Playoff time(s)!

Time for the Hawks and Heat to get it on!

Time for the Hawks and Heat to get it on!

 

 

HAWKSVILLE - It’s after 2 a.m. and the NBA still has us waiting on playoff dates and times for the Hawks-Heat first-round series.

I know it’s only fair that we wait for all the regular-season action around the league to finish up before we find out the particulars, but who cares about fair?

Not me. I’m ready to get this thing started.

Tuesday’s dress rehearsal didn’t satisfy me.

No offense to Speedy Claxton, Randolph Morris and Othello Hunter and friends, but it’s time for the real games to begin.

I don’t know about you but I know I need the real thing and if our friends at the league office (or TNT, ESPN or wherever) would just hurry up we could all get on with things.

After all, we’ve known since the weekend that the Hawks and Heat were going to square off in the first round. Just give us the details already so we can …

BREAKING NEWS!!!! The dates and times are in and they are as follows (the 2-2-1-1-1 format and out friends at FSN and SportSouth will be broadcasting the first round games, too): 

Game 1  Miami at Atlanta, Sunday April 19 at 8 p.m. TNT 

Game 2 Miami at Atlanta, Wednesday April 22 8 p.m. TNT

Game 3 Atlanta at Miami, Saturday April 25 6:30 p.m. TNT

Game 4 Atlanta at Miami, Monday April 27 (time and network to be determined)

Game 5 Miami at Atlanta, Wednesday April 29 (TBD)

Game 6 Atlanta at Miami, Friday May 1 (TBD)

Game 7 Miami at Atlanta, Sunday May 3 (TBD)

Those dates and times for the first four games work for me.

So does this series as one of best and most evenly matched first-round fights. Before the opening tip we’ll have breakdowns of all the individual matchups, interviews with players and coaches and others on the Hawks’ second straight playoff run and a playoff preview on Hawks’ captain and All-Star Joe Johnson’s tough task of matching Heat MVP candidate, All-Star and Olympic gold medalist Dwyane Wade.

Check here for daily blogs, breaking news updates, links and all the comprehensive coverage you’ll need to keep up with the series.

Speaking of links …

here are a few that I’ve come across this morning that are worth a read; 

– He didn’t get Most Improved or anything like that, but Mario West has turned some heads from the folks at si.com for one of their other postseason awards.

– The Heat finished off the regular season like the Hawks, except their reserves and youngsters defeated the Pistons in overtime in last night’s regular-season finale. Two players that will be crucial to the Heat’s cause in this series were on display last night, as my main man Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald wrote about after last night’s game.

– Dig into Ira Winderman’s blog for some interesting tidbits on where the Heat might go matchups-wise in the series with the Hawks. They have a few options where Joe Johnson is concerned as well as what to do with the small forward position, depending on how much they trust Mike Beasley on this big stage.

– Can’t forget about my main man Chris Perkins at the Palm Beach Post. He also had some interesting stuff on his blog after the Heat finished off the Pistons. And this is the beauty of this series for all of us. There’s plenty of Heat stuff that will be floating around to keep us up to speed on that camp.

137 comments Add your comment

niremetal

April 16th, 2009
2:35 am

Repost from last blog:

Let’s get pumped, folks. Playoffs start in less than 3 days and we have home-court advantage.

Think about it folks. 47 wins and home court advantage in a greatly improved Eastern Conference. I always will have my issues with Woody and everyone had doubts about JJ being able to lead us this far. We obviously are not going to make it deep into the playoffs unless we really pull it together like we never have before, but this team is truly in an amazing place considering where we came from. I know lots of people have already said stuff to that effect, but it’s worth saying it again – there’s no arguing with success.

Let’s bask in the glow for the next couple days, and then get raucous for the series against the Heat.

The_Future

April 16th, 2009
2:44 am

LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!

Arshon

April 16th, 2009
2:45 am

Yeah KOU!

‘preciate the heads up on the times and dates bro!

See you down there….hopefully we can get a crowd like last year!

Ariose

April 16th, 2009
2:54 am

……evenly matched my arse….Hawks in 5…..6 MAYBE but that’s pushing it.

Ariose

April 16th, 2009
3:01 am

If Freakin’ Chicago could Sweep Miami with Shaq, Wade, Walker, JWill, Kapono, Posey Et.al then what makes you thinks that that Hawks(who are OBVIOUSLY beter than that Bulls squad) can’t easily handle a heat squad with Wade and a Broken Down Jermaine O’Neal?

……….Exactly.

Ed

April 16th, 2009
3:05 am

Just saw an article of the +/- mins for five-man units & the Hawks combo of Bibby-Murray-Johnson-Smith-Pachulia was # 2 but only played 106 minutes together. Also,at # 16 you’ll find this combo; Bibby-Johnson-Evans-Smith-Pachulia, playing only 107 minutes together. This says to me we did much better with Pachulia in the lineup, a bigger lineup with a natural center. Unfortunately Woody played him sparingly.

Ariose

April 16th, 2009
3:05 am

The national Media is being seduced by fools gold. But by the time the Hawks get through with the heat, they won’t have anything nice left to say about them.

I can’t tell you how many articles i’ve already read predicting the heat to win in 6 or 7…….I can’t WAIT to rub the beatdown in their faces.

jc_dawgs

April 16th, 2009
3:47 am

47-35! They just keep getting better and better every year. Thanks Hawks for a great reg season. I watched many a game on the nba package. Now on to the playoffs.

Miami wont be easy…must contain D Wade…to some degree anyway.

If they get past Miami…then its Cleveland. They are 39-2 at home? Thats sick…especially when 1 of there 2 loses was against Philly in the final game of the year. A game that was meaningless to Cleveland. The other loss was to the Lakers.

But…if Bibby and Joe are hot…I could see them giving Cleveland some problems. But they must be hot…especially on Cleveland’s floor. Our starting back court is as good as any back court in the league imo with Bibby and Joe.

Good luck Hawks!

Truth-serum

April 16th, 2009
6:22 am

Ed

April 16th, 2009
3:05 am

The reason Woodson played that line-up sparringly is that ZAZA leads the league in turnover per minutes played at the post and is a momentum stopper with his fouls and free-throw bricks. He cant shot! period and rarely finishes. Yes he was out pick as a center but once you get past the emotions and popularity Za is an underachiever and a liability. Woodson does not have a really good option to go big when needed. I see his point clearly. Thats why we have to play Josh and Horford and Z is now a bench player. I love this team but the reality is you wont become a finalist without a strong “big” option. Did I also mention that Z is slow for a young man and un-coordinated? Sorry. Just keeping it real!

doc

April 16th, 2009
7:04 am

thanks sekou and they wonder why it is difficult to get tix sold at times. all have to wait for the nba so we can work our lives around it. oh well, it worked out fine for the tix in hand and ready to be used. bring it on atlanta!

Sekou Smith

April 16th, 2009
7:26 am

I can’t fathom why it took so long to send out the schedule. In all the years I’ve been dealing with the NBA the playoff schedule has never come out so late. But enough complaining. We’ve got it now. It’s prediction time for this series. Let ‘em fly all day. I don’t see a sweep for either side. And that late Sunday night tip for Game 1 means you wait all weekend to get it on. But I’m thinking this thing goes six or probably seven games for sure. Home team gets the edge from me. That’s what you worked all season for. But I expect fireworks from both teams.

Ron E.

April 16th, 2009
7:40 am

Hawks in 7. This Hawks team isn’t good enough, well coached enough, or mentally strong enough yet to win a playoff road game. That will have to wait for next year. But they’re just good enough to hold home court despite being unable to guard Wade.

Willie Coyote

April 16th, 2009
7:40 am

I think my win prediction was 47-ish wins for the season; I’m good.

D Wade will get his points this series (by hook or crook, the best guys always do). Play D Wade tough but make sure that if he gets it going, his teammates don’t. If the Hawks give that all out effort on the glass and run some of those suffocating spurts of defense they are capable of, in 4-5 games we’ll be talking about our matchups in the second round.

I’ll be there Sunday!!!

RUSSIAN (AKA KGB)

April 16th, 2009
7:51 am

I MUST BREAK YOU “HEAT”

Westurd

April 16th, 2009
8:20 am

I woke up shivering an sweating this morning….I think its a case of HAWKS PLAYOFF FEVER, and I don’t plan on getting better anytime soon!

Its go time!

Stirg d'Nahsif

April 16th, 2009
8:22 am

We need a big, for sure! Can we package a few players to offer Chicago for Joakim Noah and reunite the two Florida bigs, Horford and Noah? Come draft time, it’ll be easier to recruit a starting point guard (another need), than it would be to obtain a quality big man. I don’t know who or what (picks) the Hawks can offer for Noah; but a lineup with Bibby, Johnson, Smith, Horford and Noah would be unstoppable, not to mention marketable.

Big Daddy

April 16th, 2009
8:32 am

I am excited for the Hawks but the playoff scheduler has made sure few church goers will be present-because all the Hawks home games are on Sunday and Wednesday nights-key nights for those of use frequenting the hospital for the soul. Well, I guess that’s what recording technology is for. Maybe I will say a breif prayer for both teams with the edge going to the Hawks. :-) Lord willing of course.

Go Hawks!

rainman

April 16th, 2009
8:33 am

Sekou, what’s your opinion on how much Marvin will play and how effective he will be? Do you think they will resign Bibby, and for how much?

dstdeelite

April 16th, 2009
8:38 am

I feel like we must get at least one game on the road. We do not want a sudden death game with the likes of D-Wade. I have all the confidence in the world that these guys can make some things happen. Hawks in 6!! Go Hawks!!!

MannyT

April 16th, 2009
8:40 am

Big Daddy, the 1st game is at 8 PM on Sunday. Hopefully the Hawks fans will get out of their houses of prayer by that time.

Now it’s time to make something out of that NOW YOU KNOW slogan.

I’m ready for playoff Woody! Bring out the ring. Put the pressure on the rookie coach.

BWAF

A Hawk in Manhattan

April 16th, 2009
8:45 am

So I live in NYC, and am a 25-year Hawk fan. (Yes, it’s been an ugly 25 years, or at least most of it has.) Last year I flew down to ATL for the huge Game 6 win. This year I’m going to be in Miami next weekend, when both the Sat and Mon games (Games 4 and 5) are played. I want to get the Hawks cheering section rocking Miami’s house. Sekou, you know how to get tickets for those games in Miami? I checked online and don’t see anywhere I can buy them yet – any inside tips to I can do my best to take away Miami’s home court advantage in those games…?

Mike is back

April 16th, 2009
8:52 am

Sekou, I agree no sweep. 
Unfortunately, we will be on the receiving of the thrust from the
underdogs like

Boston

last playoff. I think the Hawks and
Miami
series will be like

Detroit

and Philly last season playoff.  

Miami

will steal one the Atl and put a scare in us, but we will take the series in
six games…even with the bad calls from the ref.

Woody made the comment that the Eastern Conference final is
the bar to reach to play for a championship. If the Hawks play up-tempo ball
throughout the playoff that goal can be achieved. There is no limit this team
can’t reach when they’re attacking on defense and getting out on the break
on offense.  
 

Hawks in 6…if they play uptempo ball…then Hawks in
5555555555555555555555555555!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

I got two extra Tix for the game Sunday….HALLA @ YA
BOY!!!!
 

 GO
HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ProudTechFan

April 16th, 2009
8:52 am

With all the excitement, game one is crucial.. All the fourth place talk won’t mean squat if we dont defend homecourt by winning game one. With that said, I have all the confidence in the world that the Hawks will take care of business Sunday night. I hope we as fans show our support like last year, and give our playoff bound hawks a true homecourt advantage..

Astro Joe

April 16th, 2009
9:24 am

Someone is going to get punched in the mouth in the first 4 minutes of each half in Game 1. The question is can the team that takes the punch recover. I say Hawks in 7 with the good guys winning two in Miami. I’m expecting a tremendously entertainng series. And Marvin is my X-Factor for the overall series. We know the Heat will play to stop Joe, so we need at least 2-3 other scoring options and Marvin needs to be one of them. Smith is my X-Factor in Miami… he has to stay away from foul trouble and play well for the team to win in South Beach.

SouthAfrican09

April 16th, 2009
9:53 am

I cannot lie:

If Bib and Joe are on their games (they’ll have had pretty much 9 days off when game 1 strikes) and Smoove plays anywhere close to intelligently, this series is over in 5 games.

There is no way the Heat can win this series if Bibby comes out to play. None at all.

Our team has at least 5 dangerous options on the offensive end, we can switch on every defensive matchup, we play great at home, and ZaZa should be healthy. Mo will be playing with a heavy heart (R.I.P. to his family member), Flip wants a new contract, Duck will be fresh, and Horford is the hub and leader of this franchise who will not let us start slow.

The Hawks can in no way lose this series, and will not.

Hawks in 5

richbrave

April 16th, 2009
10:07 am

47 it is. How’s that compared to last year this time? Anybody predict 47 wins?

Melvin

April 16th, 2009
10:08 am

Hawks in 5 maybe 6. No length expectation needed…. Lets go HAWKS…

Melvin

April 16th, 2009
10:11 am

Wow, I mess that last post up. Let me try it again…

Hawks in 5 maybe 6. No lengthy explanation needed. Let’s go Hawks…

Champ

April 16th, 2009
10:14 am

Hawks in six! Only gripe with the NBA is why two days off between games 1,2 & 3,4? Why do we need to see the playoffs last 2 months?

terrell barron

April 16th, 2009
10:32 am

Garnett could miss entire postseason. Wow!

Nookah

April 16th, 2009
10:32 am

SouthAfrican09, I like your confidence. Quite a bold statement, but my brother I’m with you. Hawks in 5. I think last year’s playoff experience will do us a world of good. We’ll steal 1 in Miami and stand firm at home.

Stirg, good to see my fellow Falcon bloggers showing their versatility. I also saw Big Ray here on the last blog.

Ariose, not sure if it was deliberate but did you start the word “heat” with a small cap for any particular literary effect? I hope they’ll be “lukewarm”. We all know D Wade will be getting the calls. I know however, we will be used to that by now so it will not affect us mentally.

Go Hawks!!! In 5!!!!!!

“Chase dem crazy baldheads outta town”…… Robert Nesta Marley

Nuff respect everytime!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 16th, 2009
10:38 am

Hawks in 6… I’m guessing they come back from Miami tied 2-2 and then win the last two games.

Then again, I picked the Hawks to win 40 games and get the 7th seed, so maybe I’m giving the Heat too much credit.

The Don

April 16th, 2009
10:56 am

17 days to complete a first round series (assuming it goes 7) That’s just insane. The whole NCAA tournament is done in about 3 weeks.

The Don

April 16th, 2009
10:59 am

Sekou
I forgot to ask, what’s the word on Marvin , AC for the playoffs?

Mr. GA Boy # 2

April 16th, 2009
11:00 am

If the Hawks play the way they should. . . this will be done in 4. We are a better team. I just hope we don’t let Coach Woodson down. We must defend. If we do that we will win this series.

Mr. GA Boy #2
theGABoys.com

bfred

April 16th, 2009
11:14 am

Really like the prime time starts – Hawks are going to get a lot of good exposure out of this series. Here’s hoping they make the most of it. I would love to hear the crew at ESPN try to spin how a team that got limited recognition from them during the season beat one of their golden boys.

Sekou Smith

April 16th, 2009
11:19 am

Marvin’s good. Acie …? Not so sure. Rainman, no clue on Bibby. There has to be a way to get something done to keep him, though. The bigger question to me is what you do behind him. That has to be addressed immediately.

Daniel

April 16th, 2009
11:27 am

Here we go guys! I am so excited for this team to take another step towards prominence. I will be at the game Sunday for sure, and we are going to tear the roof off!!!

Ken Strickland

April 16th, 2009
11:33 am

What HC waits until the last 2gms of the season to try and find out what he has on his bench? And wouldn’t you want to find out how those bench players mesh with your starters, since that’s who they’ll be playing with?

At least one thing came out of this. I saw enough of RMorris to reach the conclusion Woodson was corrent in leaving him on the bench all yr, although he did show some OFF skills. Speedy just isn’t ready and it’s unfair to expect hIM TO put it together while playing limited mins in the last 2 gms. Even injured, Acie will be able to contribute more than Speedy, assuming he’s allowed to play.

AHunter demonstrated that he could be a big help if given a chance to play and used properly. Flip shouldn’t be used as a PG, it’s not his strength. In fact, it takes away from his strength, and that’s scoring. He makes too many mistakes and too many turnovers when he’s running the team. IT’S PLAYOFF TIME, SO LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE. GOOD LUCK YOU HIGH FLYING HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ignition

April 16th, 2009
11:37 am

Man I’m nervous and excited …

Lets Go Hawks !!!!!!

SouthAfrican09

April 16th, 2009
12:21 pm

Sekou, when do we hear about the playoff roster? Who makes the last few spots? Speedy, Mario, Solo, and Randy after Flip Mo and Z?

jhan

April 16th, 2009
12:59 pm

Hawks in 6. I don’t want to see a game 7 – even at home.

Ramon

April 16th, 2009
2:03 pm

Sekou, I think the scheduling for the playoffs took so long this season, because this may be the most potential financial damaging the NBA play-offs has had in Stern’s tenure. It almost makes you think Stern saw this economic downturn coming years ago when he decided to stretch the first round to seven games. I could honestly believe the league was concerned with matching up some of the best games against prime time powerhouses for the first time in history. That’s why in my mind, there’s no way the league would allow this years NBA Finals to be between two small market teams. Even if Boozer went 20-15, there’s no way the league would allow a Jazz – Magics Finals to take place.

Ramon

April 16th, 2009
2:24 pm

Sekou, if Law is your future, do you consider giving Bibby’s potential contract to Rasheed, if you know it will be a huge bid from Houston for Mike?

Reality

April 16th, 2009
2:39 pm

No human or team can stop DWADE. He is going to BLOW UP in this series, just like he’s done many times before in previous playoffs. Only the elite NBA teams will be able to overcome his DOMINANCE.

The Hawks are not good enough to withstand this incoming DWADE storm.

Beasley, Haslem, Super Mario (the real one), Jermaine O’neal, etc. etc. will also make HUGE contributions.

Heat in 6.

Maybe next year the Hawks can break on through to the 2nd round of the Playoffs. Hell, that’s equivalent to a championship in Atlanta!

keepin it real

April 16th, 2009
2:58 pm

it should be a shame to be a HAWK fan u guy cryin bout fouls,special treatment that jus mean get u a SUPERSTAR series dont start yet and all u can think about is the ref,im sure ref dont lose 4 gms for u, one call aint gonna change much either over a series, y’all seem real scare and unsure with ur teams chances,like i say only way HEAT lose is if BEASLEY dont play 32-35mins a gm, HAWK have no one for him or WADE HEAT in 6 or less

keepin it real

April 16th, 2009
3:02 pm

plus hawks up and down team they play better fast and everybody know playoffs half-court gm that hawks biggest problem not a good shooting team

Al

April 16th, 2009
3:03 pm

jhan, you don’t wanna see a game 6 in Miami. There’s no way D-Wade will let you guys finish him off at home. You better win the first two at home (and I think the Hawks are very capable of it with the way the Heat struggles closing out games on the road), then split the next two from a demoralized young Miami team and close it out at home in Game 5. If we come back to Miami with the series at 1-1, with our kids confident, and the way Wade takes over playoff games at home, good luck.

Ariose

April 16th, 2009
3:09 pm

Reality, go talk your crap on a Heat Blog…..

Nookah, it wasn’t deliberate, but I like the way you think lol. Besides, I don’t care enough about them to make sure I cap thei sorry neme everytime.

Ariose

April 16th, 2009
3:13 pm

…….lol they suck so bad they make me misspell other words heh!