So much for the Hawks’ smooth glide to the playoffs, huh?

Pero Antic (left) and Thabo Sefolosha (right) leave a New York City courtroom. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Pero Antic (left) and Thabo Sefolosha (right) leave a New York City courtroom. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Pero Antic (left) and Thabo Sefolosha (right) leave a New York City courtroom. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Pero Antic (second left) and Thabo Sefolosha (right) leave a New York City courtroom. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

This downshift to the postseason isn’t going well. The Atlanta Hawks have seen two starters injured (Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver), two subs hurt their feet (Mike Scott, Dennis Schroder) and two other subs (Thabo Sefolosha, Pero Antic) arrested in NYC.

Note: The arrest was at 4 a.m. Wednesday after the Hawks had played Tuesday at Philips Arena and were scheduled to play Wednesday in Brooklyn. I know New York is the city that never sleeps, but …

Through February, the Hawks had been the team with few distractions. (If you don’t count the part about the franchise being sold, or the part about the general manager on indefinite leave.) They’ve since become the team making the sort of ruckus no No. 1 seed wants.

Positioning-wise, they’ve done what they needed to do: They won’t play Cleveland until the Eastern Conference finals, and they might well miss Chicago in Round 2. Round 1 should be easy: They’ll face the Nets, the Celtics, the Pacers or the Heat — a foursome that has managed to beat the Hawks a grand total of once this season.

Still, they’ve lost 10th man Sefolosha — his leg was broken while being arrested, which would seem the definition of adding injury to insult — for the duration. Antic is the first big man off the bench. The second unit, which had become a smooth-running entity, is in flux. Scott and Schroder have just returned, and now Sefolosha is gone again. And this is to say nothing of Millsap, on whom so much depends.

The Hawks are still really good — they just won consecutive home games by an aggregate 59 points — but the cold truth is that they haven’t been quite as good as they were a while back. Then again, they didn’t need to be great in March and April. They’d already done the heavy lifting.

Until the playoffs actually commence, it’s impossible to know if this turbulence means anything. Good teams don’t become bad because they lose their 10th man. (As we know, benches shorten in postseason.) But I’m pretty sure a 4 a.m. arrest between back-to-back games wasn’t what Mike Budenholzer had in mind when he set out to rest guys.

Reader Comments 0

20 comments
KirkWilson
KirkWilson

Need Shroeder and Scott to be ready! Keep resting PM for awhile longer. Seph has played last game as Hawk

Floppy
Floppy

It's just basketball, who cares?

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Bradley come on man, I am a fan but please dont do the sky is falling thing! You better than that!

Big Wally
Big Wally

Pero and Thabo...........two, wild and a crazy guys.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Basketball, with all the practices and games, was really getting in the way of Thabo's party time anyway.

Wilbo
Wilbo

I don't remember who got arrested the night before the Super Bowl. I do remember Otis Nixon getting busted for cocaine. This is just Atlanta sports nobody has the guts to hang in there and act like a winner when it's time to be a winner and this is j ust so typical.

Thank you for the column Mr. Bradley. Late is better than never. Actually a halfway decent and the written column. For you, anyway.

DawgVoiceofReason
DawgVoiceofReason

@Wilbo Let me refresh your memory on the Super Bowl arrestee.  It was none other than Eugene Robinson, the so-called "man of the year" in the NFL.  May his name go down in infamy as the player who sank the Falcon's hopes in 1999.  ESPN did a story on how brutal Boston fans were to Buckley for making a simple mistake in the World Series.  Falcons fans should treat Eugene 10 times worse for his unbelievable stupidity!!! 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@Wilbo Eugene Robinson, who if memory serves won some award earlier in the day to make it worse.  Also, there are stories that 'allegedley' Mike Rozier showed up all coked up before the Falcons/Redskins playoff game in the early '90s. At the time, they just said he had the flu or was injured.

atlfanman
atlfanman

The Hawks' strength has always been their depth and losing Thabo hurts because of his defensive skills at the small forward and shooting guard positions. Hopefully, Austin Daye can step up and give valuable minutes going forward. Need to know if the Hawks now have the option of filling that roster spot.


To be this close with players coming back from injuries and getting into the grove, getting ready for the playoffs and to have something this stupid to happen, its unbelievable. Fans should know it was not going to be easy with Thabo, even in the first round, without him it has just turned up another level.


Still, with that said, this is a resilient team with a very smart coach. Just like the odds before Thabo's injury.


GO HAWKS and destroy the doubters!

FrankieB
FrankieB

Thabo has not been the "10th man" this season. If everything were perfect and going according to plan, he would average the third most minutes of the bench players behind Schroeder and Scott and before Pero and Bazemore, as evidenced by the beginning of the season when everyone was healthy.


We lost our 8th man.

KirkWilson
KirkWilson

Bazemore much more important that the Swiss miss

REGAN1966
REGAN1966

Welcome to ATLANTA where players get STUPID when it comes time to ACT like CHAMPIONS. 

Katzenjammer
Katzenjammer

Ridiculous. Losing a key reserve player due to an arrest. Why do people make such poor decisions?


Guess we have to hope this team is like the controversial Oakland As or Billy Martin's Yankees and that they can still find a way to climb the mountain..



SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

We can't focus on all the negative, we need to support the players that are still working their butt off and doing what they suppose to do to win a Championship. These were grown men making decisions a teenager would make. Hope a lesson is learned through all this. Go Hawks.

JD Osterman
JD Osterman

The Hawks need Red Foreman as director of player social activities.

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

Schroder has indeed returned. Sorry.

1337S0lja
1337S0lja

Guess Bradley didnt know that Schroder was already back. "It’s unclear how effective Schroder will be when he returns, to say nothing of Millsap." Hmm...How much Hawks ball do you watch?

DarrynLee
DarrynLee

Bud told the team to get a rest. Antic and Sefo thought he said get arrested.