Apr 3, 2010, 2:13 PM EDT
It was all going so well. The Hawks had swept the Celtics in convincing fashion this year, beating them just about every way you can (at home, on the road, in box, with Jamal Crawford being a pox). They had managed to deliver a late season win over Orlando, at least providing some measure of confidence that they can beat the Magic, despite losing the season series 1-3. The Hawks aren’t looking to be the favorite this postseason, that’s unrealistic. But a win over the Cavs in Cleveland, getting the Hawks the last laugh against the Eastern favorites before the playoffs start, would give them confidence heading into the postseason.
And they were up two with 6:28 to play in the fourth! It was within reach
Then LeBron James happened. James was simply dominant, Mo Williams and Z chipped in, and then all of a sudden that’s a 13-0 run, and a series sweep for the Cavs.
But we know about the Cavs. What about the Hawks? We can throw out the usal prefaces about “the playoffs are a different animal” and “the regular season doesn’t matter” but matchups are matchups. And from the looks of it,the Hawks may have found their concrete ceiling. Better than Boston, almost able to beat Orlando, outmatched by the Cavs.
So, essentially, the 3 seed. Appropriate.
The Hawks’ athleticism is neutralized by the length and ability of the Orlando perimeter and wings, and the Hawks’ offense is marginalized by the Cavs’ experience on defense. Barring a marked improvement in the playoffs, the Hawks may settled into where they should be. Which isn’t bad at all, it’s remarkable considering the mess this team was in five years ago, and the future is bright.
But this year, not quite good enough.
- Report: Dwight Howard told Lakers GM he was frustrated with D’Antoni 3
- Durant, Thunder players tweet out support for Oklahoma City 6
- Brothers allege entourage of Damian Lillard beat them for taking his picture 17
- Amar’e Stoudemire still thinks Knicks’ front court trio can work 17
- Report: Dwight Howard not going to Clippers… did we need a report for that? 18
- Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets (119)
- Knicks predictably drop Game 4 to Pacers, fall behind 3-1 (93)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (87)
- Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass” (73)
- Bradley Beal said he’d lose respect for a teammate who acted like Derrick Rose (67)
- Wings stun Hawks again, take 2-1 series lead
- Posnanski: Once the best, Pujols now irrelevant
- Sports world keeps eye on Oklahoma tornado
- PBT: Vogel downplays war of words with LeBron
- HBT: Camera catches Marlins' Sanabia with spitball
- PBT: Howard reportedly frustrated with D'Antoni
- PBT: Durant, Thunder send support to tornado victims
- Play Video: Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
- Play Video: Durant won't 'compromise himself' like other stars
- Play Video: Knicks avoid elimination
- Play Video: Heat finish off Bulls, James 'has no energy left'
- Play Video: Health woes make Heat vulnerable
- Play Video: Good news for Sacramento, Kings stay