Here comes LeBron. The Hawks are doomed. Aren’t they?

“Am I not the king of all media?” (Frank Gunn/AP photo/The Canadian Press)

"Am I not the king of all media?" (Frank Gunn/AP photo/The Canadian Press)

“Am I not the king of all media?” (Frank Gunn/AP photo/The Canadian Press)

The calendar year — and we’re barely into March, I note — has seen more than its share of prime Atlanta Hawks home dates: Thunder here on the night of the record-breaking 15th in a row; Trail Blazers here a week later; Warriors here a week after that. And Tuesday’s game wasn’t bad, either, even if James Harden didn’t play for the Rockets. But this Friday brings LeBron James to town, and that’s when the amp goes from 10 to 11 if not 111.

The Hawks lead Cleveland, LeBron’s latest team, by 10 1/2 games with 22 to play. But the Cavaliers, to give them their due, have won 20 of 24 and beat Golden State last week and Toronto on Tuesday. Naturally, this has inspired many in the media to proclaim the Cavs the East’s best team — even if the standings don’t reflect anything of the sort.

Any sign of a Cleveland uptick was bound to become an uproar, given that the Cavs have LeBron and the hoops world revolves around him. And I’d also submit that the Hawks, who’ve won five straight after that post-All-Star flop-apalooza against the Raptors, aren’t playing quite as well as when they were winning 35 of 37. But it’s not like they’ve turned tail at the sound of LeBron’s approaching footsteps. This isn’t a team easily cowed.

If the Cavs win Friday, we’ll be treated to six weeks of the The-King-Has-Reclaimed-His-Throne stories. If the Hawks win, we’ll be buffeted with It’s-Only-A-Matter-Of-Time-Before-The-King-Reclaims-His-Throne. Because he’s LeBron, he and his team will always be granted the benefit of every doubt. But I have fewer doubts about these Hawks than I do LeBron’s Cavs. At last check, 48-12 trumps 39-24.

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69 comments
LakeDawg
LakeDawg

Should be a good game. The Cavs are coming on. It will be interesting to see if  Lebron and the Cavs get all of the calls by the refs. I think the Hawks take this one despite Lebron getting the normal superstar treatment from the officials.

Will in RVA
Will in RVA

Why is tonight's game not on National TV somewhere?????   Big time anti-Atlanta Sports bias is in full effect. 

Will in RVA
Will in RVA

This could be an Eastern Conf finals preview for pete's sake.


DawgNole
DawgNole

@Will in RVA

Anti-ATL sport bias exists because ATL pro sports teams have only ONE championship in 160-plus seasons of competition covering nearly half a century.

WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS, and the bias will disappear.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@RangeRover @DawgNole @Will in RVA

Which in NO WAY alters the fact that . . .

Anti-ATL sport bias exists because ATL pro sports teams have only ONE championship in 160-plus seasons of competition covering nearly half a century.

WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS, and the bias will disappear.

Smart Modou Djite
Smart Modou Djite

We still can doubt that the Hawks are the best in the East. Why ? Because a team like the Cavs have changed over the season, and u know it. They have acquired some very good players, and they are pretty healthy now.


And yes, we all know the Hawks have the best record ....


Therefore tonight game will tell us all...


SeanLB
SeanLB

@Smart Modou Djite In basketball, a single game is just that:  one game.  Terrible teams can always come up and beat a champion on a given night.  


So, if we win, it's a win over a quality opponent.  If we lose, it's a loss against a quality opponent.  Nothing less, nothing more.



nomanland5
nomanland5

everyone is way into Lebron James its saddening. i don't pay any attention to the drama players of Lebron, Howard,Byrant cause people over idealize them. Hawks VS Cavs will be "can the Cavs pass the ball". if Lebron is all the hawks gotta worry about then it gonna be a 100 to 30 lost for the Cavs. think match ups:

teague VS Kyrie = Teague (why? teauge has a defensive team on his back all his gotta do is steal the ball) 

kyle VS Iman = Iman will destory kyle on defensive but Iman stopping the best 3PT in the game (right now) no

Carrol VS Lebron = Lebron will of course score but against a hustle man like Carrol his gonna get fouled alot

Milsap VS Love = 3pt rain from both side (winner of this will be whoever guards the 3pt the best)

Holford VS WHO? = Holford against any of the cavs big man center will be unable to stop Al's midranger


end result? Hawks win so all you Cav to Heat to Cav fans need to shut it

nomanland5
nomanland5

oh and if anyone can please tell me for a fact who Cav's center is? they change it everyday it seems

warfalcon
warfalcon

`` But I have fewer doubts about these Hawks than I do LeBron’s Cavs. At last check, 48-12 trumps 39-24.``

Tell It, well said M.B..

BaseballBuff
BaseballBuff

The Hawks have had a few subpar games, but I have not seen one iota of choke from them, and they have played very well against the best teams. Cleveland will leave Philips with an 'L' on Friday night.

Hey after years of growing up listening to Maravich, Hudson on my AM radio then down through the years.


It is just nice to be worried about it at all.


Who cares, at least you can watch a game without wanting to rip your face off and throw it at the TV.


Remember Josh Smith?

DawgNole
DawgNole

How well I remember listening to PistolPete and Hudson on my AM radio. Problem was, I lived 150 miles from ATL, so the signal would always fade away with about a minute left in the game. Grrrrrrrrr!

Wink77
Wink77

The only concern I have for the Cavs game is the Hawks need to keep Tristin Thompson off the boards...the guy is a beast and gives Cleveland a ton of 2nd shots....control him we win this game.

swimfin2
swimfin2

Basketball is the only sport where the best team in the league can be looked at as inferior to a team 10 game behind it. I guess what they say is the regular season doesn't give us anything. It's all about making the playoffs. But there's never been a team with the best record to be looked so negatively at. 

Re Al A T
Re Al A T

LBJ could not have hung with "Nique" back in the day. 

afx
afx

let rest starters tomorrow to improve chances for Cavs be second or third to avoid them in second round. will worry about LeBron gang in divisional championship.

Jerry916
Jerry916

@We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again @afx I expect the Cavs to finish in 2nd spot.  Chicago with all of it's injuries, I'm not sure of.  But I do expect the Eastern Finals to be the Hawks and Cavs.  Should be a good series, but the Hawks have some business at hand to attend to first.

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

@afx That's actually not a bad thought. The Cavs and Bulls are the Hawks' strongest competition in the East, so we need them to get the #2 and #3 seeds, in either order, to ensure that the earliest we'll see either team is in the Conference Finals.

I know we haven't fared well against the Raptors, but they don't scare me in a seven-game series, and the Wizards have collapsed.

Wrecker
Wrecker

Hawks have also won 20 of 24, but the talk all seems to be about the Cavs.

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

ESPN is not in the journalism business.  It's a sports marketing business.  That's why the team with the best record in the NBA can be summarily ignored when ESPN personalities are making predictions for the championship.  That's why the Hawks' fantastic wins (and they've won 80% of the time) tend to be the third or fourth or fifth games highlighted. Stars sell.  Period.  People need to make idols of other people.  If the Hawks win it all, the next day the lead story will be whether LeBron will stay in Cleveland and what Kevin Love will do.  It will be followed by Kobe's decision to retire or not.  The Hawks' parade down Peachtree Street will be embedded somewhere between baseball and NFL training camps.

phillunney
phillunney

I think the real issue is ESPN. A friend who worked at at sports operation told me that ESPN promotes what it 'owns'. Nothing really wrong with that but they don't 'have' the Hawks. I am told that the NBA is unlike the NFL so the stations buy early and those are their teams.

So, yes the NBA world revolves around LeBron and deservedly so, but Sports Center won't trumpet the Atlanta Hawks until we win more than one post game series...if the Hawks want to force the issue, all they need to do is win the NBA Championship.

Since the All Star break we have seen more preparation for the Hawks, so I am watching the coaching over the next 20 games.

Go Hawks.

tyger
tyger

@phillunney Can u blame them? Soon flex schedule comes into play...

HopelessinAtlanta
HopelessinAtlanta

The NBA is a star driven league and the media perpetuates this model - they love the star. Talking about how a starless team is successful is too much work for them. They still do their best to ignore San Antonio's success over the past years.


But the way to change that is for the Hawks to win it all. So I'm pulling for them to continue to break the mold. Maybe the NBA will actually transition to real basketball again vs the schoolyard one on one games we currently see.

HopelessinAtlanta
HopelessinAtlanta

@PaulinNH @HopelessinAtlanta Hall of Fame and NBA Stars are not always the same. None of the SA players are hyped in the media the way LBJ and Kobe are. Even Kobe well past his prime still gets more love than any SA player.

atlfanman
atlfanman

@DarrynLee @HopelessinAtlanta  Totally agree. They would not have mentioned the Spurs if Coach Pop had not won his 1000th game, and they have FIVE titles, a first ballot Hall of Famer, with possibly two more to be later voted in. And they are the defending champions.


The Hawks and the fans must not be concerned with how the media covers them. Just keeping and everything will be fine.


GO HAWKS!

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@HopelessinAtlanta 

Are you really trying to say that San Antonio is a "starless team"?   They have 3 players who are going to the HoF - one of them being one of the top 5 players at his position in NBA history

WW5
WW5

keep antic on the bench except when you want to hard foul james

oledawg
oledawg

There aint but one King and he's dead! Fellow by the name of Elvis. Lebron has never carried a team on his back to win anything and will not again this year. He is a decent player and marketing phenom. End of story.

twentysixpointtwo
twentysixpointtwo

@oledawg Agreed.  I don't recall Michael Jordan orchestrating his roster or jumping around on teams with who he can hand pick his teammates.

TruTecher
TruTecher

Good luck, Hawks. You better brace for impact. Here comes King James!


We'll win the first round of the playoffs. Second round . . . not so much.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@warfalcon @DawgNole @TruTecher

UGA has never played in a second-round series--nor has any other college basketball team. We're talking pro basketball here.

Damn you're dumb!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TruTecher

Now there's a bold prediction--given that the ATL Hawks have NEVER won a second-round series.

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

To say the HAWKS are a fluke is akin to Deandre Jordan not dunking the ball in the last secs against Portland last night, it's called BBall IQ

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Here comes the Talent against the team, I like the team chances 103 to 98--Soar Hawks.....

Eugene Jones
Eugene Jones

The Hawks need to win to gain respect.. Its as simple as that. I great record means nothing till there is a title attached to it!!! GO HAWKS!!!


warfalcon
warfalcon

@DawgNole @Dman 

So you're happy with regular-season success and don't care about winning a title

Just like the GA. BULLDOGS and coach M.R..What about those LOW STANDARDS DawgNole ?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@warfalcon @DawgNole @Dman

Did I say that UGA winning a title "doesn't really matter to me," like Dman said about the Hawks? Duh!

I'd be delighted if them Dawgs won a NC, and I'm sure as hell not satisfied that they haven't since '80.

It appears that your reading comprehension standards are even lower than Dman's expectations for the Hawks. And why are you SCREAMING?  

Dman
Dman

Could not disagree more. So your logic is that every team that doesn't win a title failed and is a loser? Wow! That's a real downer way of looking at things. I have really enjoyed watching the Hawks again this year since they are playing so well. If they don't win the title, doesn't really matter to me because I have enjoyed the whole season....

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Dman

So you're happy with regular-season success and don't care about winning a title, which is the goal of ALL teams?!

Those are some pretty low standards you have. Sure as hell wouldn't be bragging about it in a public forum. 

Wilbo
Wilbo

I agree w Blowhard Cowterd that the Hawks are a fluke, but we'll just have to wait and see if you guys' fantasy comes true and the Hawks actually make some noise in the playoffs. I still think a jumpshooting team w no real interior strength will chump quickly in the postseason.


I think this is a must win game for Atlanta, and any loss will be a huge setback and a bad loss will be the death knell.

JeffinRaleigh
JeffinRaleigh

@Wilbo And you've watched how many Hawks games to proclaim that they have no real interior strength?

Jerry916
Jerry916

@Wilbo The Hawks jump shooting since the all star break, and their defense has not been as good as it was during the long winning streak.  Korver has not been the same, and the offense seems to strugle if the shots are not falling.


That scares me as I peer down the road to the playoffs.  I really think that the Hawks can make the NBA Finals this year.  

spbatl
spbatl

@Wilbo Didn't we beat the Cavs by 30 already this year? I bet you were a Heat fan last season.