Live from Game 3: It’s a prove-it night for the Atlanta Hawks

It's a white-out/Dwight-out night at Philips Arena. Free T-shirts! (Photo by M. Bradley)

It's a white-out/Dwight-out night at Philips Arena. Meaning: Free T-shirts! (Photo by M. Bradley)

How big is Game 3? Said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, speaking minutes ago: “You win and you’re up 2-1.”

Well, yes. More from Van Gundy: “People want it to mean something psychologically. Heck, it means something mathematically.”

Well, yes. But the psychic dimensions of this game for the home team are immense. Win and the Hawks will go some distance toward proving Game 1 was no fluke. Lose and they’ll travel just as far in the wrong direction.

The belief here is that Game 1 was no fluke. It’s a belief buttressed in reality: The Hawks beat the Magic three times of four in the regular season, and then they went to Orlando and won once and nearly won again.

Said Larry Drew, the Hawks’ coach: “We feel very confident.”

They should. They’re better than Orlando. They have the better starting five — you’d give Orlando the nod at center and point guard — and the better subs. And I’m not alone in this feeling. Jeff Van Gundy, Stan’s announcer brother, has taken to saying on-air that the Hawks are more talented than the Magic.

Informed of his sibling’s stance, Stan Van Gundy said: “That’s of no consequence.”

Tonight’s game is a far bigger deal for the Hawks than the Magic. Orlando needs to win once here over the weekend to reclaim the homecourt edge. If it loses Game 3, there’s still Game 4. But for the home side …

This is the prove-it game. This is the night to prove a series in which almost nobody – present company excepted — gave the Hawks a chance is theirs to take. This is the night to banish bitter memories of wretched home losses to Orlando in Round 2 last spring. For the Hawks, this is a massive night both psychologically and mathematically.

And with that, the floor is again yours. (Until I feel like saying something else, which I’m fairly sure I will.) I invite you to sit next to me — psychologically if not physically — as Game 3 unfolds. And if you’re asking me who will win, I’m saying the Hawks.

By Mark Bradley

479 comments Add your comment

Mike

April 22nd, 2011
7:32 pm

Sitting on a plane about to take off.. Now I gotta pay for the wifi to keep up..go hawks!!

Steven

April 22nd, 2011
7:32 pm

Steven

April 22nd, 2011
7:32 pm

Mike

April 22nd, 2011
7:33 pm

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
7:34 pm

That’s the first-ever first via onboard WiFi. Skymiles kudos, Mike.

chipontheroad birdsrus

April 22nd, 2011
7:34 pm

BYRDDAWG

April 22nd, 2011
7:34 pm

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!

tyler

April 22nd, 2011
7:35 pm

How’s the crowd looking tonight?

decriz

April 22nd, 2011
7:37 pm

just go and play with friggin balls..no wussing anymore!

tyler

April 22nd, 2011
7:39 pm

How’s the crowd looking so far?

tyler

April 22nd, 2011
7:40 pm

oops….thought it disappeared

Brian

April 22nd, 2011
7:44 pm

keep Howard under control or better yet foul trouble……….we will be up 2-1! Go Hawks!!!

TheAntiMe

April 22nd, 2011
7:44 pm

Prove it all night, Hawks, just like Bruce Springsteen!

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
7:45 pm

I believe the game is sold out. I’m headed up to my perch as we speak.

Joe for 3

April 22nd, 2011
7:45 pm

Including standing room only? That would be great.

tyler

April 22nd, 2011
7:48 pm

Yeah, that’s awesome. Ray Allen’s comments were great about the crowds here, something I don’t think I have ever heard in Atlanta

TheAntiMe

April 22nd, 2011
7:48 pm

I think Jamal just said on the Hawks pre-game show that Philips is sold out and is SRO. Looking at all of the empty seats it looks like 90% of the crowd is still stuck in traffic.

TheAntiMe

April 22nd, 2011
7:50 pm

Hey, can you hear me!!!

TheAntiMe

April 22nd, 2011
7:53 pm

Jamal just said on the Hawks pre-game show that Philips is sold out and is SRO. Looking at all of the still empty seats it appears that 90% of the crowd is still stuck in the not-so-fun ATL traffic.

TheAntiMe

April 22nd, 2011
7:55 pm

I do believe we’re having some technical difficulties with commenting so far. Later folks. GO HAWKS!!!

Joe for 3

April 22nd, 2011
7:57 pm

Seems fine to me.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:00 pm

Hard to believe that the WiFi isn’t working. I’m going to Broadband.

Steven

April 22nd, 2011
8:01 pm

Needless to say, this is a huge game for us. I think the winner of this game wins the series.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2011
8:02 pm

Mark, you just cant depend on technology. BTW, your piece on Mr Jesse Outlar was outstanding.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:05 pm

thwg

April 22nd, 2011
8:05 pm

a dwight out? hahahaah

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:07 pm

Place isn’t full at the intros. I’m assuming traffic is its usual self.

Crowd is loud.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:09 pm

Ryan Cameron just told the crowd: “We’ve got to show who’s got the best fans in the world!”

chipontheroad birdsrus

April 22nd, 2011
8:10 pm

here we go set the tempo win the game

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2011
8:11 pm

Mark, what is this series schedule after tonight’s game?

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:11 pm

Magic wins tip. Defers to second half.

Little football gag.

Joe for 3

April 22nd, 2011
8:12 pm

Jayhawk BEATS

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:12 pm

Hinrich trey from Horfy. Hawks 3-nil.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:13 pm

Horfy dunks off Hinrich errant. It’s 5-nil

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2011
8:14 pm

the crowd is loud
so make us proud
the vic’try is ours
in a matter of hours
just dont let coach drew
screw this one up too

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:14 pm

Another Horfy dunk. Joe lob. It’s 7-2. Hawks getting all the loose balls.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2011
8:15 pm

Horfy drive. It’s 9-2.

Joe for 3

April 22nd, 2011
8:15 pm

Al Scorford going bananas.

Justin

April 22nd, 2011
8:15 pm

Is this game online free anywhere?

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2011
8:15 pm

i believe every volunteer fire department unit and deputy sheriff in Colquitt County has just driven by my humble, unfashionable abode looking for a fire.

thwg

April 22nd, 2011
8:16 pm

Drive that to the basket Josh!

Justin

April 22nd, 2011
8:16 pm

Why is Josh taking 3 pointers already?

51WTGW50

April 22nd, 2011
8:17 pm

Are U the man tonight MARK? Can I go Live?

I hope everybody had a safe and blessed Good Friday. Enjoy the Easter weekend.
Remember GOD’s Promise that is Christ’s Life.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2011
8:17 pm

remember that joke Mark? 3 guys show up to a Christmas costume party in fireman outfits and tell the hostess they are 3 wisemen coming from afar. it still kills me.

51WTGW50

April 22nd, 2011
8:18 pm

Got to D in the face an make the play. Nice JOE Nice shot

thwg

April 22nd, 2011
8:19 pm

Hinrich to the bench for the rest of the half? Hope not.

Justin

April 22nd, 2011
8:19 pm

Two fouls on Heinrich. I guess Drew has to bring in Crawford to guard Jameer.

Justin

April 22nd, 2011
8:19 pm

Enter your comments here

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2011
8:20 pm

I never realized that Zaza was a native of Georgia.

51WTGW50

April 22nd, 2011
8:20 pm

The refs have to much control Curt should has stayed fopr the early D needed.