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