5 (of 14) ESPN experts pick the Hawks over the Cavs

“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)

“Somebody at ESPN picked against me? They’re fired.” (Frank Gunn/AP photo/The Canadian Press)

One of my favorite parts of any postseason is to see how many of ESPN experts — the Worldwide Leader indeed leads the world in experts — pick the local team. Usually it’s not many, which only feeds into our suspicion that the Bristol gang hates Atlanta.

I don’t think it’s hate. I think it’s more — borrowing the words of Steve Holman, the voice of the Hawks — that Atlanta teams “don’t fit ESPN’s narrative.” (ESPN also leads the world in “narrative.”)

Which is why I was mildly surprised to note that five ESPN basketball contributors are picking the Atlanta Hawks over LeBron’s team. Five of 14, to be exact. That’s 35.7 percent. That’s more than a third. By ESPN/Atlanta standards, that’s a mandate.

Of the five who pick the Hawks, four see them taking the series in seven games. (So do I.) One — Michael Wallace — has them winning in six. Of the nine who predict a Cleveland victory, only two foresee the Cavs winning a Game 7. Five have them winning in six. One — Amin Elhassan — has them winning in five.

If you really want to see unanimity at play, check ESPN’s predictions for the Western Conference finals. All 14 pick Golden State. I guess ESPN hates Houston, too.

Reader Comments 1

86 comments
D1583
D1583

spurs fan here. sorry y'all all lost. i still think atlanta will win the series. love coach bud and the team. go hawks.

Kennyd_va
Kennyd_va

Our Atlanta Team never get the respect from ESPN or any other experts. However the Hawks will prove all experts wrong....

You can jump on the LeBron and CAVs Bandwagon  and I guarantee you will fall off. Hawks in 6....................Let's Go Hawks 

DewayneDixon
DewayneDixon

ESPN "experts" barely talk about the Hawks! PTI and Stephen A Smith doesn't have faith in the Hawks at all. Mr. Smith stated if Kyrie was healthy the Hawks would have no chance in winning! Go Hawks and make them eat some crow;

Cavs Fan
Cavs Fan

ESPN doesnt know there butt from a whole in the ground...  Im a Cavalier fan for life,, and I think they will win (because we do root for our own right?)    But ESPN had Chicago winning  based on depth..   Cleveland's bench totally outplayed Chicago's in games 5 and 6..    Atlanta has our respect..    Best wishes  Hawk Fans..     Cleveland and Atlanta get about as much respect as a fat cheerleader in a bikini contest..

HotDawg
HotDawg

Go Houston. Might as well root for Hawks to get Home Court advantage in Finals, also.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Everybody looks miserable at the ping pong lottery.

Team representatives hardly say anything.

Zero emotion. Even the teams CEO that won the #1 pick hardly cracked a smile. Didn't even look like he knew what was going on.

Totally boring TV.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Indiana came up with the 11th pick in the ping pong lottery.

That would have been Brooklyn's pick, had Indiana got the last playoff spot (on the last day of regular season), instead of Nets.

In turn that would have been the Hawks pick.

So the Hawks only lost 4 spots to number 15 pick from Brooklyn making playoffs.

Thanks for the draft pick, either way, Nets.

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

Take it  Areatha GO HAWKS

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

I just hope we don't have to hear announcer glorify James like they did Wall the whole Washington series. Trying to watch the game but the camera and announcers were focused more on Wall cheerleading and talking about his wardrobe. I don't know where they get some of the announcers from.

Jerry916
Jerry916

I would be interested to know who their picks were before the playoffs started.  How many of the 14 had Atlanta facing Cleveland in the ECF?

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

So, what exactly qualifies one to be considered an "expert?"

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DeaconBlues

Landing a job with espn is all that's required; i.e., not much in the way of "qualifications."

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

And nobody gives a [expletive deleted] what ESPN thinks about ANYTHING.

Gman84
Gman84

ESPN plays the hits. There is no greater "hit" than Lebron. 


ESPN is what it is-mostly an un-watchable caricature of itself. (24/7, dead-horse beating on Favre, Tebow, Manning, Brady, Packers, Red Sox, Yankees, Kobe, Lebron, Bama, SEC)


rockinreel
rockinreel

@Gman84 Boy you nailed that statement, but let's add the cowboys, Ohio St., Lebron, Knicks

Peachs
Peachs

How much gear does Cleveland sell over Atlanta?  Why chase off a paying customer?  

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

@Peachs The only gear they sell is LeBron jerseys. If LeBron's not on the team, Cleveland is selling as much merch as we are.

slydawg
slydawg

@DrGonzo @Peachs Indeed, Atlanta merch is selling more when you exclude Lebron's numbers. Atlanta transcends the city limits. Cleveland does not. I mean no disrespect. Folks might buy Hawks merch just cause of Atlanta or the Pac-Man. Not too many examples of that outside of Cleveland.

atlfanman
atlfanman

Michael Wallace wrote a great article immediately after the Hawks' victory over the Golden State Warriors. The article, entitled, 'Is this train bound for glory?' started with fans leaving the game on train northbound from Five Points. When the train stopped at Doraville, a middle aged black man, seemingly just got off from work boarded the train with about 60% white people, and asked, "Did the Hawks win?"


The answer was shouted from four rows of seats away by a white man with a beard and brown hair.


"We were the best team in the league before tonight's game," he said loudly enough for the entire train car to hear. "And we're definitely the best team in the league after what we did to those Warriors."

Loud cheers and laughter erupted. By the time the train pushed into the North Avenue stop at11:08, the "Let's Go Hawks" chant ripped through the car.


Before the season started there was so much noise regarding the fear of suburban whites coming to the game and how the team should be wary of players with a little African in them. Although, this city is far from perfect, it is still one of the most harmonious places to live. Not only do we have the best team in the league, we have the best people too.


GO HAWKS and shock the world!

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

@atlfanman ..Atlanta is far,far far,far from perfect and racialy divided...but i believe a championship here By the Atlanta falcons or the hawks would do wonders for this city it would bring all folks black,yellow and brown,white together...SO WIN HAWKS

DawgNole
DawgNole

@atlfanman

It's just a shame the team didn't maintain the momentum from that GS victory--when they were literally on top of the league--choosing instead to "rest" starters at the cost of losing homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Jerry916 @DawgNole @atlfanman 

ONLY if they meet Golden State in the finals???!!!

Hello?

Do you think that might be kind of a critical series in which to hold homecourt advantage? I mean, it's only the most important series in all of basketball, after all. Right?

Like I said: Throughout the playoffs!

ComaToes
ComaToes

No No No, that won't work.  They are going to mess around and spoil the reputation of all Atlanta sports teams.  It's already known nationwide as "Loosersville" and things like coming in first and winning titles is frowned upon.  Braves owners and management will not know what to do or say if someone exceeds mediocrity. That is the ultimate goal and is accepted by those in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Just look at all the people still paying hard-earned money to watch a loosing team like the Braves play.  There's nothing like an average or below team moving into brand new "duds" and naive people coming to watch them play.  The Hawks just need to cool it, and not mess things up for everyone else !

oledawg
oledawg

@ComaToes  Perhaps there are some people that just enjoy watching a baseball game?

rockinreel
rockinreel

@ComaToes  I guess it never occurred to you that 29 teams lose the WS every year.  AND those 29 teams sell tickets!  Can you believe that!!!!    Sigh!!!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@rockinreel @ComaToes 

Actually, only TWO teams even play in the WS every year--and ONE of them loses. So it might be a little far-fetched to suggest that 29 teams lose it every year.

Whaddaya think?

GwinnettDad
GwinnettDad

@ComaToes Atlanta is "Loosersville?" Losing has been redefined by Cleveland in ways Atlanta cannot even imagine.

mike69
mike69

WHO CARES WHAT THAT ESPN BUNCH THINKS ANYWAY.

BDK1
BDK1

Atlanta in 7. But even when the hawks win this series, all we will hear about is how far Lebron has brought this Cavalier team in just one season and how bright their future looks. The Hawks and coach Bud will get no credit or Kudos for winning the East. That is a shame.

Peachs
Peachs

@BDK1 Bud and the Hawks plus Ferry are real, so it really doesn't matter except the pub goes to Cleveland and they make lots of money for it selling jerseys. 

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

@BDK1 Yep, the minute the Hawks win the headline will be "See, We Told You the East was Weak"

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

@BDK1  If the Hawks win it all, they will still be playing the same old record, how Atlanta got lucky, Wile Atlanta fan celebrate.

movebob
movebob

Lucky to have made the ECF, not lucky enough to proceed. Cavs in 4

GwinnettDad
GwinnettDad

@movebob Might be the Hawks in 4. After all, Hawks won 3/4 during regular season. Irving not healthy, and Love disabled. More likely the Hawks to sweep. Look for LeBron to score 30 going 10-30, and the Hawks winning comfortably.

huffyman
huffyman

MAKE FREE THROWS!!


DOUBLE LEBRON IN BACKCOURT - MAKE HIM GIVE UP BALL - DO NOT LET HIM DRIBBLE MORE THAN ONCE


MEET LEBRON AT RIM - DO NOT WATCH HIM MOVE AROUND 10 FEET FROM BASKET AND BECOME MEMORIZED - JUST WAIT TO MEET HIM AT RIM

HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BEAT US - other than ourselves

1337S0lja
1337S0lja

@huffyman You dont double too deep though my friend. The high screen will be executed. Let Lebron come up the floor completely before you guard.

DawgNole
DawgNole

I'm hardly a fan of espn's "experts," but it's hard to legitimately blame them for picking against a city whose pro teams have claimed only ONE championship in 162 seasons of competition spanning nearly half a century.

Hopefully this season's Hawks can start ATL on its way to shaking that longstanding "Losersville" label.

ComaToes
ComaToes

@DawgNole  Even if the Hawks win it,  the Falcons and Braves are very capable of upholding that reputation.

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

@DawgNole  One thing I never will accept is being called loserville from bandwagon fans. I bleed Atlanta Sports, and appreciate every athlete that plays for them

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