So the Hawks can clinch a playoff berth with a victory against the Spurs tonight. Before you say “So what?” remember from whence the Hawks came.
“It wasn’t even pro basketball,” J.J. said of his early days with the Hawks.
Clearly the Hawks have higher aspirations than just making the playoffs. Still, making it official means something.
“It definitely does,” Josh Smith said. “When you go from the bottom up you appreciate the moments of winning.”
“That’s what makes it so special,” J.J. said, “knowing what you had to go through to get to this point.”
“It would be fantastic,” Woody said of clinching tonight. “It’s what we all push for. The first three years we wasn’t playing for nothing. Well, I can’t say that third year–we had a legit shot to make it but we had a lot of injuries. We finally made it in the fourth year, and now here we are.”
Then there is Jamal Crawford, whose losing goes back even further than the Hawks. Jamal asked Bibby how long he was in the league before he made the playoffs.
“Three,” Bibby said.
“Imagine 10,” Jamal said.
Jamal said he “always had faith” he’d make the postseason one day, if only because each season is a fresh start. He thought he had a chance in 2004-05 with the Knicks but they faltered in the final three months of the season and Crawford struggled with injuries. He also thought it might happen in 2006-07 but the Knicks were eliminated in the final week of the season.
Now (unless he’s really cursed or something) Jamal will finally make it.
“I’m going to reflect but not celebrate,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
– I took a look at East teams Nos. 5 through 8 for my Sunday notes and briefly examined why the Hawks may or may not want to face each opponent.
Smoove said he’s not doing the same because those teams are closely bunched in the standings. If the Hawks remain fourth behind Boston (which would get the tiebreak over the Hawks due to winning the Atlantic Division) it’s looking like they’d get Milwaukee in the first round. If they finish third and the Bucks stay hot, it could be Miami, Charlotte or Toronto.
“It’s so crazy down at five through eight, you don’t know who you are going to play,” he said. “So we’ll just see how it plays out. Everybody is right behind each other.”
– I also wrote a story about the Hawks raising premium season ticket prices by nearly 50 percent next year. Today I got the following email and it made me think back to this post from hawksdawgs at Peachtree Hoops.
Interesting article on the Hawks attendance. I want to tell you why I think they can’t draw with a decent team. First many people, like me, who can afford to go live north of the city and I went to a recent Hawks game with Cleveland and it took me over an hour to drive from Johns Creek. Traffic was horrible that time of day. Marta is no better. The trains don’t run often enough, you have to change trains and they are always dirty and crowded. And to top it all off , I went to a basketball game and a Rap concert broke out. Every time out, half time and in between all I heard was rap. And they even introduced all the Atl Rappers sitting in their prime seats during one timeout. Never Again. Horrible traffic and they cater to the Rap crowd. They can have it.
I won’t respond to the bulk of his comments, but I feel I must defend Marta. I ride it all the time because I hate driving and I’ve found it to be safe, reliable and clean. I’m still trying to figure out why some people in the city hate on it so much.
– Remember, the game is at 8 tonight. Apparently some fans missed the numerous notices from the Hawks about the time change for the Feb. 26 game vs. Dallas.