Bradley’s Buzz: The Hawks win a series, and people notice!

A change of pace: Glowing Hawk reviews

Back in October, John Hollinger of ESPN.com picked the Hawks to finish 31-51, 13th among the 15 teams in the NBA East. On Sunday he sat in Philips Arena and watched them beat the Miami Heat to advance to Round 2, and it’s safe to say he was duly impressed.

Focusing on Joe Johnson’s breakout game, Hollinger also wrote: “If Atlanta’s All-Star could match Miami’s All-Star [Dwyane Wade} shot for shot, as he finally did Sunday, there was no way Wade's supporting cast could lift him past Johnson's." (Oddly enough, a guy I know had been saying much the same thing. Not that I'm ever right. Though I was, kind of, this time.)

For the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ira Winderman wrote essentially the same thing and played heavily off Wade's assertion that the Hawks have five guys who can make a play. And five tends to beat one.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

On SI.com, Bill Trocchi called Zaza Pachulia’s dive-on-the-floor offensive rebound that yielded a Flip Murray trey the turning point of Game 7, and I wouldn’t argue that it was huge. (It was cited on the ol’ live blog.) But I’d go with Mike Woodson’s unbelievably prescient give-a-foul-and-insert-Mario-West tack at the end of the first quarter as the moment the game changed.

On CBSsports.com, Ken Berger made a comparison I must admit had escaped me (and, truth to tell, escapes me still): Josh Smith is a lot like Ron Artest. And the next time J-Smoove incites a riot, Berger will be able to say, “See what I meant?” Until then, I’d say Josh is more a young Dominique Wilkins — can’t shoot as well but defends better. (Sorry, ‘Nique.)

On NBA.com, esteemed former colleague Matt Winkeljohn lauded the Hawks’ big men — Zaza, Josh and Al Horford. But the smaller men — Johnson, Murray and Mike Bibby — weren’t bad, either.

For the New York Times, Howard Beck referred to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra being inspired by boxer Manny Pacquiao’s defeat of Ricky Hatton. Had Spoelstra been any more inspired, his team might actually have given the Hawks a game Sunday.

For USA Today, Ray Glier wrote in detail about Woodson, Johnson and the Hawks’ struggles as a franchise. Wait a second — you mean this team wasn’t always this good?

Vox populi

A poll on ESPN.com is less effusive about the Hawks’ chances against Cleveland that a similar survey on AJC.com. As of 9 a.m. Monday, 66 percent of nearly 6,000 ESPN respondents believed the Hawks would win one game at most. Only seven percent picked them to win the series. But it should be noted that roughly 65 percent of voters in another ESPN poll thought they’d lose Game 7 to Miami. So there.

Anybody want more NFL draft?

In these difficult economic times, a guy has to wring get every last cent out of the $39.95 he spent to become an ESPN.com Insider. And I’m trying. In his 2010 mock draft (registration required), Todd McShay has Sam Bradford of Oklahoma going No. 1 overall, which you’d expect, and Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins going No. 12, which you might not.

McShay does, however, damage his credibility by listing two Kentucky players — cornerback Trevard Lindley and linebacker Micah Johnson — as Round 1 picks. As a UK grad, I can reliably inform you that the school doesn’t even play football.

As for the Falcons: McShay has them drafting 29th, which would indicate he foresees a big season, and taking another defensive tackle. No, not Terrence Cody of Alabama — McShay has him going one pick later to Pittsburgh — but Mark Herzlich of Boston College.

Who’s Mark Herzlich? Well, faithful reader Reno 911 sent along two YouTube links: The first is a highlight reel, and it’s impressive. The second has something to do with nuns (actually men dressed as nuns) shoveling snow on the BC campus while Herzlich chats up a coed. It’s posted below, and I must confess I don’t get it. And I just became a Catholic.

Even more draft? You betcha

Jonathan Dwyer plays B-back for Georgia Tech. He’s a good player. Indeed, according to Russ Lande of Sporting News Today, he’ll be the third-best NFL prospect among juniors next season, behind only Bradford and safety Eric Berry of Tennessee.

Still more draft? Nope, recruiting!

If you care about this sort of thing — and a slew of you do, I know — you’ve got this memorized already. But for the less passionate, I’m about to channel Michael Carvell and pass along Rivals.com’s list of the top 100 recruits for 2010.

Five are from Georgia, and they are: Markeith Ambles, receiver, Henry County (No. 23 overall); Alec Ogletree, defensive back, Newnan (No. 31); Mack Brown, running back, Martin Luther King (No. 43); Garrison Smith, defensive end, Douglass (No. 74), and Da’Rick Rogers, athlete, Calhoun. All are listed as undecided.

75 comments Add your comment

Sherman to the sea

May 4th, 2009
8:10 am

ZaZa is our Bill Lambeer. I used to hate that guy when I would watch the Hawks and Pistons. He would do all the little things that would disrupt the Hawks regular game. He took the Pistons to the championship. ZaZa take notice and be Bill.

Bill

May 4th, 2009
8:36 am

Kentucky not playing football?Who was that team in blue that beat UGA a couple of years ago.Kind of hard to remember because a team wearing black and gold beat Georgia the same year.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
8:45 am

Bill, I’m an alumnus. I’m allowed to make alum jokes. (Actually, I covered that game. It was the first time I’ve ever seen Kentucky fans tear down a goalpost. But they could only manage the job in one end zone. They left the other one alone.)

Bill

May 4th, 2009
9:13 am

Mark I just put that in to rile the UGA fans.Yes you are allowed to make jokes.Question.Where do you stand on using the term “we” when talking about your school?

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
9:17 am

I don’t use it. But I always was more of a Louisville fan growing up. And I get paid now not to be a fan.

JJ

May 4th, 2009
10:02 am

Here’s a question (or two): Is the season already a success? If so, would getting swept keep it that way? If not, what does it take? Win one game? Two?

Given the relative quality of Hawks bball as of the last decade, I’m extremely pleased just to be watching them play with some 22 other teams sitting at home. However, I’m sure I’ll be disappointed when/if they get blown out of four games against Clevland.

Here’s to hoping they compete well and maybe even win a few.

Cuz

May 4th, 2009
10:03 am

You get paid for this? Another example of wasted stimulus dollars. Where do I get in line?

Peachtree John

May 4th, 2009
10:10 am

I know that Al is the starting center, but The Z certainly brings much to the team when he is in the game. When will Al be shifted to small forward full time?
It is with much enjoyment that we see the Atlanta bench add so much to the team. Finally, a bench that helps the cause.
Congratulation to the entire team for playing the game so well when they decide to do so.
Cleveland? Now that is another story. Possibly the Hawks can play the way they did when beating Cleveland.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
10:12 am

I would think that a six-game series loss against Cleveland would satisfy most everybody, perhaps even the Hawks themselves.

NC Braves Fan

May 4th, 2009
10:19 am

I think if the Hawks win two it will be a nice accomplishment -a seven game series would surprise me quite pleasantly.

Should the Hawks win, defibrillation may be required.

Hawks73

May 4th, 2009
10:27 am

Well, I am certainly happy that the Hawks advanced to the second round. They at least did not succumb to the pressures of being the favorite in a series (which very well could have happened). I really can’t say with any faith that they will be competitve in this series…above wins, this teams needs to learn how to compete in each and every game. If they can challenge the Cavs (which they are capable), then they should be able to close out one, possibly two wins. The level of play will be increased, with or without them.

willdave

May 4th, 2009
10:28 am

Way to go, Hawks! Caw! Caw!

JJ

May 4th, 2009
10:34 am

Hawks73 – I’m with you. I want to see the Birds play consistent from one game to another. When they show up and play with some intensity and urgency, I think they can compete with anyone. When they don’t, they get blown out. And I’ll go a step further and say JSmoove is one of the chief culprates. How can he be so impactful in Game 5 and not even show up in Game 6? Too many times he doesn’t show up. I would LOVE to see how they fare if they show up every game with some intensity and urgency. Might still lose, but I doubt they’d get blown out.

tale of woe

May 4th, 2009
10:41 am

Mark, have you met your column quota for the week? Dang, you are just churning them out!

E. Jackson

May 4th, 2009
10:44 am

Anytime a team gets swept out of the playoffs, the fans are left with the bad taste of disappointment in their minds. One win is just lame. Two, well, at least they’re able to say, “We competed”. Hold home court or trade road wins with the best record in the NBA this season in the second round, HELL YEAH, now that’s accomplishing something.

So, Let’s Go Hawks, get us to Game 7 in Cleveland. At that point, with Joe dropping 30 ft. 3’s, Josh actually finishing that between the leg-over the head dunk and ZaZa kicking some Cav butt for every loose ball, anything is possible!!! (Yes, I’m a Hawks Fan)

NC Braves Fan

May 4th, 2009
10:45 am

tale of woe – That Bradley has become quite the blogger/columnist/intrepid playoff reporter, hasn’t he?

I like it!

mountain_jim

May 4th, 2009
10:52 am

Enjoying all these links to the national articles Mark. Good times.

innocent bystander

May 4th, 2009
11:21 am

Did you really become a Catholic?
Do hawks really go “Caw” ?

Cuz

May 4th, 2009
11:37 am

I guess Caw is better than the ear piercing shriek that a wild Hawk emits.

I just called the Pope and he said that yes Bradley has changed his evil ways unlike the girl in the Santanna song.

At what point do I need to wash my Fire Mike Woodson t-shirt? Two losses, three? And where can I get the polish that Coach W puts on his dome before every game. My bald head just won’t shine like his.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
11:58 am

Thanks, Mountain. Thanks, NC. Don’t believe there is a quota, Tale.

Marcus

May 4th, 2009
12:04 pm

MB,
2 comments, 1 Falcons 1 Hawks:
Hawks: Horford and Marvin Williams being healthy and being contributors will be huge. I have a glass-half-full outlook because our 1 W vs. CLE was in ATL and the 2nd loss was a classic “come-from-ahead-to lose” HOME game where we had the late lead, CLE tied it up and Lebron won it on a made FT w/1.2 ticks remaining on the clock. Most national pundits conveniently ignore this when they tout us as being 1-3 vs. CLE this year. Yeah a loss is a loss, but that was one of those games this year or we could have had 50 wins.
My only question is, where do we build from here? With all the youth (Bibby excepted) do we draft for depth or do we have significant deficiencies that keep us from cracking the elite as BOS gets older (the most vunlerable of the current Final 4 of the East). I think Sund or someone was credited (either in your blog or Sekou’s blog) with saying the elite play elite/show their “eliteness” by virtue of their winning road record. What player(s) (FA or draftee) gets us to that level, assuming that we take care of HOME in 2009-2010?

Falcons: Glad you made use of that $39.95 investment (LOL) I was wondering where McShay had us but too cheap to drop 40 bucks just to find out. The problems I have with the SI guys (forgot name) projected draft is: he has us at No. 16 (meaning we slip back record-wise) and the fact he has us taking a DT at that No. 16 slot, which means one of our projected ‘09 DT starters isn’t earning his money. His rationale seems good (Coach Smith wants to mimic the Stroud/Henderson combo he had in JAX), but financially we just re-upped w/Babs and spent a 1st rounder on Peria Jerry, and didn’t noticably upgrade the LB corps in ‘09 with starting potential LBs. I’d go with McShay.

Reno 911

May 4th, 2009
12:17 pm

MB: I’m still trying to find the link the video of Mark Herzlich and the Pope playing racquetball. Will let you know what I find.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
12:17 pm

Andrew Perloff is the SI.com writer in question, Marcus.

And this offseason will hinge on what happens with Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams. The former is an unrestricted free agent, who can leave. (But the Hawks will try very hard not to let him.) The latter is restricted, which means a sign-and-trade is a possibility.

And one more time: The Hawks still hold the rights to Josh Childress.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
12:19 pm

Thanks, Reno 911. But please tell me just what I’m missing on this one: Is it a BC thing? Do nuns shovel snow in Chestnut Hill?

Some Sense

May 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

Mark,

WTG on Catholic conversion.

Dominus vobiscum.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

And also with you, Some Sense.

Reno 911

May 4th, 2009
12:32 pm

To be honest, I have no idea. All I know is that BC is a catholic university and when I searched Herzlich on youtube, that’s the video that appeared. Looks like someone’s COMM 213 project.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
12:36 pm

I know the BC publicist. (Chris Cameron. Another UK alum!) I’ll ask him.

Reno 911

May 4th, 2009
12:39 pm

Intrepid, as ever.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
12:43 pm

You guys give me way too much credit. I kind of miss the days when everybody on here just called me an idiot.

JJ

May 4th, 2009
12:47 pm

MB…..you’re an idiot.

JJ

May 4th, 2009
12:50 pm

But seriously….is everyone ready for the LJ foul fest? Remember that last minute fantom call that gave the Cavs the win in ATL? I predict foul trouble for every ATL big and foul calls on 75-80% of LJ drives to the lane. If Z so much as looks at LJ, he’ll likely get a tech. Yep…it’s an up hill battle folks.

Cuz

May 4th, 2009
12:59 pm

Hey Mark, gusman’s village called. They are trying to upgrade their idiot and want to know if you would be willing to reveal your Wunderlic score?

I bet you had help on those articles from Spirit. You two have become twitttering twouble.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

That’s more like it!

Reno 911

May 4th, 2009
1:05 pm

Personally, I refuse to watch another Hawks game until they bring back Reggie Theus.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

Of all the players I ever expected to become a coach, Reggie Theus was about the least likely. And I’ve since told him that. And he just shrugged. He never thought he’d like doing it, either. But he does.

Reno 911

May 4th, 2009
1:12 pm

No, I mean as a player. You KNOW that guy can still shoot.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
1:15 pm

I understand. I was just ruminating. And I’ve rarely met a player who enjoyed shooting the ball as much as Reggie. (Dominique would be in the photo, though, as we say around the track.)

Mr C.

May 4th, 2009
1:33 pm

Hey MB, great job on the blogs and the articles. I’ve found myself on AJC reading up on the blogs more since the columnists started blogging. My efficiency at work has started going down too. With the newspapers in trouble, I’ll take it every newspaper has to think outside the box. Great job with all the responses. I will say u respond to questions that folks ask more than Schultz. Now if we can get all the columnists and editors to blog more often too, maybe, i might pay a subscription fee whenever the newspapers starts charging one.

JJ

May 4th, 2009
1:36 pm

So you say the birds still have the rights to Josh Childress? Anyone know 1. IF he wants to come back; and 2. How would that impact the roster and salary cap? I assume we have decisions to make about Bibby, Marvin, and Flip. Doesn’t the Speedy contract go away after this year too? How much money are we going to have to re-up Mike and sign a Big?

David Smith

May 4th, 2009
1:38 pm

Being overlooked by experts, opposing fans, and polls is nothing new for this team. I remember last year when everyone (including some of our own fans) thought that the celtics would use us as a doormat on the way to the finals. I see the cavaliers as a similar challenge and another opportunity to SHOCK THE WORLD!!! GO HAWKS!!!

Mac

May 4th, 2009
1:41 pm

When will the Hawks get a 7-foot-5 center who averages 28 ppg, 18 rpg and 4.5 blocks per game? Thanks.

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
1:42 pm

Thanks, Mr. C.

John

May 4th, 2009
1:47 pm

Mark – I was intrigued by your comparison of Josh Smith to ‘Nique. I am too young to remember the first years of ‘Nique’s NBA career, but it’s hard for me to believe that his offensive game was ever as unrefined as Josh’s is. I am not a Josh Smith detractor – he brings a lot to the table and I love watching him play, but smooth and graceful in the low post he is not.

Tech sucks

May 4th, 2009
1:59 pm

I love ZaZa. Dude is freaking awesome. Hardest working man in the NBA. Can’t wait to see this series with the Cavs.

DawginLex

May 4th, 2009
2:25 pm

Everything from here on out is gravy on the taters. The Hawks have progressed from last year.

summerhill,ga

May 4th, 2009
2:55 pm

can fans start attending games all season rather than the playoffs or la, cleveland, and orlando?

Westurd

May 4th, 2009
3:00 pm

The loudest cheers yesterday were when ZaZa was coming in and going out of the game. Incredible!

Mark Bradley

May 4th, 2009
3:01 pm

You wouldn’t believe this now, but when Dominique Wilkins left Georgia he couldn’t shoot and couldn’t dribble. (He could, however, dunk.) But the guy made himself a Hall of Famer by working on his shooting and his handling over the summers.

Remember how well he came to use the backboard? Practice, that was. Just practice.

Astro Joe

May 4th, 2009
3:17 pm

Theus would have been a great choice for UGA Basketball. He would have been a great ambassador for the program, likely a great recruiter in this area (imagine how many moms would have gladly allowed Reggie into their living rooms) and would have brought a brand name to the program. Instead, they chose Fred Sanford’s cousin.