The wonder isn’t that the Hawks have again taken a series lead. The wonder is that they were ever behind. They’re so much better than the Heat it isn’t funny. And they won’t be laughing if Sunday arrives and they’re back here trying to close this out in a Game 7. This one should end Friday night in Miami.
We know the Hawks can play. What we need is for them to prove they can finish, that they can actually win a best-of-seven series, that they can dispose of a demonstrably lesser opponent and commence with the serious business of chasing LeBron.
The Hawks showed their steel in a first half Wednesday of hard fouls and key injuries, and when intermission arrived they led by 23 points. (They would win by 15.) Said Flip Murray, who scored 23 points and steered the Hawks through the choppy second half: “The game got physical, but I liked the way we kept our composure.”
A year ago in Boston, the Hawks couldn’t do that. Four times the Celtics hit them in the collective mouth, and four