EDIT: The NBA released the schedule for Hawks-Bucks:
Game 1 – Sat April 17 Milwaukee at Atlanta 5:30 PM ESPN
Game 2 – Tue April 20 Milwaukee at Atlanta 7:00 PM NBATV
Game 3 – Sat April 24 Atlanta at Milwaukee 7:00 PM ESPN
Game 4 – Mon April 26 Atlanta at Milwaukee TBD TBD
Game 5 * Wed April 28 Milwaukee at Atlanta TBD TBD
Game 6 * Fri April 30 Atlanta at Milwaukee TBD TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 2 Milwaukee at Atlanta TBD TBD
All games also to be televised by either Fox Sports South or SportSouth.
– Not much to say about the game. The Hawks won 99-83, Rook’ looked good and nobody got hurt. Cavs coach Mike Brown summed it up: “Glad to get this game over with. Now we can focus on the playoffs.”
– It was a weird night. I spent more time looking at the out-of-town scoreboards than the main one. You probably did the same. I vaguely recall seeing Jason Collins shoot a 3-pointer but that can’t be right, can it?
– And then Heat-Nets went into overtime as us hacks waited for Woody to come out for his postgame presser. That was no good for my deadline. Then it went to double overtime, and Woody came out. That was no good for my questions because, really, I had none.
– The Hawks won 53 games, their most since winning 56 in the 1996-97 season. “It’s been fantastic,” Woody said before the Heat game ended. “We look at things in three phases: exhibition, regular season, and now it’s time for the playoffs. We don’t know who we are going to play, but it don’t matter. (Thursday) we start that journey.”
– Long story short(er), I had to leave the locker room before the Heat game was final. So I don’t know how the Hawks feel about playing the Bucks. But judging by their reactions while watching Heat-Nets, I’d say they are ready to take on Milwaukee.
– Coincidentally, I’ve lived in Milwaukee and Miami. I will let you guess which city I was trying to visit for the playoffs.
– Jamal and J.J. didn’t dress. Bibby, Al and Josh didn’t play. Woody says the Hawks are in good health. “Everybody is fine. If they had to play tonight they all would have played.”
– The Hawks were 2-1 against the Bucks during the regular season. All of those games were played after the Bucks traded for John Salmons. One of those, the Hawks’ 104-96 victory on Monday, came after Bogut was lost for the season.
– That was, in my opinion, the best road game the Bucks had played since winning at Utah on Feb. 22. If the Hawks play with that kind of energy and focus in this series I don’t see how the Bucks can stay with them. Of course, we know that’s a giant “if” for the Hawks.
– My quickie analysis says the Hawks enjoy significant advantages at center (Al/Zaza over Kurt Thomas/Gadzuric/Ilyasova) and power forward (Josh over Mbah a Moute).
– Salmons is sneaky good but J.J. obviously is better all-around. Brandon Jennings is good but he’s an erratic rookie. Ridnour is solid. But give me Bibby/Crawford over those two.
– Delfino/Stackhouse probably has the edge over Marvin/Mo. Probably, right?
– I’d say if the Hawks really are capable of turning it on for the postseason, they have more potential to be a better defensive team than the Bucks do of being a better offensive team. Sound about right?
– Anyway, back to Hawks-Cavs. Teague had 24 points, 15 assists and five turnovers. “The young Rook’, I can’t praise him enough,” Woody said. “It’s been tough on him not playing many minutes.”
– Before the game, Woody offered some personal perspective on his handling of Teague: “I know it’s tough on him because I know how it was when I came in to the league after playing a lot of minutes in college. I played for a coach who didn’t believe in playing rookies, (former Knicks coach) Red Holzman. He thought rookies should sit and learn. And I learned a lot in that first year.”
– So that how it’s gone for Teague. “I think I showed that I can play in this league,” he said. “I think (Woody) believes in me. He’s told me it was going to be a learning year like he told you guys. So I just soaked everything up and tried to learn as much as possible, and tried to learn from Bibby and Jamal as much as I could.”
– Woody’s rotation includes Jamal, Mo and Zaza off the bench. After that “it’s up in the air” with Joe Smith, Collins, Teague and Mario perhaps playing “in certain situations,” Woody said.
– The league releases the official schedule early Thursday morning. I’ll update this post when I get it.
– I’m out, Hawks fans.