Atlanta Hawks at Bucks Game 6: It’s Not Over

It wasn't too long ago the Hawks were in control of this series. Can they get it back?

It wasn't too long ago the Hawks were in control of this series. Can they get it back?

So we know the reasons to doubt the Hawks can win tonight. But I keep seeing comments on this blog and hearing people on talk radio expressing a strange sense that they believe the Hawks will win tonight. They qualify their statements to say there are so many logical reasons for them not to feel that way but some kind of hunch tells them the Hawks will do it. The Hawks have been known to be unpredictable.

It’s not out of the question, of course. This is especially true if you still believe the Hawks, when playing to their full potential, are a better team than the Bucks. When the AJC’s Jeff Schultz cornered ASG’s Michael Gearon Jr. , the co-owner made the point that this was the overwhelming view after the Hawks won Games 1 and 2. Now the emotions have swung the other way, which happens in the playoffs. Combine those sentiments with the Hawks’ problems on the road, the Game 5 meltdown, the pressure they are feeling, etc. and it’s not hard to see why there is widespread pessimism that the Hawks can pull it off.

Still, if you try it’s also possible to spin some of what happened on Wednesday into positives. Will J.J., Jamal and Bibby all have terrible shooting nights at the same time again? J.J. probably isn’t going to foul out again since he’s hardly ever done so in his career. It’s doubtful Josh will have to miss minutes because of a busted eye (though I guess you never know with Kurt Thomas out there).

And then there’s the psychology of tonight’s game. No doubt the Hawks are under tremendous pressure to win but what about the Bucks? They don’t have to win tonight but I can’t think they’d be eager to return to Philips since even they know they were fortunate to win Game 5. It’s easy to say it would be no big deal for the Bucks if they end up losing this series because they’ve already fared better than most anyone expected. But now that they are on the verge of springing a major upset while tonight enjoying what has been a tremendous home court advantage, they don’t want to turn back.

Even TNT talking head Charles Barkley, who has ripped the Hawks for their half court offense and players’ attitudes, took up that line of thinking (props to the AJC’s Ken Sugiura for bringing it to my attention).

“The Hawks have a chance,” Barkley said. “This is going to be a very difficult game for Milwaukee. This is the first time that they have the monkey on their back. They have been playing with house money the first five games of the series. When this series started no one thought they could win without Bogut. Then they win the first game and they get somewhat back into it.”

– Super commenter Niremetal emailed in response to yesterday’s blog post on the Hawks’ need for a ‘Zo-like presence:

“Do you think it’s possible to simply bring someone in who commands that kind of respect? I suspect that at least some part of the respect that Zo had stemmed from the fact that he’d been around Miami before, and knew both the coach and a couple of his teammates pretty well. The Hawks’ core has been together for 3 years now. Do you think that if a guy like Haslem or Grant Hill came in, he would get the ear of his teammates like that? I mean, Flip Saunders got tuned out by his players in Detroit. If long-time teammates can tune out a coach, I’d imagine they could tune out a player.”

Niremetal makes a great point. In fact, when ‘Zo was with the Nets in 2004-05, reports out of New Jersey suggested the established Nets players didn’t buy into his leadership style. But the Nets were a different situation than the Hawks. When Zo joined the Nets they were a veteran group that had already been to the Finals. So I could see where Nets players didn’t necessarily appreciate Zo coming in and telling them they needed better focus no matter how hard he worked

It’s also true Zo already had major cred within the Heat organization when he re-joined the team, and his close relationship with Pat Riley also didn’t hurt his standing. It could be that a Zo-like presence on the Hawks could upset the chemistry, which has been pretty good in general (with the notable exception of the bickering we’ve seen when things have been tight in this series).

But how could the Hawks shun a hardened vet who joins the team? The Hawks are a veteran team in the sense that they now have guys who’ve been around but, barring an unexpected run over the next couple weeks, what have they done in the postseason? Not say the Hawks haven’t earned some respect but so far they certainly haven’t made their name in the playoffs. This doesn’t mean the Hawks’ core guys wouldn’t chafe at an accomplished, outspoken guy with a forceful personality coming in as an outsider but it does mean they’d have less of a basis to complain.

–Have fun, Hawks fans.

MC

657 comments Add your comment

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:43 pm

thats great d..

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:43 pm

The hawks deserve to lose

Vick Supporter

April 30th, 2010
7:43 pm

Look at Marvin playing defense. its a miracle

Melvin

April 30th, 2010
7:43 pm

Mo and Marvin is scare to dribble the ball up the court

Wabe

April 30th, 2010
7:43 pm

Zaza’s doing a good job on help defense. But we gotta get on the boards.

WHY???

April 30th, 2010
7:44 pm

Mo is trippin tonight

Vick Supporter

April 30th, 2010
7:44 pm

that 6th man of the year is getting hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wabe

April 30th, 2010
7:45 pm

Jamal’s gonna take that mid-range jumper all day.

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:45 pm

lovin IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:45 pm

get gritty got dammit!!!

JoBjo

April 30th, 2010
7:46 pm

no discipline, had a chance to set up the offence with a new shot clock but no, gotta jack up a 3 and miss. can’t control the tempo that way.

Elliot

April 30th, 2010
7:47 pm

Guys, are my eyes deceiving me!? This is amazing. Mike Woodson has made an adjustment. The Hawks are not switching every pick and roll and making an attempt to guard Milwaukee’s perimeter players with actual guards. This is incredible!

JoBjo

April 30th, 2010
7:47 pm

if we had an offense.

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:47 pm

JoBjo…

i feel you..but thats Jamal’s shot alll day.. he has to take that when nobody runs at him..

sleepy

April 30th, 2010
7:48 pm

This is it right here . This is our run lets finish some of these plays and stretch this lead out to double digits as the pressure is getting to the Bucks and they cant make anything. Cmon someone make a layup show some emotion or something

Good hustle zaza scooping up the loose ball off the crawford deflection

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:48 pm

Joe patting all his guys before they go out there…

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:48 pm

man phuck this the BUCKS SUCK…look at these lames…lets beat these people..

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:50 pm

why is Marvin helping on Kurt ? stay on Delfino!!

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:50 pm

how did marvin fall smh

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:50 pm

Why can’t we use Marvin off screens seriously?

sleepy

April 30th, 2010
7:50 pm

why would you help on kurt thomas lol cmon mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

JoBjo

April 30th, 2010
7:51 pm

Z had wide open shot a foul line and wouldn’t shoot. come on.

Vick Supporter

April 30th, 2010
7:51 pm

Marvin keeps leaving Delfino open…

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:51 pm

The hawks make Delfino look like MJ

JoBjo

April 30th, 2010
7:51 pm

somebody guard Delfino!

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:51 pm

I like that mobster….

Vick Supporter

April 30th, 2010
7:52 pm

lol @VenomSpitter

drmaryb

April 30th, 2010
7:53 pm

Woodson – T.O.

Settle down Hawks – Rushing shots! Run some Pick & Rolls & Swing the ball!

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:53 pm

keeps leaving him.. i mean he should forgo whatever he can offer on offense and focus on rebounding and playing solid defense on Delfino… what is the problem? he is breaking down on his simple man to man defensive assignment.. no need to help on Kurt Thomas against Za Za.. forget about it.. stay with the shooter!

sleepy

April 30th, 2010
7:54 pm

Delfino is the only player on the Bucks who has made more than one field goal again this is insanity …………. but we are leaving him to help on Kurt thomas urgargghhhhhhhhhhh

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:54 pm

Bring back Horford Woodson.. we not worrying about him picking up cheap ones unless you go back to 1 on 5 switching..

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:54 pm

no your personnel!!!

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:55 pm

The hawks are just a low IQ team

WHY???

April 30th, 2010
7:55 pm

Damn Crawford shoots alot

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:55 pm

Crawford lazy

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:55 pm

Game Over already

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:55 pm

Melvin

April 30th, 2010
7:56 pm

Take Jamaal out….

bigdave

April 30th, 2010
7:56 pm

get Crawford out of here

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:56 pm

The Hawks have a way with making role players look like elite players

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:56 pm

Put in Teague u phuckin idiot

steven

April 30th, 2010
7:56 pm

what a crappy pass

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

seriously what kind of pass was that? They want to win??

KD

April 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

I didn’t know C. Delfino was the reincarnation of L. Bird. How hard is it for a “athletic” NBA caliber player to stay with and guard this guy?

hawkfan

April 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

WE’RE DONE!!!

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

No mac not elite players, HALL OF FAME PLAYERS

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

Salmons beard is a beast

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 30th, 2010
7:58 pm

lol@venom

did u see that he even turned into Jason Kidd

VenomSpitter

April 30th, 2010
7:58 pm

The bucks are just better

steven

April 30th, 2010
7:58 pm

I don’t think Woody understands that you are allowed 6 fouls…i.e. 3 per half i.e if you have 2 fouls you can keep playing wihtout worrying too much about picking up another foul