those Hawks”,

All this admiration for teams behind us or for teams who didn;t make the playoffs last season (Portland) is silly. The grass is green enough at Philips Arena… ya’ll can admire those other lawns with those brown patches (that you choose not to see) if you want.

Go Hawks!

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
2:52 pm

I definitely think we are a better team with Marvin… Marvin just might be our best on man defender…

niremetal

March 15th, 2009
2:55 pm

JJ’s hot, but he needs a rest…

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
2:55 pm

Yes Sir. Here come the Hawks…. Joe is on FIRE……

ajw

March 15th, 2009
2:55 pm

Fernandez can’t even dunk, much less make a 3.

Astro Joe

March 15th, 2009
2:56 pm

Yessir, Nate McMillan, no need to double Joe Johnson. Brilliant coaching strategy.

ajw

March 15th, 2009
2:57 pm

I think more people came to see the Hawks than Duke.

St. Bernard

March 15th, 2009
2:59 pm

Think we can get a big for Marvin this summer?

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
3:00 pm

pull bibby coach…

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
3:01 pm

I would have like to see Woody give Joe and Bibby a rest but he’s done a good job managing mins up to this point….

Sautee

March 15th, 2009
3:02 pm

Great footwork by Josh to get an EASY 2.

Sekou K. Smith

March 15th, 2009
3:04 pm

The Hawks are running a clinic on Portland right now. JJ is leading the Hawks in every category and the Blazers don’t appear to be interested in mounting a serious challenge. Joe Johnson owns the floor once again.

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
3:06 pm

Nice alley from Bibby to Josh…

Melvin

March 15th, 2009
3:07 pm

Josh is putting on a show. Nice pass to Alford for the SLAM…

bigdave

March 15th, 2009
3:07 pm

subs coach…

ray

March 15th, 2009
3:08 pm

The fact that Joe is on fire (and subsequently the Hawks) has little to do with Nate McMillan’s coaching. There’s nothing he can do about this, as we’ve finally changed our 5-year old approach to the game.

It’s the fact that for once, we have established other guys as true offensive threats. Without that, Joe gets doubled and tripled each game.

The more we let Joe play one-on-one against defenders, the more he’ll do this.

That’s THIS team finally recognizing it’s own brown patches in the green grass…instead of continually victimizing ourselves with bad coaching and bad player execution. No more JJ playing dual primary roles as pg AND main/only offensive option.

Sautee

March 15th, 2009
3:08 pm

Young guys runnin’ wild!