For those of you not preoccupied with the Dogwood Festival, Freaknik, Braves-Colorado, the Sweetwater 420 Festival or general vegging on an absolutely perfect Saturday, welcome to what many of us look forward to most: playoffs. (Actually, vegging on a Saturday is nice, too. But I wasn’t given that option.)
The Hawks and Milwaukee tip off at 5:30. This is their third straight season in the playoffs but it’s the first time since the late 1990s that expectations have been this high. Two years ago, most were just happy the Hawks reached the postseason. Last year there was some question whether they would make it past Miami in the first round. (Indeed, the series, went seven games.)
These playoffs are different. Players genuinely feel they can go on a memorable run to the finals. That includes getting past probably Orlando in round two and Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals.
Longshot? Maybe. But that’s how you want players to think.
“Ultimately, if we were to win a championship, the city would be flipped inside out,” guard Joe Johnson said. “I think people here are deserving of it. It’s a long time coming. It w0uld be amazing. That’s pretty much all I can think about.”
One last thing before we get into the pre-game banter. There has been a lot of talk this week about potentially low attendance and slow ticket sales. For what it’s worth, a Hawks’ spokesperson told me tonight’s crowd will be over 17,000 and that the game could sell out (capacity 18,729).
If you’re still thinking of coming to the game, you can probably get in pretty cheaply. I was tipped off by alert reader “Robbie” that tickets were available on StubHub Friday for as low as $4.99. Actually, they’re even lower than that now. Just checked and there are a limited number of upper bowl seats ranging from 98 cents (you read that correctly) to $6 (and you read that correctly, too).
StubHub does have a $15 game-day, pickup fee (for the entire order) on top of that. But even two tickets at 98 cents plus $15 fee is only $16.96. Yikes.
(UPDATE: StubHub has dropped some tickets to 89 cents. Not going to update this anymore, but just wanted to bring you up to date.)