Anyone interested in winning this thing?

Who wants it more, Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks or Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat? We'll find out Sunday afternoon in Game 7 at Philips Arena.

HAWKSVILLE - So it’s come to this.

Game 7 (Sunday afternoon at Philips Arena) in a series where neither the Hawks nor Heat has shown anything in the way of true desire to snatch this thing up and finish it.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock Friday night in yet another blowout – Game 6 looked like Games 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – it started to make sense.

These two teams don’t know how to win in the playoffs (duh, news flash huh?). They’re simply not capable. There aren’t enough seasoned NBA playoff veterans on either roster to put the finishing touches on a series of this nature.

Joel Anthony and Solomon Jones. Mario West and Mario Chalmers. No offense to these fine young warriors, but there aren’t more than a handful of truly battle tested performers between these two teams that you could point to and know that you’re going to get a playoff-worthy effort from them night after night.

Injuries certainly have played a part in this series moving on to a seventh and final game. From Marvin Williams (doesn’t look good for Game 7) to Jermaine O’Neal (no way he sits another one out) to Al Horford (he’s a go) to both Dwyane Wade (name that bump or bruise) and Joe Johnson (I have a sneaking suspicion that the right ankle he tweaked twice in Game 5 has been bothering him much more and much longer than he’s willing to admit), a key player for either side has been missing basically every step of the way.

In the end, it won’t matter who suits up for Game 7, because someone has to go home after it’s all over. And someone has to move on to face LeBron James and his band of merry men. Someone HAS to, because the NBA will not wait for the Hawks and Heat to figure out if they’d both like to play their best on the same night. They need a winner Sunday so the world can move on.

The lack of killer instinct on both sides has been nothing short of deplorable. I couldn’t believe the emotionless performance the Hawks delivered in Game 6. There’s no way you expect a team to saunter onto the floor in a close out game with that kind of attitude (or lack thereof). Aside from Mike Bibby, there wasn’t a single player in a Hawks uniform that seemed interested in leaving AmericanAirlines Arena for Cleveland.

Whichever teams wins this series can rest assured that the Cavaliers will have no problem asserting themselves, be it in Atlanta, Miami or Cleveland, in the same situation. They made quick work of the Pistons and will do the same to either one of these teams if they can’t rise to the level of the moment and the competition.

The Hawks remain steadfast in their belief that the home court advantage they earned this season is going to be their saving grace. Could be. But I’d be nervous about resting my entire season on the percentages (the home team wins Game 7 a whopping 80 percent of the time in a seven-game series).

SO INSTEAD OF PLAYING MY OWN HUNCHES, I reached out to a couple of friends in the scout world for their opinions about this series, and particularly Game 7. They didn’t have a ton of praise for consistency of either team.

I asked for the Game 7 key for both teams and here’s what I got:

Mike Bibby has been the Hawks best and most consistent player in this series.

Mike Bibby has been the Hawks best and most consistent player in this series.

For the Hawks - It’s all about their defensive coverages. They switch almost everything, rotating guys and they can get away with it because of all their length and quickness. They’ve done a great job in the games they’ve won of closing out shooters and not allowing Wade to the turn the corner and drive to the lane and finish in his sweet spots. They haven’t allowed him to kill them at the line and they’ve done a good job of forcing the Heat to play them in transition. And that’s a game the Hawks win against almost anybody in the league when they are on top of their game. The problem has been on the offensive end more than anything. When they don’t move the ball, they leave Joe on an island with two and sometimes three guys closing in on him. And he’s not passing out of the traps and double teams fast enough, if he passes out of it at all, to make the defense rotate. That means the Hawks get one shot and they’re done. Because they are clearing out the lane for Joe to drive and work on his guy but he’s not driving. He’s settling for jump shots instead of forcing the issue. When he does that, their entire offense grinds to a halt and they don’t have enough good shooters to scare you in the half court. What they’re missing is their two-man game with Joe and Bibby on the left wing. They’ve run that to perfection at times this season, forcing whoever is guarding Bibby to switch off and guard Joe and vice a versa. They’d honestly be better of playing through Bibby in Game 7 and letting Joe work his man on the block and use his size to attack the Heat from a different angle as opposed to off the dribble. Bibby’s been their best player in this series. And that’s a wrinkle that works in a one-game set like they’re in now, because it causes the Heat to adjust on the fly. And if they get it right, that’s fine. The Hawks can go back to their default setting that’s worked well for them in three of the games and ride that. But whatever they do, they better feed those kids in the frontcourt, because they always play better when they are involved in the offense. They block more shots and rebound the ball better when they know they’re going to get fed a little bit on the other end. That’s always the key with your bigs. But if they get in iso mode and each guy tries to do it on his own, and that includes Flip Murray and Zaza Pachulia off the bench, they’re in trouble. So they have to careful about spreading that thing around and keeping everyone involved. They’re not a one-man team like Miami. They don’t have to play that way.

The Heat has been the more physical team in this series, even when they've lost.

The Heat has been the more physical team in this series, win or lose!

And for the Heat - It’s all about Wade for them on offense. If he’s on and he’s creating as well as getting his shots and drawing fouls, he makes them an impossible cover. The Hawks don’t have anyone that can contain him one-on-one. Joe’s done the best job of anyone, but only when he’s using his hands and actively trying to deny Wade the dribble drive game that makes him so dangerous. If Wade is creating and drawing defenders into the lane on his drives to the basket, that leaves wide open shooters around the 3-point line. If they make those shots the way they did in Game 2 and 3 (the Heat sank a whopping 27 shots from beyond the arc in those games), it’ll be lights out for the Hawks. Because those shots are as demoralizing as anything. Being a split second late on a rotation can sink you when they’re hitting 3-pointers. There’s no secret what they’re going to do offensively. It all starts with Wade. It all flows from him. Where they’ve really been successful is on the defensive end. They’ve really neutralized Johnson with those traps and double teams. They’re bringing a third defender, too, when he heads to the lane and they’re cashing in because he’s not moving the ball. When he does get rid of it, he’s throwing it to guys like Josh Smith, who is shooting 15 percent (2-for-13) from 3-point distance, so it works out perfect for the Heat. And you can tell their guys have read the scouting report and understand how to bait the Hawks into those bad shots. They’re backing off Smith on the wing and daring him to shoot from out there and he’s taking the bait every time. If he dives on those double teams and gives Johnson the option of splitting the floor on the double team with a cutter to the basket, then the Heat has a little more trouble trying to cover the entire floor. But he hasn’t done that and that allows the Heat to really lock down on Johnson and make things tough on the Hawks. They’ve also been the more physical team, even in the games they’ve lost. They’ve been the team playing more physical around the basket in particular. Joel Anthony was the key in game 6. With O’Neal out he, Udonis Haslem and Jamaal Magloire owned the paint. They controlled the lane and kept the Hawks off balance the entire game. That’s the way they’ll have to play it in Game 7 to be successful. While I assume O’Neal is going to play, they at least have the horses to handle things on the defensive end if he doesn’t play. But if they can defend like they have on their best nights, they’ve got a chance to win the game because Wade is going to bring the offense with him.

THE GAME 7 X-FACTOR is likely to emerge early on. It could be several players, depending on how things go. I watched the Celtics’ Game 7 win over Chicago Saturday night and from Stephon Marbury to Eddie House to Brian Scalabrine, Boston got huge efforts from their bench in a must-win game. And we’re talking about guys whose roles have fluctuated throughout the season, depending on the Celtics’ injury situation.

I’m wondering who is going to be the guy in Game 7 here. Michael Beasley stepped up in Game 6 to help lift the Heat to a win. Flip Murray did it for the Hawks in Game 5. You figure one of those guys is going to have a huge Game 7.

Just like basically everything else about what’s going on with this series, it’s a toss up as to who the real X-factor is going to be. There’s no telling until game time. See you there.

309 comments Add your comment

Not So Hot Heat

May 3rd, 2009
7:50 pm

Whatsa matter? Josh Smiths failed dunk only enough motivation for one game? Suckas! Where yall is, South Beach punks? Go on a cruise or play some video games cuz its a long summer and you wont have a high draft pick either.

In Da House

May 3rd, 2009
8:19 pm

When Woodson called his point guard over, Bibby shot back with an expletive. “Y’all tell him to move,” Bibby growled. Woodson simply turned away, rubbing his goattee and smiling slightly.

what veterans can do that young players cannot altho at least one teammate taking the side of another

niremetal

May 3rd, 2009
8:21 pm

I loved this. Check out the Q&A at 2:06:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1dgp-lOoJE

D-Wade made a mental mistake, and he STILL blames it on the refs. One of many great plays by Zaza in the series. He knocked the ball out of bounds, burned 2 seconds of clock. D-Wade didn’t look at the clock when the ball was inbounded again. And he wants to blame it on the clock and the refs? Or is he saying “My bad” there and I’m just not realizing it?

Onto Cleveland.

beau gust

May 3rd, 2009
8:25 pm

The crowd may not have been a sellout, but they were so loud that the ESPN analysts were hard to hear. At first I was annoyed at not being able to hear them, then I was annoyed at being able to hear them at all. It was like being at the game, and having some jerk yakking into his cell-phone. Still, when I could hear them, they seemed pretty fair, unlike the sorry crew from TNT!

Cavs haven’t played for a long time (seems like weeks). Hawks best chance to steal home court advantage is that first game. All they have to do is play like they did today!

The Truth

May 3rd, 2009
9:11 pm

I think in this next series, the Hawks has the table set in their favor:

1) There is absolutely no pressure on them to win; they have already met their goals for the year.

2) Cleveland is expected to sweep the Hawks so we will be the underdog favorite

3) The Hawks play their best basketball when the odds are against them (remember the Celtic series last year). They will be loose will nothing to lose in Cleveland

4) Cleveland has been idle for a while and may be rusty

So us fans can just sit back and enjoy the games. A word to the bloggers in advance; no drama please!! :)

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2009
9:21 pm

I somewhat agree with The Truth. Hawks-Cavs is going to be a lot like Hawks-Celtics as far as the way it’s covered and the general expectations from the media. All eyes are going to be on LeBron and the Cavs’ size advantage across the board. The Hawks may be a legitimate playoff team now with a winning record, but they are going to be written off in this series from day one. If they can pull the upset it would obviously be incredible, but I think losing in six is a realistic expectation.

The main sign of growth we should be looking for in this series is whether they can be competitive on Cleveland’s home floor. They stunk it up in all four road games last year, as well as in two of the three road games this year. They made the jump from last year to this year by becoming nearly unbeatable at home and becoming a great defensive team. The next step is to become a competitive road team, and what better place to start than at Cleveland which only lost two home games all season.

bigdave

May 3rd, 2009
9:29 pm

exactly Truth& Najeh…

SouthAfrican09

May 3rd, 2009
9:31 pm

1) We need Marvin for this coming series. He guards LeBron well (LeBron “only” averaged 26 ppg against us this year). Mo is not big enough to consistently start at SF and got burnt by Beasley in game 6.

2) Last year’s Boston team > this year’s Cleveland team. This Cleveland team is not the best team in the league. LeBron gets away with a lot and only makes layups. If Bibby can keep Smoove composed (NO JUMPSHOTS) and Joe shows up every game, we’ll be in for a long series.

Big Ray

May 3rd, 2009
9:37 pm

Hah! How dare D-Wade throw the refs under the bus? They’ve been in his Fave Five all series long…

Da Real Real

May 3rd, 2009
9:40 pm

It’s starting to become really easy for some folks in the media to call out Atlanta crowds…”short of sellout”? I was at game 5 (couldn’t make this game, but I plan on making it to a game in the next series) and that place was loud. It looked crazy in there today and it sounded extremely loud on TV. The people talking about “short of sellout” is taking a real cheap shot at Atlanta fans on a day where the only thing they could do was that since we put THERE guy out.

Astro Joe

May 3rd, 2009
9:41 pm

Najeh, I whole heartedly agree with you. If the Hawks take yet another step during these playoffs, it will come in the form of playing competitive ball in an arena where the home team only lost one game with LeBron starting. If LeBron is still on the floor at the end of games played in Cleveland, then we know that we have played competitively. Needless to say, it sure would be nice to have Marvin in this coming series.

Oh yeah and I’m DAMN proud of my boys. I don’t cae what else happens with my team and my coach this season, I’m DAMN proud of them. And if ya’ll don’t like it when I try a between the legs, windmill slam of excitement for my team (including my coach), well, KMA!

Big Ray

May 3rd, 2009
9:44 pm

Truth,

I agree. But there is one very unrealistic thing that you’re asking for. “No Drama?” Come on man. You should know better than that. ;)

SouthAfrican09,

I heartily agree with #1. We need Marvin in the worst way. He does tend to play well on defense against Lebron (i.e, Lebron works for what he gets, and won’t score 50 on him).

As for #2….Well, if you thought Wade got some calls, just you wait. And while Bibby has been instrumental in helping Josh keep his head in the game, it’s going to come down to Josh in the end. I’d like to see him average something along the lines of what he gave us in today’s game. 7-12 shooting with 20 and 9 or 10? Suit me just fine.

Big Ray

May 3rd, 2009
9:47 pm

LOL @ Astro Joe. Good one.

How about JJ draining those long 3s in Wade’s face?

I can see repeats of those with the wonderful piano interlude in the background….played only in Miami….”How disappointment happens”…

heh heh heh…

Big Ray

May 3rd, 2009
9:48 pm

AJ,

Seek, they don’t do things like that in Miami. In Miami, they tear their shirts off and throw them. That’s what they do in Miami. ROFL…

Who Died...and went back to South Beach

May 3rd, 2009
9:50 pm

Whining all the way. Barkley gonna call DWade and tell him he made him look stupid on TNT halftime. I had yo back Wade! You let me down!

SouthAfrican09

May 3rd, 2009
9:50 pm

Definitely, Big Ray.

How the heck can DUCK’s wrist injury be so bad? Every time this guy falls, it’s something new.

At this point, I just want to resign Flip and ZaZa first, and then Bibby.
What contracts you think these guys will get?

Flip 9 mil/3yr
ZaZa will get a TON of interest (top backup center in NBA)
Bibby 21 mil/3 year?

Bibby made Wayyyyyyyy too much money these past few years, so maybe he takes less (I doubt it).
Idk what to do with Marvin. If dude demands over 8 mill/yr from us, he’s out of his mind.
These home playoff games should help our owners on the financial side, but we have like 209 free agents this summer + Joe’s extension…ugh

The Truth

May 3rd, 2009
10:11 pm

Big Ray
OK: I’ll make the exception to you. At least your brand of drama has rational. :)

The Truth

May 3rd, 2009
10:28 pm

Who Died…and went back to South Beach

My sentiment exactly; I can’t what to listen to Kenny and Barkley tap dance during the upcoming Hawks discussions. These guys are a Joke. I didn’t know how bad they were until I compared them to the ABC crew with Magic Johnson and company during the analysis of the pre-game and halftime show today. The ABC crew is in another league compared to these clowns on TNT.

kwooden1

May 3rd, 2009
10:32 pm

I’m late to the Blog, but not to the game!!! JJ shooting over Wade put a smile on my face!!!! GREAT WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bullhorn

May 3rd, 2009
10:33 pm

Read this and tell Terence Moore where to go:

http://nba.fanhouse.com/2009/05/03/hawks-better-than-heat-but-so-what/#cont

Poor Terence, he just can’t get over being canned by the AJC.

kwooden1

May 3rd, 2009
10:34 pm

Truth your spot on about TNT, they actually seem a bit unprepared. We all know they’ve played basketball before and Barkley is a household name, BUT have some sore of basketabll analysis PLEASE!!!

kwooden1

May 3rd, 2009
10:41 pm

I like the HAWKS chances against Lebron and Co. They do match-up pretty well, if Marvin plays like his old self before the back injury. The HAWKS have improved their half court offensive, Horford and Smith can beat Big-Z and Shaggy on the break. I think Flip and Zaza have to be big coming off the bench, but we really need Marvin to play and play WELL!! My main problem with the Cavs has always been the size advantage and JSmith not getting rebounds. We need all 5 guys crashing the boards in this series.

GO HAWKS!!!

Astro Joe

May 3rd, 2009
10:48 pm

I’ve read several posts suggesting that Bibby has earned a new contract from the Hawks (for less money obviously). And Flip even had Sekou dedicate a blog to his contract status next season. But has anyone mentioned another UFA who has seemingly earned a contract offer from Sund? What is Sund going to do about Zaza? Dude may be a true “big game” player. I recall that he did his lunch-pale thing last year against the Heat and easily could have been our MVP of the Heat series. He’s not a shot-blocker and will surely struggle with the other Z in the Cleveland series, but dude brings a toughness that is needed on this finesse-first squad. What do ya’ll think should happen with Zaza when free agency begins in July?

doc

May 3rd, 2009
10:49 pm

aj that is just not a pretty image but go for it bud you deserve it. grand year!

dont forget kenny smith predicted the heat if wade was healthy …. dumb frigging azz.

i quit reading t moore about two years ago so i wont start again now. glad the guy got a job though.

kwooden1

May 3rd, 2009
10:58 pm

Astro, I hate to say this but the last time I looked at the numbers I thought that Zaza was gone. The HAWKS may not have enough money to pay Flip, Zaza, Marvin and Bibby. Another team is going to offer Zaza decent money. What might save us is the end of the collective bargaining agreement. Teams may not be willing to give out big contracts to FAs because of how things might change.

doc

May 3rd, 2009
11:00 pm

i misremembered why i quit reading t moore, now i know:

“They did so in their home building, where the only thing more wretched than the play at times of both teams was the sight of all those empty blue seats.

Did anybody deep in the heart of Dixie get the message that the Hawks were hosting their first Game 7 within these city limits? Guess not. As a result, there was much less (much, much less) than the announced crowd of 18,864 watching the Hawks advance this far in the postseason for the first time in more than a decade. Those present were loud and appreciative. But those who gathered to see the victorious Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden were loud, appreciative and plentiful.

Nobody ever will confuse Celtic Pride with whatever you describe the frequently lethargic environments around the Hawks and the Heat in recent years. Still, if you’re associated with either of these young teams, and if you have a desire to improve, your renaissance has to begin somewhere.”

what a piece of crap!

sekou do you claim this guy as a colleague?

there were few seats available down low and they filled up in the uppers. folks there made more noise than in the celtics series if that was thought possible. gonna be crazy for labron. didnt i hear the sixes had trouble filling and many seats empty in miami. 5 straight sell outs and then a nose factory and he tries to make it about the crowd. knew he was a hater; NOW WE KNOW!

Da Real Real

May 3rd, 2009
11:04 pm

I agree with what’s being said about TNT. I think they’ll just ignore the whole subject of what the Hawks did to the Heat and just focus on how badly the Cavs will supposedly beat us down. I give Chuck a lot of credit because he usually mans up and admits when he’s wrong…I just don’t think Kenny or Chris Webber have enough guts to mention that they were wrong about that series and like I said they’ll ignore it and try to make fun of the Hawks in this match up.

Bullhorn…I don’t know how you made it pass the first paragraph of that Moore article…I can barely make it pass the title of his article nonetheless try to read the whole thing

kwooden1

May 3rd, 2009
11:09 pm

Bullhorn the article was irratating at best.

The Bullhorn

May 3rd, 2009
11:15 pm

doc – I didn’t realize that Moore had composed that pile of feces until I finished the article. When I finished, I looked to see what idiot had composed it, then I saw, now I know, it was none other than Terence Moore.

At the beginning of the game, there were empty seats. However, as the game progressed, Philips filled up. I guess Moore left early, as in, he was out to lunch.

ClutchCity

May 3rd, 2009
11:21 pm

Congrats to the Hawks for ending their first round drought. My Rockets got that same monkey off their backs Thursday night, so I know how gratifying today’s win must feel.

Good luck against the Cavaliers. They’re gonna be a tough out. Your team played some competitive games against them during the regular season so it could shape out to be a great series.

BTW, that Joe Johnson is a stud. Dude knows how to ball.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2009
11:38 pm

I think the Hawks can do a lot in free agency as far as keeping their own players if they trade Marvin in the offseason. I’m not dissing Marvin by any means — I think in an offense that features him he can score 20 points per game easily — but I don’t think his scoring and defense are nearly as essential to the Hawks’ success as Bibby’s leadership and clutch shooting, Flip’s instant offense off the bench, and Zaza’s toughness inside. I think the Hawks would be just as good with a Trevor Ariza type starting at small forward at 1/3 the cost. Getting Marvin’s salary, which could exceed $8 or $9 million, off the books would go a long way towards freeing up cap space to keep the other three free agents while leaving some room open for re-signing Joe Johnson and Al Horford in the coming years. And depending on who the Hawks receive in return for Marvin (and/or the rights to Childress) in a trade (maybe another instant offense guy or physical big man), such a move could make Flip or Zaza expendable.

Put it this way — if you trade Marvin for someone similar to Joel Anthony and a couple of filler contracts, and use your first round pick on someone like Tyreke Evans or Patrick Mills, you have instantly acquired two players who more or less fill the roles of Flip and Zaza while still retaining the possibility of Childress either returning or being dealt for a small forward to take Marvin’s place. This is just off the top of my head — obviously that’s nowhere near a perfect scenario and the Hawks would lose a lot replacing Flip with a rookie, but it’s just one possible example of what the Hawks could do to fill the Flip and Zaza roles on the team while having enough money to keep Bibby.

The bottom line is Marvin is their most attractive trade chip and the single easiest way to shed salary without hurting the overall chemistry of the team.

One thing is for sure though: if the DASG wants to keep this team together, they are going to have to be willing to pay around $70 million a year. The Hawks’ current team salary of $68 million puts them in the bottom third of the NBA.

I was never the Terence Moore hater most other AJC readers apparently are, but that article was all over the place. Forget the unnecessary hating on the Hawks — after reading it I still don’t get the point he’s trying to make.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2009
11:48 pm

Of course, if some idiot GM decides to take Speedy Claxton’s deal off the books, everything I said above doesn’t matter. I wrote all that assuming the Hawks are stuck with Speedy until next February, when he suddenly becomes an attractive expiring contract at the trade deadline.

Ryder

May 3rd, 2009
11:59 pm

This was a victory not only for the Atlanta Hawks franchise, but for all of us in this blog who supported this team when they traded Rasheed Wallace, Antoine Walker, Jason Terry, and continued to support them when they began the Billy Knight process…..

….for all of those fans who (myself especially) that Woody must go (thanks Clyde for all of those t-shirts).

….for Sekou becoming one of America’s best writers and dealing with all of the Atlanta Spirit mess.

……for everyone who has dealt with empty seats at Phillips Arena and watched this team grow into a playoff contender.

The next level is here, and the Hawks are growing up!

CONGRATULATIONS ATLANTA! KEEP IT GOING!

louhudson

May 4th, 2009
12:47 am

First, great win! Next, Lebron is Lobron, but he does not beat us. It’s big Z ;and more importantly, Mo Williams is too quick for Bibby. Woody must play both Acie and Mario more they both are very good on ball defenders. Also, use Solo’s 6 fouls! This series will require Woody to go 9 to 10 deep in order to win.
Now free agency, sign and trade Marvin with Moe Evans for Portland’s Pyrzilla(center), Flip 3yr/9 million, Bibby 3yr/21 mil(his last NBA contract – nobody going to pay a 32 yr old point guard more), bring back Chill (6 yr/36 mil is already on the table. Zaza’s gets 4yr/25 mil. Finally, the Hawks with their 1th round pick; draft the biggest big man available. After next season, the Hawk are in great shape to package players in order to resign JJ and pay Horford.
Make these moves and the Hawks are an extremely strong defensive team with scoring Punch.
Good points Big Dave!

darrell starks

May 4th, 2009
1:21 am

lou you absolutely right Woody was lucky this series because the HEAT had no one but DWADE and they played the same style as the hawks with a 7man rotation there is no way your going to even have a chance against the CAVS with a 7man rotation because of the intensity level of the playoffs one playoffs game is like 5 regular season games in order for the hawks to have a chance WOODY have to have a least a 9 man rotation.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

May 4th, 2009
1:25 am

GOOD WIN HAWKS THE GAME WAS PACK AND I INJOY BEING AT THE HIGHLIGHTS FACTOR WOODY DESERVE TO BE HERE NEXT SEASON GREAT JOB WOODY.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ed

May 4th, 2009
1:44 am

We need to bring back J-Chill period.

Clyde

May 4th, 2009
3:04 am

Good Win For The Hawks. Let’s see if Woody will open up the playbook against the Cavs.

I thank the Lord for TNT and ESPN broadcasting the games. I need a break from Nique.

Samuel

May 4th, 2009
6:51 am

doc

May 4th, 2009
7:05 am

cavs in five with no disrespect. if it was a 2-3-2 arrangement than it would be 6. just dont think we can win there and will only get one of two at home.

SouthAfrican09

May 4th, 2009
8:07 am

How the heck can DUCK’s wrist injury be so bad? Every time this guy falls, it’s something new.

At this point, I just want to resign Flip and ZaZa first, and then Bibby.
What contracts you think these guys will get?

Flip 9 mil/3yr
ZaZa will get a TON of interest (top backup center in NBA)
Bibby 21 mil/3 year?

Bibby made Wayyyyyyyy too much money these past few years, so maybe he takes less (I doubt it).
Idk what to do with Marvin. If dude demands over 8 mill/yr from us, he’s out of his mind.
These home playoff games should help our owners on the financial side, but we have like 209 free agents this summer + Joe’s extension…ugh

Dan

May 4th, 2009
8:31 am

Bibby made Wayyyyy too much money? What the f*ck team have you been watching? I think he is worth every penny. Not sure if he will be resigned or if he should be resigned, but don’t try and spin that he has not earned his keep. That’s just stupid. C’mon, SouthAfrican09, youi know more about this game than that…

cee

May 4th, 2009
8:31 am

i got my tickets fo saturday section 214 baby cant wai to see the game

D.Carter

May 4th, 2009
8:39 am

I must admit i am and have been the biggest woody basher all season long!!! The biggest difference in the game was MIKE WOODSON and heres why….

ON OFFENSE; Finally!!!! We abandoned the 100 dribble offense and went with a more traditional high ball screen offense, which CREATED penetration from BIB and forces help to the middle of the floor which creates space for the wings to either shoot open jumpshots or open driving lanes….

Now the real genius of Woody must have figured out that when you make JOSH SMITH the ball screener when he rolls he is a great option because it keeps him away from the dreaded 3pt line… and also makes him an offensive option because of his ability to finish around the basket and catch the alley-oop…. With Joe and MO and hopefully Marvin this series will create floor space and less turnovers…. Marvin must play this series because it creates the Delonte West vs Joe Johnson matchup that really favors us……We must set ball screens on secondary fast breaks before the cavs are able to set up defensively…. While Illguskus and side show bob are big they are poor in transition defense…. Al , Josh , and Za ZA should beat them down the floor consistantly… This will require a great rebounding effort from Joe, Marvin, and Mike Bibby…

ON DEFENSE: Continue to force the other players to beat you…. Make Lebron shoot jumpers we an live with that….. Everyone get a foot in the paint on all dribble drives and make your fouls count…. Be aggressive and physical with cleveland aside from lebron they arent a physical team… We must rebound, rebound , rebound, dont give up extra possesions…..

terrell barron

May 4th, 2009
8:45 am

My Hawks offseason plan is to #1.Re-sign Bibby(lowest amount possible. He’ll probably take it. He seems happy here). 2.Resign Flip Murray(mid-level. He’s an excellent 6th man). 3.Trade Acie Law and possibly Marvin, for a big body pf/center who can backup Horford in the middle.(Varejo, Brandon Bass, Chris Anderson, Melvin Ely, Leon Powe, Aaron Gray, etc..(I just dont see a center worth taking in the 1st rd). I like Marvin, but he’s a little injury prone(back, wrists, etc.., and can be replaced with a guy making less money. And I hate to say it, but Acie isn’t the long term solution at pg, especially with Woody at the helm. (Sorry Acie. I wish you well, wherever you end up). 4.Draft the best available pg in rd 1.(Mills, Lawson, Flynn) and either a backup pf to Smoove(Pendegraph, Taj Gibson), or another scorer/slasher to take some pressure off of JJ in rd. 2(Tyler Smith, Danny Green),etc… With all that said, unless Lebron decides to leave Cleveland for the lowly Knicks or Nets, it’s going to be extremely difficult to win the East for years to come, no matter what we do this summer. And oh yeah, let Woody retain his Head Coaching job until his contract ends, UNLESS, we get out to a horrible start. He’s earned it. I guess. lol!! Just my 2 cents.

nunna yo bizznezz

May 4th, 2009
8:45 am

big z will be a force,and you have to put A big body on him like randolph morris..but woody won’t..

i agree with super lou hudson that mo williams is too fast for bibby,and putting in mario and a.c.law would help,but woody won’t..

we will win 1 out of the 1st 2 games,because of the cavs time off and rustiness,and their timing will be off as well,despite our coach…

and,if its 5 or 7 games,the cavs will win..
but if its 6,the hawks will win..

i see it 2-2 after the 1st 4,with us winning game 5,but,if we lose game 6 and have to go back to cleveland,then its over…

and for the rick sund poster on here who is supporting woody,ha ha,only in your dreams buddy…

sund knows talent,and he didn’t make a trade before the deadline because he was letting woody know that he has his team already..but,sund is no happy with woody sitting out morris,hunter,gardner at all..

he brought these guys in,knowing they would get playing time,and would be ready to step into the mix come playoffs time..And we have horford,and williams hurt,they are dressed,and the ones he brought in to fill in just for cases like this,are dressed in suit and ties,and are on the bench..

rick sund is not happy..And lets not forget his press conference at the beginning of the season when he said that last years excuse of woodson not having the talent to bring in off the bench would not be an excuse this year!!! and,he is talking about more than just mo and flip people..

nunna yo bizznezz

May 4th, 2009
8:55 am

why am i so high on rick sund??
lets take a look at his track record of knowing talent,and seeing what happens to the players he bring in when they get playing time..

Sund began his managerial career in 1974 with the Milwaukee Bucks after graduating from Ohio University with a degree in sports administration. Source

The expansion Dallas Mavericks hired him in 1979 at 28 years of age, making him the youngest general manager in the NBA’s history. He helped assemble the first ever Mavericks roster, and for the remainder of his multiple-year tenure around the organization, brought in Brad Davis, Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre and others. His 1986-87 Mavericks won a then-franchise record 55 games and took home the Midwest division crown. SourceMavericks history They reached the Western Conference Finals the next year, but fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.

He aided the then-rookie general manager of the former Seattle SuperSonics, Wally Walker in 1994. Source

He moved on to the Detroit Pistons in 1995-96, a rollercoaster five seasons at the helm of a talented team holding a young Grant Hill. They made the playoffs four of six seasons Sund ran the front office, and while they did so, Sund traded Hill, Allan Houston (to New York), and acquired Ben Wallace, setting up a pillar for Joe Dumars to build the team on in 2001.

Sund then left for the old Sonics, running the team for six seasons until the total revamping of the club by new owner and presumed “bad guy” Clay Bennett. Before any of the fracas that Seattle was involved in occurred, Sund traded for Ray Allen (using franchise figure Gary Payton), drafted talented young players like Nick Collison, and built his Sonics around Allen and fellow sharpshooter Rashard Lewis. Unfortunately, the SuperSonics made the playoffs but twice, although they captured the inaugural Northwest Division crown in the 2004-05 NBA season.

ILL-logical

May 4th, 2009
9:01 am

First, congratulations to the players,management and staff as well as the fans for an important milestone in franchise history.You got it the old fashioned way; you earned it!
Now, some observations:
After following this blog and local press accounts from a distance this last week a couple of things are clear.Several of the “fans” on this blog are fact challenged and let their emotions overule reality.Everyone is entitled to their opinion(s) but it is hard for me to continue to see point after point being made with little or no factual support. And with all of the data available on the net from the NBA, there is no excuse for willfull ignorance.

In my opinion, the Hawks as a team and an organization have come a long way in a relatively short time however many of their shortcomings are ones that could have and should have been corrected some time ago. That is why there is a general lack of respect in the national media about the team.Can they prove the doubters wrong? I doubt it because the same rope that pulled them up is going to hang them: poor coaching; players playing out their natural postion and getting into mismatches that do not favor their abilities and last but not least, a dysfunctional, financially challenged organization that cannot seem to get itself together.

A MODEST PROPOSAL:

In order to form a more perfect team that can and will contend for a championship this decade: Trade Joe ; Calvin Claxton and Josh Childress’rights to New Orleans for Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler.Let Bibby go and re-sign Flip,ZaZa and Solo. DO NOT extend Woodson until he demonstrates the ability to adapt to a system that favors up an tempo offense and ball movement while retaining defensive intensity.

This dream team-my dream- would start Chandler ,Al ,Josh ,CP III and , surprise -Marvin at the 2.
But the real key is that this line up permits rotating ZaZA for chandler; Marvin for Josh; Solo for Horford ,Flip for Marvin and Acie for CP III. And there are several other combinations that would have a great blend of young and experienced talent that can play several styles successfully and compete with anyone-for at least 4 years! The numbers work: Joe + Josh Chilldress+ Calvin Claxton= $24 million. CP III ( who has been a Hawks fan since his childhood in North Carolina) + Chandler( a legit 7 footer wjho can run the floor and block shots when healthy) = approximately $23 million.And let’s face facts: Bibby ain’t coming back here because he can get more money from a contender and have a better chance for a ring AND Joe ain’t re-signing for similar reasons( noone outside of 285 believes that he is anything more than a very good player who would be a great 3rd option on a championship team). So why not go for the gusto and build for a future that builds on a momentum that all of the guys ,staff and management deserve credit for. But now is the team to use some fact based decisions and not get lost in emotions.

twocents

May 4th, 2009
9:02 am

Through the regular season games vs the Cavs out the window. The biggest advantage that the Cavs have in the series is LeBron’s playoff experience. While the inexperienced playoff teams are panicing, he is in control of the game. He steps his game up big-time in the playoffs, which is why they have gone deep into the playoffs for 4 years now. If you really want to see the difference between LeBron and Wade, watch how LeBron is able to control and dominate the games in this series, albeit with a better supporting cast.

yessir

May 4th, 2009
9:03 am

Smartyguy = dumbguy