The Hawks have lost 3 of 6, but the sky is NOT falling

Give Evan Turner credit. DeMarre Carroll made him make a tough shot. (AP photo/Jessica Hill)

Give Evan Turner credit. DeMarre Carroll made him make a tough shot. (AP photo/Jessica Hill)

Give Evan Turner credit. DeMarre Carroll made him make a tough shot. (AP photo/Jessica Hill)

The Atlanta Hawks are 3-3 over their past six games. This makes them 22-3 over their past 25 games, which is a winning percentage of .880, which, if carried over a full season, would be 72-10, which would match the Chicago Bulls of 1995-96 for the best record in NBA history. Let’s not lose sight of that, OK?

Since Thanksgiving, the Hawks are 36-5. That’s a winning percentage of .878, which means they’ve been playing at an obscenely high level for 2 1/2 months. They lead the Eastern Conference by 6 1/2 games over Toronto. They’re 9 1/2 ahead of Chicago, 10 ahead of Cleveland. Given that only 28 regular-season games remain, the Hawks would have to collapse not to secure the No. 1 seed. They won’t collapse.

As mentioned a time or two, we Atlantans are conditioned to await the dropping of the other shoe. When one of our teams is playing well, we say, “This is Atlanta — it’ll never last.” I’ve seen too much of these Hawks to believe this winning won’t last. I expect them to play for the NBA championship.

I offer this as a little pick-me-up after last night’s doings in Boston. The Hawks blew a 14-point lead and lost to a not-very-good opponent on a last-second shot by Evan Turner, who was so ineffective against them as an Indiana Pacer in the playoffs last season that he didn’t play in Games 6 or 7. Wednesday’s was a crummy loss, yes, but the Hawks haven’t had many of those, and even the winning coach was disinclined to make much of it.

“For 47 minutes, 59.8 seconds, we were the losing team,” the Celtics’ Brad Stevens told reporters. Of the Hawks, he offered this: “I don’t think they played their best game. They’ve been on the road for three games; they’ve had a miraculous couple of months of basketball. They missed some shots late, and we were fortunate.”

The NBA’s regular season lasts six months. (The playoffs last forever.) There will be lesser nights. The beauty of these Hawks is that they’ve had so few lesser nights. They don’t play again for eight days. (Not counting the All-Star Game, of which four of their starting five will partake.) They’ll rest and recalibrate. They’ll be fine.

Reader Comments 1

43 comments
HLx3
HLx3

FORGET ABOUT RAY ALLEN!!!!!!


The HAWKS need to get BROOK LOPEZ from the Nets. Lopez is a 7 footer true center who can protect the paint, shoot and rebound. He's exactly what the HAWKS need right now for a deep run into the playoffs. The greatest part of all this is that he wants to leave the Brooklyn Nets ASAP.


GET BROOK LOPEZ!!!!!


Get Lopez and we will make it to the Finals for certain. 

SeldomFound
SeldomFound

@HLx3 And we own Brooklyns first round pick due to the Joe Johnson trade.  We may be able to give it back to them for Lopez.

Kennyd_va
Kennyd_va

Hey the Hawks are playing well .......I guess so call fans  looking for the Hawks to win every game...  The Hawks are still one the best Teams in the NBA (Need a Big Man) ! GO HAWKS

tidog
tidog

I don't care for the Bucks length and youth matchup against Hawks.I hope they don't fall to the 8th slot in the second half. That series could be intriguing and more difficult than a Heat/Hawk series.

GloryBetweenTheHedges
GloryBetweenTheHedges

I am not worried about the playoffs because they showed me last year short handed that they can handle the playoff pressure.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@GloryBetweenTheHedges Dude, are you delusional? The Hawks had the Pacers beat last year and choked the series away. The idiot who wrote this column already had the Hawks win written in stone and was yammering on about their 2nd round adventure, but reality came crashing down and the Hawks wilted like steamed spinach when the big prize was on the line.


(exactly as I'm betting they will do this year)

Wilbo
Wilbo

Dear Absolute Buffoon; aka Little Markie Brat Li! On Oct 30, 2013 the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Brooklyn 98-94. That made them 1-0 over their past very important 1 game, which was a winning percentage of 100%, which, if carried over a full season, would be 82-0, which would far outmatch the Chicago Bulls of 1995-96 for the best record in NBA history!!!!!!!!!!


As you are apparently paid to ignore (and Good Gawd I hope not much money as it would really be a pissser if the AJC spent much on foisting your stupidity on Atlanta sports observers!!!)) Anyway, as I was saying as you so moronically ignore, how teams played last year, last month, last week, in the NBA sometimes even how they played last quarter don't mean diddle. How they play in the late season and the playoffs is EVERYTHING!


If you were smart enough to do a little research, you might check Hawks/Pacers First round playoffs April/May 2014. I think I remember your ignorant arse saying the Hawks had that series in the bag? 


I wish I could contact you in person, you 1/2 witted boob, I would like nothing more than to lay you a $50 that the Atlanta Hawks WILL NOT be playing for the NBA title this spring. 


Early season success does not mean poop. Has the last 1/4 century of watching Atlanta sports not taught you that? Oops, sorry, I forgot, you have some sort of learning disability. Certainly anybody who reads you knows that.


Bozo.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Wilbo

The past quarter-century of watching ATL sports?

Uh, how bout the past half-century?

Dribble
Dribble

When the Hawks have a high FG percentage they are hard to beat. I think they were 42% last night which is not too bad.   Also making foul shots should be routine.  This is where they struggled - 65%. 

Defensively the team as a whole does not block out well.  Opposing teams get plenty of second chances because of this.


This team has a lot of potential and what they did in January was very impressive.  But come mid April it may not matter if they don't shore up the things that win championships.


Just my observation.

tm3
tm3

I am very proud of the team. I don't believe anyone would have expected them to be this good this fast. However, a couple of things needs to be addressed. First off, they seem to commit too many turnovers and miss free throws. I am confident Coach Bud can get this resolved.

daddydog
daddydog

Antic needs the Josh Smith talk: "Stop shooting 3s"!


WaltBBall
WaltBBall

The Sky is not falling and although the loss to Boston was disappointing, losses have been few, 43 and 11 is impressive.  The HAWKS need this break, with 28 games left if the HAWKS split they will be 57 and 25 and that's impressive.  The talk about rebounding, rim protection and the HAWKS not being big or long enough is nonsense, they have proved said worries to be false.

I would suggest for those who are freaked out to ask their family Dr. for some Prozac or tranquilizers to help them adjust to minor disappointment.  Josh (the smoove) Smith is doing his thing in Houston, you know the one, it's when he's dynamite for a few then goes stone crazy...lolol.  I hope this is truly a change for Josh because if not his next stop Is overseas to Euro BBall.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

Kyle Korver couldn't make a shot last night.  


As Kyle Korver and his 3 pointers go, the Hawks lose the close games.  

PHawk
PHawk

Clearly, to win close games you have to execute consistently every night in a 7 game series.  This is new territory for them (players and coaches).  If they can't learn how to do it or get the right personnel...... they are one and done in the playoffs.

tyger
tyger

Sky not falling, but sure is raining...


Honest, objective, analysis appropriate...

Giddy month of January over...

NBA doesn't stand still...


Teams figuring out Hawks...

Noticeable cracks in wall widening...

Celtics loss just adds emphasis...

Time to tweak roster, gameplan...


Hawks too small upfront...

Stop Korver...stop Hawks...

No goto guy down stretch...


We saw it with Pelicans...

Anthony Davis and nobody special...

Couldn't contain big guy...41 pts.


Memphis better across board...

Gasol-Randolph shut down Horford-Millsap..

Hawks played well, best they could...


Now reduced to Celtics...

Up by 20, got bored...granted

Still, in crunch, couldn't turn it on...


All said, Hawks are a great team...

But they've come back to earth...

1st half was awesome, but its over...


Cavs gelling, Hawks sputtering...

Prior, Hawks execution superior... 

Some say just missed shots...

Isn't that the always the case?

aka defense...


Rotations need tweaking...

Mike Scott has earned more minutes...

Millsap cant score down stretch...

Shroeder needs to finish...

Antic needs to go...


Hopefully, Hawks just tired, distracted...

But they are trending downward...

Luckily East is weak... .500 will do for now...


But chip within reach...cant standstill



Wilbo
Wilbo

@tyger Get off this board, dude! Nobody here wants to read any intelligent analysis of this team. 


They're floating on the fantasy, buddy, you are cruel to intervene...

UGADawg16
UGADawg16

MB - would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the place the Atlanta Spirit have in Atlanta sports history - Are the Atlanta Spirit the worst thing to ever happen to Atlanta Sports?  If not, where in the list do they fall.  Atlanta hasn't exactly been blessed with great owners - Ted Turner was ok, but even he decided to be manager for a weekend and then sold the Braves off into the purgatory of corporate ownership.  I thought Blank was a good owner but now I am worried he is becoming Jerry Jones east.  The Spirit destroyed the Trashers - a team I was extremely vested in as I was a fan from day one.  That alone should be enough to earn consideration for #1 Atlanta Sports Plague - but then there has been the comical legal drama, the complete ineptitude of the Hawks (current year withstanding) and the likely exec of the year being banished.  They are the Anti-King Midas - everything the touch turns to Shiitake.  Would like to hear opinion of someone that has been in the middle and seen more of the Atlanta Sports scene.

tyger
tyger

@UGADawg16 Don't understand these Arthur Blank-Jerry Jones references. Cowboys 12-4, lost close in 2nd Rd. NFC playoffs, have best stadium in league, $2.1B franchise, 3 Super Bowls. Why wouldn't an owner emulate that?

Wilbo
Wilbo

@UGADawg16 As a sports franchise owner, Ted Turner was an enthusiastic amateur trying to compete w the big boys. Did incredibly stupid things out of rushed  & emotional decisions - paying 2nd rate catcher Bruce Benedict gobs-o-$ trading away Brett Butler, bringing in a used up, worn out, incredibly expensive closer when we weren't even close to having the wherewithal to get late leads for him to close.... 


The Braves got good only when Teddy Boy got more interesting in Jane Fonda's private parts than the Braves daily operation, and subsequently let professional baseball men run the organization. Arthur Blank apparently too much of a self-absorbed fruit cake yaggov to make the same decision.......

DawgNole
DawgNole

@tyger @UGADawg16

You conveniently omit the fact that the Cowboys were mediocre for years prior to last season. And the super ego of Jerry Jones, which compels him to stroll the sidelines--where he absolutely does not belong--is nothing to emulate.

UGADawg16
UGADawg16

Actually - and maybe this a seasoned Atalanta fan waiting for the other shoe - it's kinda good to see them have a little dip.  Not likely to sustain the pace they were having so better to get a few clunkers out the way and then peak again at the end of the season.  I agree they need a break and, with the gap they've opened in the East, one game is not likely to matter.  Still, a double digit lead to start the 4th against a very mediocre team is a tough loss.


As a testament to these Hawks...a year ago I wouldn't have even read an article about the Hawks much less made a post.  But I like these Hawks - first time in a long while - they seem to be good guys and most importantly, they play as a team, are very unselfish and there is no drama (Josh Smith, JR Ryder, Joe Johnson, Mookie Blaylock, etc...).  A bunch of guys playing the game the right way - they are fun to watch and to root for.  After a long, long hiatus - these Hawks have got me interested again.  And I will be interested in this group of Hawks even if they come back down to earth.  I know...late to the party.


Now, I wait for the other shoe...Oh, yeah, it's called The Atlanta Spirit - I'm sure they'll make a national joke of their departure.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@UGADawg16

Better late to the party than never to the party.

That double-digit lead actually extended well past the halfway mark of the 4Q.

tyger
tyger

The Josh we all know and love...


After a little bit of a bumpy start to his tenure in Houston, Smith has been on fire for the third-place Rockets.

In February, Smith is averaging 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block per game in 31 minutes per game. His shooting — the biggest question mark about his fit with the Rockets — has been red hot, hitting 47.6% of his shots from the field, 48% of his shots from three (on five attempts per game).


With Smith on the floor in February, the Rockets have a 7.2 net rating, third best on the team. That number falls to -12 with Smith off the floor. In other words, the Rockets are losing when he's on the bench.


With Dwight Howard out several weeks with a knee injury, Smith has stepped up as James Harden's sidekick. Though the Rockets lost to the Clippers Wednesday night, Smith showed his all-around game, tallying 21 points on 8-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. 


History suggests Smith's shooting will come back down to Earth — he's 28% career three-point shooter. But the signing that several people mocked is paying off for Houston. Smith is simply a versatile talent giving the Rockets great minutes in a tight Western Conference.


source: Yahoo Sports

GuyOnThisSite
GuyOnThisSite

They need a rest, the break is coming at the right time. Hopefully Bud won't play our guys for too many minutes at the All Star Game.

BaseballBuff
BaseballBuff

Even with the great run, I, as a long-time Atlantan, was not convinced this team would hold up in the playoffs, when the pressure is really on. My feelings are not so much based upon this team as upon Atlanta sports history and the negative psychology that accompanies it. After a great win against the Warriors, the Hawks have looked very ordinary at times. It was an awesome winning streak, but I am still not sold, MB. However, I am watching them, for the first time in years.

UGADawg16
UGADawg16

@BaseballBuff If I would have read your post first I wouldn't have needed to post at all...exactly my thoughts and feelings!  Ii think there are a lot of us that are very interested but still waiting for the collapse/debacle/embarassment...

DawgNole
DawgNole

@UGADawg16 @BaseballBuff

Co-sign!

The "Atlanta sports history and the negative psychology that accompanies it" represent extremely formidable opponents.

seminoleking
seminoleking

they need another big asap. i dont care if they win 60 games, if they dont get sap and horford help on the boards, teams gonna continue to attack the middle. antic is a waste. i wish coach bud would stop making excuses for him being in the rotation.....

TruTecher
TruTecher

They are 1 for 2 out of their last 3. At that clip, they'd finish 28-54 through an entire season. It was fun while it lasted, but it's over. 


Thank you Hawks, for at least teasing us with a little fantasy . . . it was a dream!

mic404
mic404

@TruTecher What drug are you on??? I need some of that, if they lose all remaining games there record would still be 43-39, and probably would be enough to make the playoffs (LMAO)

Krunksoft
Krunksoft

@TruTecher Just stop following the team. We're all disappointed in the last 6 games or so but if you thought this team didn't have a few flaws all along you don't know anything about basketball. Every team has major areas of improvement. Now begins the race to see which teams can patch up their weaknesses heading into the playoffs.

mic404
mic404

Hawks are 7-3 in the last 10 games, it's a play on words. They got 29 games left, if they play a little above 500 basketball it'l be impossible for any team to catch them. If they go 20-9 down the stretch Toronto would have to go 27-2 to pass them for the best record. 

2112thDawg
2112thDawg

They need to rebound better obviously. They are getting killed in that area. That's about it. But it's a huge issue. Need rim presence and get to the boards. We are getting everyone's best shot and aren't able to sneak up on everyone anymore. This is where we really know what we're going to get in the playoffs. Rather than think we're gonna get Ray Allen to get us to the promised land....  we need a big body to get some rebounds off the bench. I'm sure the powers that be know that. ... but who are those powers that be that are going to make a trade or pickup? I thought our GM was inactive? What a bizarre ATL Hawks season. I've been here since '78. I'm not assuming anything (i.e. Hawks to Eastern or NBA Finals...) Got to take it one game at a time people!


brushback69
brushback69

@2112thDawg agree completely.  Rebounding is their Achilles heel, even though they have been able to overcome that deficiency.  If they can add to improve that without taking away from other key aspects of their game, they would seem to  be unstoppable.

seminoleking
seminoleking

@2112thDawg exactly. teams have figured out how to beat us finally. attack, attack, and attack the rim again and again because sap and horford cant hold that down by themselves. pero has got to stay on the bench. bring moose in or find somebody with that roster spot, asap.

hardworkinman
hardworkinman

It's clear the Hawks were a tired team last night. When you miss that many shots, the legs are gone. The only issue with the All-Star break is that half the team will still be on the court at some point with so many participating in activities. They need some rest.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Sooner or later, the "Atlanta" in all pro teams around here shows up, which means let down city.

Marc Goodman
Marc Goodman

The all-star break comes at the right time.  What the Hawks have accomplished over the last few months is unbelievable and they could use a small break from what they have accomplished.  And this is evident over their last 3 games.  (Korver shooting last night was very uncharacteristic


The Hawks will come out of the weekend a refreshed group ready to go deep into the playoffs.  Looks like a Cavs-Hawks Eastern Finals.  Will be a good one to say the least. 

Ersatz
Ersatz

@Marc Goodman As long as the Cavs stay around the 4th or 5th seed, like they are now, we'll see them in the second round, not the East Finals.

Marc Goodman
Marc Goodman

@Ersatz Highly unlikely the Cavs finish 4th or 5th seed.  They've won 14 of last 15 pretty convincingly.  That team is playing best basketball in NBA at the moment.  

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