A sunny forecast: Bradley picks Hawks in the Bradley Center

Note the nicely named facility. Note the strange concept of sunshine. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Note the nicely named facility. Note also the alien concept of sunshine. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Milwaukee – Perhaps it’s because, for the first of the eight days I’ve spent in this windy city over the past 5 1/2 weeks, the sun is shining. Perhaps it’s because I’m just a raging rose-colored optimist. (Yeah, right.) Whatever the reason, I like the Hawks tonight.

I know, I know. They’re the world’s worst playoff road team. (I’ve noted as much myself.) But Mike Woodson noted yesterday that the good teams eventually figure out how to win in postseason in someone else’s building, and the Hawks are a good team.

Did they play like one in Game 3? No. Said Josh Smith, walking from the bus to the locker room for today’s shootaround: “We can’t play any worse. Anything we do has to be better than that.”

The Hawks knew the Bucks would start fast in Game 3. All teams coming home trailing 2-0 start fast in Game 3 — desperation at work. What no one could have suspected was that the Hawks would see the other team’s fast start as cause to go slow. The game was essentially over after 12 minutes. As Woodson said today: “Anytime you play on the road, you’ve got to give yourself a chance.”

The reason the Hawks are 1-9 on the road over the past three postseasons is that only once, in Game 4 against Miami last spring, did they give themselves a chance. But let’s go back to that game: The Hawks were down 2-1 in that series, having lost the previous two games by an aggregate 44 points. (Say this for the Hawks: When they lose, they really lose.) But they hunkered down and took the game they had to have.

I foresee another hunkering tonight. The Bucks won’t play as well and the Hawks will play much better. The game will, for a change, be close in the final three minutes. But the Hawks will win 81-78.

As you know, I’m hardly ever wrong. (Yeah, right.)

For updates on the Hawks, the Bucks and the Wisconsin weather, check in around 7:30 p.m. EDT — the game’s at 8:30 — and we’ll do the usual live-chat thing throughout Game 4. Y’all come back now, hear?

59 comments Add your comment

F-105 Thunderchief

April 26th, 2010
12:43 pm

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
12:44 pm

I guess the “F” in F-105 stands for “first.” Kudos.

Section 303

April 26th, 2010
12:45 pm

Mark, did any of the players mention if they planned on actually trying tonight? If not, I wish they would let us know. No need to waste time/life watching a team that does not even try.

I’m still way too down on these guys for Saturday night to think they will win. 2-2 coming back to Philips on Wednesday.

F-105 Thunderchief

April 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

Well, Josh had it right, it would be hard to play any worse than game three. I’m not optimistic, but hope they win.

Sautee

April 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

Mark,

Why would I feel better if you had picked the Bucks? ;-)

You see, I’ve followed your predictions for far too long now. But still, I hope you are correct.

SWAT Native

April 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

Mark,

You just had to jinx us, didn’t you? The Hawks need this game; they don’t want to find out what the Bradley Center will be like for game 6.

EW

April 26th, 2010
12:51 pm

Don’t worry Mark! There’s plenty of sun in Orlando!

F-105 Thunderchief

April 26th, 2010
12:56 pm

If you run into Colin Fly at the arena, tell him F-105 Thunderchief said hello. Say the word “moped,” and he’ll know who you mean.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

Mark,

I dont know if the Hawks will win tonight. However, I do expect the Hawks to play better.

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

The Hawks were embarrassed by Game 3, Section 303. They’ll be ready tonight. I like their chances.

PlusSizeModel

April 26th, 2010
1:00 pm

Call me when they fire Woodson. Until then, pffft.

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
1:02 pm

Ring, ring. The Hawks just fired Woodson.

I’m kidding, PlusSize. But I should report that the coach, who was most distressed yesterday, is in a better mood today.

Section 303

April 26th, 2010
1:06 pm

Mark, they should be. And, really, even if they win tonight their performance in Game 3 should not be forgotten. I do not think a win tonight wipes away the stentch of Game 3.

We’ll see what they do. Saying the right things (not counting Josh) has never been a problem for this team. I remember Al talking about how they were “fighting for their lives” going into Game 3. He, and the rest of the team, backed that up by not even bothering to give effort.

EW

April 26th, 2010
1:09 pm

I like the disappointment in the team. Its evidence that the fan base has high expectations. We’re facing a battered team, but remember, its still an NBA team that finished the season better than every team other than Pheonix. I’d rather be a Hawk fan right now than a Dallas or Denver fan! Utah & Portland are showing us that injured teams are not dead teams. We should respect the Bucks if we expect to close them out.

Daniel

April 26th, 2010
1:10 pm

Good grief we need a win, after this weekend we are hurting here in Atlanta as sports fans. Just last Tuesday, I was at the Braves as they have a miracle comeback, while listening to the Hawks dismantle the Bucks. Oh, how quickly the worm turns, hopefully it will quickly turn again.

Mark, as a big Hawks fan (I attend multiple games) I think the Hawks need to look, long and hard at that loss the next time any of the players, coaches, front office, owners give the fan support a ribbing. You expect our devotion and support, when you can’t be “emotionally ready to play” for a freaking playoff game on the road???? Please file this away for the next time you here complaints about fan support, and remind them that it has to be EARNED!!!!

lanier

April 26th, 2010
1:29 pm

Bradley got this one right

Hawks73

April 26th, 2010
1:44 pm

I am sorry to say Mark, but your wrong on this one. The Hawks will come out flat again, and scramble to make this close at the end. Bucks 91-87.

mike

April 26th, 2010
1:50 pm

from bob rathbun’s twitter: Returning from shootaround, the Hawks team bus was rammed by a car…everyone is OK..guys either walked or cabbed back to hotel.

TONE

April 26th, 2010
1:52 pm

if the hawks make it past the beer team, and then are dealt with easily by the magic is woody gone ?
i would like to see Avery Johnson coaching Atlanta I wonder if he would take the gig

Denver Hawk

April 26th, 2010
1:58 pm

in the 1989 playoffs, vs. these same Bucks, we were the “better team”, too… didn’t help much. are we sure Paul Mokeski isn’t still lurking around somewhere?

Terrell

April 26th, 2010
1:58 pm

Daniel,

So you’re telling me it’s okay for us not to attend games after blowouts but I guess other fans of other teams are just crazy to attend the games where their teams get blown out. Look at the Knicks, they have been horrible for awhile now and they still sell out. Look at the Celtics before the “Big 3″ they sucked and they sold out. Don’t give me the excuse that history is on their sides.

Mike,
“…rammed by car…” pun intended?

Terrell

April 26th, 2010
2:00 pm

TONE,

Why would you want the same style of coach in Avery Johnson to coach us? Didn’t he get fired by Dallas so what good does that do us? If we decide not to resign Woody then we should go for the direct opposite of him not a similar coach. Avery was all about the defense just like Woodson and his offense was Dirk.

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
2:05 pm

It’s hard to believe there are enough vehicles in Milwaukee to run into one another. There’s no traffic here.

SWAT Native

April 26th, 2010
2:11 pm

Hawks bus rammed by a car? Wow, the Bucks fans really want to win this one, don’t they?

who would follow him

April 26th, 2010
2:14 pm

first of all who would follow bob rathbun on twitter? the stinger maybe, huh huh huh

Gail

April 26th, 2010
2:17 pm

You’re right, Mark — no traffic here, at least compared to the ATL. We have our occasional backups, but they’re gratefully much shorter-lived that those I’ve experienced on 285.

As for the weather, sorry you had to endure the mess. In between visits, were were graced with days in the 60s and 70s and yes, sun. Come back during the summer. You’ll see the great part of life here ;)

Oh, and basketball… I respectfully hope you’re wrong about tonight.

Ree Roe

April 26th, 2010
2:19 pm

Mark,

Did you know that the Hawks have been involved in an NBA record 15 straight double digit playoff games? It truly is feast or famine with this team. Personally, I have zero confidence that we even make tonights game competitive…we have a better chance of Chipper Jones playing in a 160 games before thar happen.

-REEalizes i’m Roe!

BraveFalconHawk

April 26th, 2010
2:56 pm

Hawks will dominate the post tonight, and JJ,Crawford and Bibby will hit big shots…Hawks -7

Westurd

April 26th, 2010
3:07 pm

Read what SI wrote……..,

“The Hawks can blow out Milwaukee by 40 on Monday and then finish off the Bucks at home and it still won’t remove the stench of their Game 3 performance.”

OUCH! True………. but Ouch!

Marcus

April 26th, 2010
3:20 pm

Burn the red alternate uniforms. Bad ju-ju.

@ReanuKeeves

April 26th, 2010
3:22 pm

You really think the Bucks will only put up 78 at home? That sure would be nice but I see otherwise.

Can we stick with the inside game tonight for crying out loud–Al and Josh going to work, kicking it out to Joe and Jamal for open looks?

GO HAWKS

Brent

April 26th, 2010
3:24 pm

LOL
Withough Bogut, nobody gives the Bucks credit. God forbid, they send Atlanta packing with their feathers in a ruffle just like everyother host team has done to the Hawks in the post season. This series goes 7 games…
Also, you need to fire Woodson. Their is no reason for them to have such an aweful road record. You will never be successful in the post season if you play like that.
Next year? The Bucks will destroy you.

Brent

April 26th, 2010
3:27 pm

Mark,
I live in Nashville and have been to Atlanta. What do you think is so great about that city? On any on ramp, you can see poor kids claiming to panhandle for the BoysnGirls club.
I’m surprised fans are even able to attend games having to dodge such a hail of bullets just to get their.
Plus, the only difference between Detroit and Atlanta (now that technically Detroit doesn’t have the Big Three) is the accent of the citizens.

balismith

April 26th, 2010
3:30 pm

wonder what j smooth and the rest of the hawks did last night since there is nothing to do in old milwaulkee….. maybe they got some rest and will play with a pulse tonight

Brent

April 26th, 2010
3:33 pm

TONE,
Why would you want the guy who successfully destroyed Don Nelson’s team to destroy the team that Woodson built? Plus, can you honestly tell me you want to hear that man’s voice at least 82 times a season?

Decatur Tech Fan

April 26th, 2010
3:39 pm

1-9 in last 10 road games. Enjoy the first round dipsh_ _s, Orlando is gonna own this team. We need a REAL coach, not what we have.

Montez Mettenberger

April 26th, 2010
3:52 pm

THIRTY-THIRD

i_am_soulstar

April 26th, 2010
3:59 pm

I’m with ya Marcus, when I saw those red uniforms at tip-off, I had a bad feeling. Tie those red unis to a rock and drop them down a bottomless pit.

Mr. Phil

April 26th, 2010
4:00 pm

-Car collides with Hawks’ team bus-

Now that is fan loyalty. That fan wants to insure her bucks win so bad…

Mr. Phil

April 26th, 2010
4:00 pm

Oh-yeah—-

Still never been first!

Mr. Phil

April 26th, 2010
4:01 pm

where exactly is Decatur Tech?

Delbert D.

April 26th, 2010
4:12 pm

I hope they are not “confident” this time.

Maybe Josh found someplace better than a 7-Eleven to relax and have some fun.

Mike Woodson's Eyebrows

April 26th, 2010
4:20 pm

Have you guys heard Woodson when he’s mic’d up during these national games? It’s like listening to a rec league or high school coach…

“Ok fellas..we gotta get out there and defend. Don’t let the other team get easy baskets… Oh and rebound…yea, make sure to rebound!”

Are you kidding me? And he gets paid how much money again?

At least he’s good at one thing….folding his arms, looking confused and pouting.

Atlanta is the only city the Union wishes stayed Confederate

April 26th, 2010
4:30 pm

Bucks > Hawks tonight. Let’s see if lil’ smith won’t even halve the amount of buckets he had last game. FACE

Darrell

April 26th, 2010
4:31 pm

I don’t know about the win, but they can play better but find a way to lose. Good pic, though, even Josh’s Aww **** gesture.

Atlanta is the only city the Union wishes stayed Confederate

April 26th, 2010
4:59 pm

Few more hourse and this series is squared.

LC

April 26th, 2010
5:16 pm

Mark,

Posted this on the beat blog, but was wondering if you had any insight as to what the thinking was one when Sund handed Marvin a 5 year deal despite there being no real competition for his services.

Marvin is completely, utterly lost and useless. MC, I know you weren’t covering the team this past offseason, but who in the hell were we bidding against when we gave him an absurd 5 year contract.

Why didn’t we just wait for somebody else to offer him and then match if it was worth it like we did with Josh Smith? I just don’t understand why we have give 7.5 mil per for 5 more years when he hadn’t proven anything and in fact seemed to be regressing each year. That was just an awful move by Sund. As I have said before, imagine where this team would be had we taken a smarter/cheaper route like Delfino or Barnes to start at the 3 for us. Both would have provided more veteran leadership and toughness then we can even hope for from Marvin Williams. I cannot believe we will we be stuck watching him for 4 more seasons after this one.

Justin

April 26th, 2010
5:28 pm

@Atlanta is the only city
Yeah, if Milwaukee had a few more horses then this thing would be squared.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2010
5:41 pm

I have no confidence in the Hawks’ ability to win a road game, but I do think they will manage to keep it close. Whoever wins tonight will win by less than 10 points.

Atlanta is the only city the Union wishes stayed Confederate

April 26th, 2010
5:45 pm

@Justin,

Aahh… I see that fine southern inbreeding has eroded your critical thinking skills… You obviously cannot identify a spelling error when you see one. That “hourse” should actually be “hours”… Do you think you are capable of rereading and dropping that “e” on the end, or shall I retype it for you?