Bucks at Atlanta Hawks: Game 1

Finally, it’s time. Now that I’ve partially recovered from the emotional trauma of stupidly getting my Blackberry wet yesterday and quietly weeping as I drifted into a fitful sleep . . . I’m ready. (Advice: Backup your smartphone data. Now.)

Got on The Google to find as much Hawks stuff as I could:

ESPN.com’s John Hollinger is picking the Hawks in 5, based in part on this research:

It turns out that in the first round, when the home-court team has won the regular-season series, it also has won the playoff series 41 straight times.

I repeat: 41 straight. Forty-one and oh.

The last team to defy the rule was the 1997-98 San Antonio Spurs, who lost the season series to Phoenix 3-1 but topped the Suns in a 4 versus 5 series in the playoffs; each team had won 56 games that season. It happened three other times in the 1990s, so the odds are slightly better than the daunting 41-0 figure indicates, but in the big picture we’re looking at a success rate of about 5 percent.

Brett LaGree at Hoppinion says Hawks in 5 while admitting that’s a hedge. Before that, he offered his take on what the numbers say about the series considering the Bucks added Salmons and lost Bogut:

It’s a good thing the Hawks play a certain style of basketball regardless of the opposition. There’s simply not much tape on the short-handed Bucks to watch in order to formulate a game plan specific to their current makeup.

One possible downside of the Hawks playing a certain style of basketball regardless of the opposition is the specter of Scott Skiles figuring out a way to stifle Atlanta’s isolation offense. The Bucks haven’t stopped Joe Johnson yet this season (27.3 PPG, 56.1 TS% in the three games) but they are unlikely to see him used in a wide variety of sets. Only Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James had more plays run for them in isolation than Johnson and of the top five players in the league is isolation plays, Johnson was fifth at creating points off of isolations.

My man Charlie G at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks down the series and picks the Hawks in six:

The Hawks are riding a wave of confidence into the playoffs and believe they can handle the Bucks and challenge Orlando in a possible conference semifinal matchup. The loss of Bogut to a season-ending injury on April 3 was a severe blow to the Bucks, who have relied on his leadership all season and will miss his defensive presence, low-post scoring and shot-blocking ability. The Bucks will need a sensational playoff performance from three or four players to have a chance to stay with the extremely well-balanced Hawks lineup.

At Peachtree Hoops, THHB and Drew conclude a conversation about the series with Drew picking the Hawks in five and THHB calling it Hawks in six. Says THHB:

While I truly believe the Hawks, especially playing the Bucks without Bogut, can take the series in four games given their talent advantage– their history of not remaining focused from game to game may cause the series to extend out beyond a sweep. Considering that, plus that the Bucks under Scott Skiles always bring the effort and energy, and the likelihood of the Hawks taking care of business in Games 1 and 2 at home might allow the guard to be let down and MIL to take advantage a couple of times.

ATL_Hawk_Luv at Hawk Str8Talk skips the analysis to predict the Hawks in 5 and lists the reasons it’s important they “dispatch with an inferior team.” One of them:

Are the Hawks mentally tough? No one talks about this, but it matters to this blogger greatly that in 2 years – we haven’t lost a game by less than 10 points. It mattered vs. the vastly superior Celtics in ‘08, but it mattered even more that we couldn’t keep a game close on the road and at home vs. the inferior Heat.

Soaring Down South’s Kris Willis leaves open the possibility of the Bucks “landing a haymaker and stealing” one of the first two games but predicts Hawks in five:

While some pundits out there think that the Bucks are capable of pulling the upset even without Andrew Bogut I ultimately think that this was the best match up for the Hawks in the first round. With me it is not about disrespect to the Bucks because I will admit that I laughed at the thought that John Salmons was going to help this Bucks team in any way when that trade was made. The fact is that trade did work and with a healthy Bogut then this is a scary team. They simply however don’t match up well with the Hawks.

Hawks blog legend Sekou says Hawks in six:

The Bucks have to play above and beyond their means to beat the Hawks four times without Bogut. They’ll be well prepared, no Skiles-coached team shows up any other way, but the Hawks are deeper, healthier and better.

As for me, I’m calling it Hawks in five but I admit to basing that largely on the game at Milwaukee on Monday. The Bucks gave the Hawks what might be their best shot and the Hawks countered it even without Jamal. I’m counting on the Hawks maintaining that level of play forward and winning Game 3 or 4 in Brewtown and not losing at Philips. I say this even though I realize the Hawks are quite capable of making me look silly for it but there it is anyway.

Have fun, Hawks fans.

MC

267 comments Add your comment

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

It’s gonna be alotta slow singing and flower bringing for the Bucks

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
3:27 pm

My official war/hype song for the Hawks. Bring your whole crew: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AO9-nbtV2M

bigdave

April 17th, 2010
3:43 pm

or a hell of a team… (see Pistons)

or a hell of a player… (see Allen Iverson)

by no means is Coach K’s X’s and O’s limited to the collegiate level.

id even make the argument that Woodson has shown the prowess of a Ralph J. Bunche Middle
School head coach.

successful coaching exceeds x’s and o’s…

O'Brien

April 17th, 2010
3:51 pm

If what they said is true, I did not realize that JJ was top 3 in isolation plays run for him.

As for the series, I think Hawks in 6 ( Bucks win game 3 and 4 at their house, but then Hawks close them out).

What I would like to see is the Hawks play the way they are capable of playing. Too often we play down to the competition.

In the Bulls-Cavs game, the Bulls look the way we did when we played the Celtics 2 postseasons ago.

Go Hawks.

sleepy

April 17th, 2010
3:54 pm

I fully expect a sweep and will extremely disappointed if we dont get one. Hawks in 4 average margin of victory 11 points

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2010
3:57 pm

Advice: F-ck a Blackberry, get yourself an iPhone.

drmaryb

April 17th, 2010
4:00 pm

Najeh

I’ve had this BlackB. For 3 months & I agree! The Browser on here is terrible. The ball is starting to stick & the camera loses picture files. Uuggh.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2010
4:02 pm

Damn, DMX was the ish back in the day.

Hawks in 5. I’m hoping for Hawks in 4 — a 5 game series means an extra $30 out of my pocket — but even if the Hawks’ season-long struggles with closing out games and zone defenses pop up again, this series shouldn’t go longer than 5.

drmaryb

April 17th, 2010
4:02 pm

Brad Miller got Punked by LBJ. That would NEVER happen to Zsa!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2010
4:03 pm

I’m watching this Cavs-Bulls game, and I’m feeling really bad for Bulls fans. The LeBron James fellatio-fest is in full swing. He is a great player, and unlike most of y’all apparently I actually like watching him play, but this national media lovefest got old a long time ago.

lewis

April 17th, 2010
4:07 pm

terrible to watch really

RaJaH

April 17th, 2010
4:13 pm

Cosign that Najeh!

2009-2010 BLOG FANTASY CHAMPION!

J.J.M.

April 17th, 2010
4:20 pm

lol nba loves lebron…I swear Josh been doing chase down blocks way before lebron and im not saying this because im a hawks fan

J.J.M.

April 17th, 2010
4:32 pm

wow the commentators clowing the bulls

Jody

April 17th, 2010
4:35 pm

Marvin’s out on the floor warming up. I hope he shoots like this during the game.

Dajackyl

April 17th, 2010
4:40 pm

He will not shoot like that I can pretty much promise you
but we won’t need him .

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
4:42 pm

I’m telling u Najeh if the Hawks listen to that Song their energy will go through the roof.

Dajackyl

April 17th, 2010
4:43 pm

Not tonight anyway he can save it for the Orlando series(if they beat the Bobcats)

Hawk n the Ham

April 17th, 2010
4:52 pm

Hawk n the Ham is calling it in 4.

SWEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J.J.M.

April 17th, 2010
5:00 pm

lol it says bucks live instead of hawks live

O'Brien

April 17th, 2010
5:00 pm

Bulls are trying to hang in there, but they have too many turnovers. I felt like I was watching the Hawks, because the Cavs went over 6 minutes without a point.

As for the phone discussion, I just got a droid. And I like it…

NUNNA YO BIZNEZZ

April 17th, 2010
5:03 pm

HAWKS IN 6!!
WE’RE NOT THAT CONSISTENT,AND THE BUCKS WILL COME CLOSE TO STEALING GAME 2,IF THEY DON’T STEAL IT..
AND,WE WILL BE 1-1 IN MILWAUKEE…

@BIG DAVE,
WHEN GOOD COACHING (IN THE NBA) IS BETTER THAN AN X’S AND O’S KINDA COACH,THEN,THATS USUALLY THE TIME THAT YOUR COACH IS NOT A GOOD X’S AND O’S GUY..

J.J.M.

April 17th, 2010
5:18 pm

bulls got no foul calls smh

HawksGalaxy

April 17th, 2010
5:25 pm

I predict the Hawks go to atleast the Eastern Conference Finals. GO ATLANTA HAWKS GO!

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:30 pm

Are ya’ll watching ESPN or Nique?

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:32 pm

uhhhh not Jon barry. I’ll watch nique

Grandad

April 17th, 2010
5:36 pm

[from last blog]
Quickly before tip-off…I would do a Yao for Marv trade…

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:37 pm

lol @ Marvin

Blast

April 17th, 2010
5:37 pm

Watching both. Flipping back and forth.

Hawks shold sweep Bucks.

O'Brien

April 17th, 2010
5:38 pm

I’ll be flipping between ESPN and Nique.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2010
5:38 pm

When dd it become cool to show up a game between Team A and Team B wearing the jersey of a player from Team W in a different sport? I walked into Philips 5 minutes ago and I’ve already seen a Troy Polamalu jersey and a Robinson Cano jersey. WTF?

The fans who are here are great. Unfortunately the place is half full. Pretty sad.

Blast

April 17th, 2010
5:38 pm

Should sweep Bucks.

Blast

April 17th, 2010
5:40 pm

Fox South is half a beat slower, Espn is crisper.

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:42 pm

Duck butt power

northcyde

April 17th, 2010
5:43 pm

Excellent start. Nice to see this team come out completely focused.

O'Brien

April 17th, 2010
5:43 pm

Hawks looking good in game 1, which I figured they would (I remember the beatdown they put on Miami in game 1 last year).

Everybody contributing so far.

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:43 pm

nice shot bibby

O'Brien

April 17th, 2010
5:48 pm

Maybe Horford can use that 12-15 midrange jumper against Howard in the next round, because he is looking good so far

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:49 pm

Duck butt made another shot

Blast

April 17th, 2010
5:50 pm

So happy for Jamal!

northcyde

April 17th, 2010
5:51 pm

People questions JJ’s leadership because he isn’t vocal, but he’s willing to guard Brandon Jennings and set everyone else for shots.

That’s true leadership.

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:51 pm

go git em jamal

philip

April 17th, 2010
5:54 pm

The bucks suck! Easy win 4 the hawks tonite. My prediction: 96-70! Bucks are no match for Jamal! Jamal will score at least 30 points tonite!

VenomSpitter

April 17th, 2010
5:57 pm

drmaryb

April 17th, 2010
5:59 pm

JOE JOHNSON

Your Defense is outstanding! Hawks swarming on Defense!

Melvin

April 17th, 2010
5:59 pm

Hawks cooking with Crisco grease in the 1st qtr….

Blast

April 17th, 2010
5:59 pm

Hawks showing the world what we got to see all season! Loving listening to Barry hug Hawks nuts!

O'Brien

April 17th, 2010
6:01 pm

northcyde,

From day 1, JJ has been our leader by example. However, Hawks need a vocal leader too, so maybe Josh or Al will eventually take that position.

Great first quarter by the Hawks. Everyone (even Marvin) looking good.

philip

April 17th, 2010
6:03 pm

I don’t only want the hawks to win i want them to blow the bucks outta this building. Bucks are no match for the Hawks and to my opinion are lucky they’re even in the playoffs!

northcyde

April 17th, 2010
6:03 pm

Pretty much a flawless 1st quarter. And don’t look now, but it seems like the Hawks have been COACHED to take advantage of the mismatches tonight ( i.e. – whomever Ridnour and Delfino are trying to guard )

(( clapping )) . . great 1st quarter . . and great job by the crowd.