LIVE BLOG: Hawks look to keep momentum vs. Bulls

Start spreading the news: The Bulls were upset with their last defensive effort.

Start spreading the news: The Bulls were upset with their defense against Hawks in Game 4.

CHICAGO — They are angry here. Ever notice how when the Hawks win, the media in the other city gets really angry. I’m sure glad we’re not like that in Atlanta.

(Pause for effect.)

The Chicago Bulls finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record (62-20), but here they are tied in a second-round series with the Hawks through four games and, as the back page of the Chicago Sun-Times read, they are, “Mad Men.” They’re blaming themselves for letting up defensively and going soft in the Hawks’ 100-88 win in Game 4, similar to how the Hawks’ blamed themselves for falling flat in Game 3.

Hawks players say they will not let down this time after the high of winning Sunday.  But we’ve learned not to assume anything.

Important warmup picture: Jeff Teague in foreground and Chicago Luvabulls in background.

Important warmup picture: Hawks guard Jeff Teague in the foreground and the Chicago Luvabulls in the background.

So who’s feeling more pressure this game? A case could be made for either team. If the Hawks lose, they will be faced with the task of having to win consecutive games over the Bulls, including a Game 7 back in Chicago. If the Bulls win, it means they go down 3-2 with the series shifting back to Atlanta for a potential clinching Game 6.

The difference: Chicago came into the playoffs with much higher expectation than the team that lost its final six of the regular season.

Hawks coach Larry Drew weighs in: “I feel like the pressure is on them.”

The last time the Hawks were in this situation was the 1987-88 Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston. They won Game 5 at Boston but lost the next two and dropped the most memorable postseason series in Atlanta franchise history.

Drew met with the media again a little while ago and was asked if he had a thought how the game might be officiated. There’s a perception in games like this that the higher profile team (Chicago) often gets more calls to go its way.

“You could argue [Derrick] Rose has been fouled more in this series. You can argue Joe Johnson has been fouled more,” Drew said. “But we don’t use that as a crutch. I don’t want my players to do that and as a coach I certainly never will do that.”

That’s it for now. As always, I’ll be here to serve you, blogging live for the Hawks’ latest most important game of the season.

By Jeff Schultz

Last two blogs (free of charge)

NBA playoffs: Hawks say they won’t relax this time

Hawks may have finally found their point guard: Jeff Teague

Hawks, Josh Smith bounce back in major way over Bulls

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

664 comments Add your comment

Here we go again

May 10th, 2011
7:33 pm

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
7:34 pm

Second? … Damn! I never win this.

Sonny Clusters

May 10th, 2011
7:36 pm

Do they have pimento cheese sandwiches at the basketball games?

Here we go again

May 10th, 2011
7:36 pm

so when do we get to start speculating about how we’re going to match up with miami? do you put smoove on lebron? who will take wade? they’re one of the few teams with more pure talent than we have.

mike

May 10th, 2011
7:37 pm

The start of this game will determine how this goes. We will immediately see the Hawks tone and demeanor of how they want to play. Let’s hope that tone and demeanor means attacking the basket, help on D, and smart shots. Go Hawks! I’m predicting a good game from Crawford and Marvin (yes, I know).

Sonny Clusters

May 10th, 2011
7:42 pm

Hey Marcel, watch this!

JSmooveFan

May 10th, 2011
7:43 pm

You can always tell (more so than any team in the league IMO) whether or not the hawks came to play by watching the first half of the 1st quarter or in other words the first 5-6 minutes of the game. If Johnson comes out stroking and Korver and Deng struggle, Rose is gonna have to do it all and as we’ve seen in the past 2 series to this point, its hard for one player to do it all

Sonny Clusters

May 10th, 2011
7:44 pm

Now that Jeff is one of the top hitters in the American League we are reaching out to him again to be friends. Things got a little testy when he didn’t invite us to play golf in Scotland but we are willing to let bygones be bygones. Taking a pitch has helped him some. Lucky underwear can only take you so far.

"Chef" Tim Dix

May 10th, 2011
7:45 pm

Pressure? For a consistant game? That be on the locals ( outside the newly discovered point guard).

Ben

May 10th, 2011
7:54 pm

This is a MUST win game for the Hawks period. We will never win 2 in a row and a game 7 at Chicago. Come on Hawks! Lets get this win

banks

May 10th, 2011
7:55 pm

Jeff what is the mood of the team

TheAntiMe

May 10th, 2011
7:56 pm

And really, shouldn’t that Noah dude that plays for the Bulls be down in Memphis right now helping out with the great flood?

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
7:58 pm

Clusters — As far as I know, there’s only one place on earth that sells those things, thank goodness.

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
7:59 pm

Clusters (Part II): Didn’t realize Frenchy was big-timing you now. I would never do that to Sonny Clusters.

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
7:59 pm

Banks — I can’t gauge moods any more. But it seems normal to me.

Ray Hudson

May 10th, 2011
8:05 pm

The razor’s still glinting through the dark moments for the Atlanta Hawks, and it always should be the man with the big surgical knife, Josh Smith.

Mtn Hawk

May 10th, 2011
8:07 pm

Any predictions for tonight, Jeff?

Musically Challenged

May 10th, 2011
8:10 pm

Esteemed Mr. Schultz: What can I offer you for you to physically restrain Josh Smith from shooting a jump shot tonight?

Steve

May 10th, 2011
8:10 pm

Vegas says Chicago minus 8.5. For some reason, I like the Hawks with the points. Where would your money go Jeff?

TheAntiMe

May 10th, 2011
8:14 pm

Cool, it looks like the Hawks may just have a good chance to win tonight. Charles Barkley just picked the Bulls to win Game 5.

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
8:16 pm

Mtn Hawk — Nope.

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
8:17 pm

Musically Challenged — If it was in my power, young sir, I would help you out.

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
8:17 pm

Steve — My money would go to blackjack.

Nique's Revenge

May 10th, 2011
8:17 pm

I pick Charles to win 0 championships

JK Sockey

May 10th, 2011
8:17 pm

Can you tweet a picture of the Blackhawks championship banners?

Section 212

May 10th, 2011
8:17 pm

Nique's Revenge

May 10th, 2011
8:18 pm

nice start! keep it up refs, forget what Stern told ya

Section 212

May 10th, 2011
8:20 pm

Nique's Revenge

May 10th, 2011
8:20 pm

ugh, weak foul, lay the wood on him if you’re gonna foul, smack the ball into the stands

Section 212

May 10th, 2011
8:20 pm

Collins should have hammered him to send a message.

Section 109

May 10th, 2011
8:20 pm

Oh Geeeez, Hawks missing everything

Sonny Clusters

May 10th, 2011
8:20 pm

Clusters can play some blackjack. We was on our way to Tunica and they heard we was coming and just flooded the casinos so we wouldn’t come in and wipe out the local economy. We do that without a rabbits foot or a horseshoe. Clusters are mathematical geniuses and very shrewd card players.

Mtn Hawk

May 10th, 2011
8:21 pm

Chicago is winning so far.

Nique's Revenge

May 10th, 2011
8:21 pm

Section 109

May 10th, 2011
8:22 pm

This is not good

Jeff Schultz

May 10th, 2011
8:22 pm

Drew wisely calls time at 8:34 with lead up to 10-2. Can’t let this get out of hand early.

Mtn Hawk

May 10th, 2011
8:22 pm

With shot percentage obviously

Mtn Hawk

May 10th, 2011
8:23 pm

Section 109

May 10th, 2011
8:23 pm

Everything going Chicago’s way! 10-2

Steve

May 10th, 2011
8:23 pm

I like blackjack. Hitting Biloxi Memorial Day weekend. Hawks don’t look too good. I guess I should have taken the Bulls minus the points!

Nique's Revenge

May 10th, 2011
8:23 pm

time out LD, regroup it and quick, this is garbage

Steve A

May 10th, 2011
8:23 pm

Jeff we need you to run on the court and close out on Josh if he attempts a jump shot.

Nique's Revenge

May 10th, 2011
8:23 pm

quit cheering for Rose, Kerr. yeah he made a 3, all NBA players should be able to. that’s enough Bulls cheering from you for this game.

Luke Cage

May 10th, 2011
8:24 pm

Only one drive to the basket, cmon fellas

Cousin Vicker

May 10th, 2011
8:24 pm

In the words of Jeff Schultz… Oy. This is not good.

Steve

May 10th, 2011
8:24 pm

And how are the NATS beating Hudson, who owns them? Braves and Hawks with big comebacks would be nice.

TheAntiMe

May 10th, 2011
8:24 pm

Did I hear someone mention the word momentum today?

Sleepy

May 10th, 2011
8:24 pm

Where is the emotion ? the fire ?

clay

May 10th, 2011
8:25 pm

already over. i said earlier you can tell if were going to win in the first five min. and look what the score is. typical, no one runs an offense. smith stands around look around for joe, collins isnt going to try and do anything and teague isnt even trying

Duck

May 10th, 2011
8:26 pm

I don’t need to se anymore. It’s over.