Live from Game 6: The Hawks try again to close the door

An example of the Hawks' tenacious D in Game 5. (Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel)

An example of the Hawks' tenacious D in Game 5. (Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel)

After Game 4, a really dumb guy — OK, yours truly — told the Hawks’ PR folks: “Nothing surprises me about your team, but I’d be surprised if you lost this series.”

I stand by that statement, at least for the next couple of hours.

I think the Hawks will win tonight. Others don’t. They believe that Game 5 was the truer measure of these teams than the first four games, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to this reporter. (Four games were an aberration, but one game reflects the truth?) But I have been known to be wrong.

I wasn’t shocked by what happened Tuesday. The Hawks aren’t very good when they’re not very interested, and they played in the manner of a team that knew it had three chances to win once.

“It would have been a huge step for us a ballclub,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said, speaking moments ago. “We’d never been in that situation before, at least not since I’ve been here. It was unfamiliar territory for us.”

Now the Hawks are back at Philips Arena, the series again theirs to take, and there’s somewhat more pressure on them than there was two days ago. Lose tonight and they’d be in position to become only the ninth NBA club ever to waste a 3-1 lead. Which would, even by Hawks standards, be a major reversal.

But let’s accentuate the positive. If the Hawks win tonight — and I say they will — they’ll have taken a series almost nobody believed they could win. They’ll be headed for Chicago and Round 2. They’ll need to apologize to no one.

And with that, the figurative floor is open for questions, comments and NFL draft updates. (Kidding about that last part. It’s hard enough for me to keep track of any one thing.) I’ll be here until the Hawks have celebrated. Or, failing that, until they’ve gotten all glum. Join me, won’t you?

As ever, I thank you in advance.

By Mark Bradley

278 comments Add your comment

J.J.M.

April 28th, 2011
6:49 pm

J.J.M.

April 28th, 2011
6:50 pm

I’m bout to head down to watch the game now. hope we win. enjoy the game hawks fans!

RealSquawk

April 28th, 2011
6:55 pm

Katie

April 28th, 2011
6:56 pm

Katie

April 28th, 2011
6:57 pm

NO. always so close but yet so far..
oh well ill take 2ND.

bjrufino

April 28th, 2011
6:58 pm

go hawks beat the overrated magic

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
6:59 pm

Kudos, RealSquawk.

RealSquawk

April 28th, 2011
6:59 pm

Nothing wrong with Second, but personally I would like to thank Google Chrome and this amazing internet connection! I would also like to thank Mark for posting at west coast friendly downtime and the Hawks for making the playoffs.

J.J.M.

April 28th, 2011
7:00 pm

lol another glitch,,,Im first yet again

RealSquawk

April 28th, 2011
7:04 pm

Well that is embarrassing. Anyway Mark how are things going? I am not going to lie, I am surprised that you peg the Hawks to win. I am a little shaky, this team is so unpredictable, but I think we will definitely know the outcome by the end of the first half.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:06 pm

Indeed. Another spam filter issue. J.J.M. takes the checkers after a lengthy video review. Apologies for the confusion.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:08 pm

Here’s the thing, RealSquawk: I believed the Hawks were the better team coming into the series, and I don’t think the Game 5 clunker overrides anything.

Joe

April 28th, 2011
7:13 pm

Is Quentin Richardson starting that is what listed on NBA.com says J-Rich is coming off the bench.

MitchC

April 28th, 2011
7:14 pm

Mark, while the Hawks should win tonight, what scares me is that, in my time posting on your baseball and basketball blogs, its been my experience that you are usually wrong in your predictions of outcomes. (At least about the Braves). Hopefully, tonight will reverse that, you will be right, and the Hawks will move on.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:14 pm

We think Jason Richardson is starting, not Quentin.

dawg4u

April 28th, 2011
7:16 pm

Hope Crawford and Joe can combine for more than 13 points tonight. I really believe they will and really step it up tonight. Go Hawks!

Joe

April 28th, 2011
7:17 pm

Well I think that helps the Hawks tonight — J-Rich has a cut in his foot and will have to take an injection to get on the court — Quentin and Arenas have actually been playing solid ball as opposed to Hedo and -Rich — your thoughts?

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:18 pm

Does it matter, when you get down to it, who starts?

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:25 pm

You’re going to ask about the crowd. You’re going to say, “How’s the crowd?”

Bad.

Cousin Vicker

April 28th, 2011
7:30 pm

Happens every year. Usually winds up being a decent, but late-arriving, crowd.

Ryan

April 28th, 2011
7:31 pm

So did they put in that new scoreboard we discussed last game MB? :)

I think tonight will be a scrappy, ugly game. No score prediction from me tonight however.

Go Hawks!!

Joe for 3

April 28th, 2011
7:32 pm

With the amount of tickets on Stubhub, it is no surprise that the crowd is bad.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:36 pm

What scoreboard, Ryan?

Steve

April 28th, 2011
7:36 pm

Wow, is the crowd that bad Mark? How empty? I would be there if not for having to be out of town for work.

eddie long

April 28th, 2011
7:38 pm

How much did Dominique pay for that double-breasted masterpiece.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:39 pm

It’s filling in now. I can’t imagine it will be full, however.

Atl teams = Playoff chokers

April 28th, 2011
7:40 pm

Have the hawks lost a playoff game this year under your reporting Mark?

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:41 pm

Scoreboard just flashed the words: “Tonight we finish it.”

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:42 pm

No. The Hawks are 2-nil with me in the house, Atl teams.

Last year they were 0-5.

Ryan

April 28th, 2011
7:42 pm

That scoreboard they have in Orlando is awesome! Need to get one of those in Phillips.

Cousin Vicker

April 28th, 2011
7:43 pm

I doubt anything will match the crowd intensity of the Celtic series until we make some actual second round noise at some point.

Steve

April 28th, 2011
7:44 pm

Over/Under on how many times Howard whines/complains tonight is???

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:45 pm

Hawks lead 2-0.

But no longer

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:46 pm

Hawks going to Josh Smith early. Has two free throws and an assist. And now Kirk Hinrich ties up Dwight Howard.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:46 pm

Smith driving dunk. It’s 6-2.

eddie long

April 28th, 2011
7:47 pm

Harry the Hawk seen arriving fashionably late reeking of ouzo.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:47 pm

Jason Collins is called for an offensive foul. You don’t see that very much.

Cynthia

April 28th, 2011
7:48 pm

I’m with you Mark, the Hawks will win tonight. Let’s go Hawks!

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:49 pm

Hawks up 8-4 on Johnson’s tip. They look fine tonight.

Jesse

April 28th, 2011
7:52 pm

These away from the ball fouls are going to come back to haunt them later.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:53 pm

Dwight Howard with three turnovers. He has been stripped three times by Kirk Hinrich.

eddie long

April 28th, 2011
7:54 pm

Why must they play those mad beats over the P.A. during live action. The game can stand on its own.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:54 pm

Tied at 12 after 6 1/2 mins.

Joe Johnson with FTs when play resumes.

Joe for 3

April 28th, 2011
7:56 pm

Lets Go Birdbrains!!

Abe the Fan

April 28th, 2011
7:58 pm

MEMO TO JOE J: Orlando (and every other team) is ready for the spin move of yours. SWITCH IT UP OR TRY SOMETHING ELSE?

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:59 pm

Turkoglu misses two layups driving on Smith.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
7:59 pm

Turkoglu misses two layups driving on Smith.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
8:00 pm

Two Dwight hoops make it 17-16, home team.

Abe the Fan

April 28th, 2011
8:01 pm

Joe’s spin move is peeped and Orlando is ready for it.

Mark Bradley

April 28th, 2011
8:02 pm

Howard misses against Pachulia, then fouls him on the way downcourt. Silly.