Friday, April 15, 2011

Hawks/Magic Preview

I haven't had much to say about this Atlanta Hawks team on this (my) particular blog. I'm sorry, but I was uninspired. The team was stale and quite frankly they didn't give effort on a consistent enough basis to deserve me giving effort on a consistent basis. Our relationship is at an impasse right now.

Do I think the Hawks can win this series? Yup. The fan in me that wears the rose colored glasses absolutely thinks they can win this series. They played the Magic four times in the regular season and they won three of those games. That's enough evidence to suggest that they have the upper hand, right? Then, when you take into account that the Magic aren't as good this season as they were last season, you've gotta like the Hawks chances.
But, if you've watched this Hawks team play more than those four games this season then you know they are not to be trusted.
It should also be noted that they went 2-1 against the Milwaukee Bucks prior to being pushed to 7 games by them. (without their best player) They also won the season series against Miami 3-1 prior to being pushed to 7 games by them in arguably the worst 7 game series ever.

While Atlanta did win both of those series, they also had home court advantage which they do not have in this series versus the Magic. They have had a hard time winning series they were favored to win, so there's absolutely no reason to believe they can win a series as an underdog. Time after time this season they got punched in the mouth and didn't do a damn thing about it. There's no evidence to suggest their mentality will magically change, and you know Orlando is going to come out swinging. I've tried to come up with some legitimate reasons as to why I think they'll win this series, but I really can't. If we're just getting down to the x's and o's, it still doesn't bode well for them. There's one truth about this team that is backed up with statistics, (no, I'm not going to present any) and just regular old perception; they're a one trick pony. The Hawks are a jump shooting team, even down to the starting Center. Basically if their jump shots are falling, they have a great chance to win, if they aren't, they don't. As Charles Barkley likes to say, "you don't live by jumpers, you die by jumpers." I fear the Hawks are going to die a slow, painful death. They have an opportunity to prove me wrong, and there's a big part of me that wants them to do so. I could get into the many other reasons I don't think this team can beat Orlando when it matters, but that would make this post extremely long.
Sidebar: If you have a moment, please go back to some of last year's Hawks blogs and read all the things we wrote about Jason Collins during the second round series against the Magic, then read a few of this year's Hawks/Magic series previews. You'll laugh at the irony. I promise.

Now, the fan in me that doesn't wear the rose colored glasses knows it would be absolutely devastating to this organization if this team wins this series. They have been selling this continuity bullshit to us for the past 3 or 4 seasons and I'm over it. What is so appealing about continuing down this path of mediocrity? This group as currently constructed is as good as they'll ever be. The only player who has a chance in hell of still improving is Jeff Teague and that's because he has youth on his side. Unfortunately for him he's had two coaches who won't consistently play him, but whatever. The rest of these guys, while not ancient, are veteran players. They are who they are.
Getting their asses whipped in historical fashion last season by the Magic wasn't enough to convince the organization to overhaul the whole roster. I have to believe that if it happens again they won't be able to deny that significant changes need to occur. Everyone else in the East is making moves, but the Hawks are standing still. Everyone said they had to re-sign Joe or they'd take a step back. Well, they did re-sign Joe and they still took a step back. Now what?
I really hate to wish for another historic ass whipping, but I feel like that's what it's going to take to move this team forward.
When the ball goes up, I'm sure the rose colored glasses wearing fan in me will be front and center. I'll be rooting hard for the Hawks, but deep down, I don't think they'll win.

Magic in 6

Go Hawks!

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion or Hawstr8talk