Atlanta Hawks make it to the playoffs playing as a team

By Maria Saporta

Just in case y’all haven’t noticed, the Atlanta Hawks have a really strong basketball team this year.

And the first playoff game of the season showed just how strong the Atlanta Hawks really are. At the Saturday evening playoff game, the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks —102 to 92. In fact, the Hawks led the entire game.

Now I don’t claim to be a sports writer, but I’ve been a longtime fan of the Atlanta Hawks going back at least 30 years.

The beauty of this year’s Atlanta Hawks is the depth of talent and the ability for the players to play as a team. There is no one player that dominates, demanding all the attention.

There’s Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Al Horford, Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford, Josh Smith, Mario West, Zaza Pachulia among others who apparently are willing to set aside their own egos for the good of the team.

So the Hawks now had their best season record since the 1996/1997 season. The Atlanta Hawks won 53 games and lost 29 during the 2009/2010 season.

My daughter and I were able to go to the last game of the season last Wednesday (we won); and my son and I went to the first playoff game on Saturday. We had a blast at both games, and once again, I realized how much I enjoy going to basketball games.

What made it even more enjoyable was the upbeat mood among spectators. The Atlanta Hawks are generating enthusiastic support from their fans, even if the city hasn’t yet caught playoff fever.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is one of those fans.

“I believe we are going to the second round this year,” Reed said of the Hawks playoff prospects. “They are gelling as a team.”

The second playoff game will be Tuesday evening at home, and then the Hawks have to face the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Let’s wish them well.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

1 reply
  1. ACC 12 Booster says:

    “What made it even more enjoyable was the upbeat mood among spectators. The Atlanta Hawks are generating enthusiastic support from their fans, even if the city hasn’t yet caught playoff fever.”

    Kinda hard for playoff fever to consistently catch on in a city where more than two out of every three residents are transplants who were born and raised elsewhere. As a team and organization presence-wise, the Hawks really are a growing fish in a really big still-growing pond in Atlanta.

    With that said, the Hawks have done a helluva job in almost painstakingly turning around a team and an organization that was the laughing stock of the league just five short years ago (’04-’05). Cheers to the Hawks for patiently staying on the path of improvement, especially with the ownership and management issues they were having at the time that they started building the current team, which is quite a remarkable accomplishment considering where they were this time five years ago trying to lay a foundation with players that had almost both virtually and literally came right out of high school.

    “Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is one of those fans.”

    ““I believe we are going to the second round this year,” Reed said of the Hawks playoff prospects. “They are gelling as a team.””

    “The second playoff game will be Tuesday evening at home, and then the Hawks have to face the Bucks in Milwaukee.”

    With the absence of the Milwaukee Bucks’ starting center, Andrew Bogut, who is injured and out for the playoffs, I actually like the Hawks’ chances of getting a four-game sweep if they can be consistent enough in the series and keep rookie guard Brandon Jennings under some kind of decent-enough containment where he doesn’t go off for 60 (Jennings went for 34 in Game 1 and went for 55 in a game earlier this season). If the Hawks can actually complete a sweep against an overmatched and undermanned opponent in the short-handed Bucks, they could pick up some much-needed rest in advanced of a most-likely second-round matchup against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic in the Conference Semifinals. That much-needed rest could go a long way in determining whether the Hawks could go toe-to-toe with a big Orlando frontline and be competitive in the series with a chance to advance to the third-round Eastern Conference Finals or go out in a short series like last year.

    With the absence of starting center Bogut, the Bucks just don’t look at this point to have what it takes to have a legitimate shot at winning the series or even being a “tough-out”, though the impact of rising first-year star Brandon Jennings should by no means be discounted. Milwaukee might be able to get one at the most, but I think that the Hawks just have too much firepower for the undermanned Bucks so I’m gonna go ahead and say that I like the Hawks chances of a sweep. Prediction: Hawks sweep Bucks 4 games to 0 and advance to a second-round meeting with the 2010 Southeast Division and defending Conference Champion Orlando Magic.

    GO HAWKS!!!!!!Report

    Reply

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