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Atlanta Hawks head home… is that an advantage?

Apr 22, 2011, 3:04 PM EST

Josh Smith AP

Atlanta is just an apathetic sports town. Always has been.

I’m not going to try to explain it — Atlanta native Kevin Arnovitz laid it out better than I ever could hope to, and he doesn’t have all the answers — but I am here to pass along this tidbit:

The Atlanta Hawks return home for a huge Game 3 of a tied series with Orlando, and they would like some passion from their fans. And told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they don’t really know what to expect (via Slam).

“Sometimes it feels more like a road game,” coach Larry Drew admitted Thursday. “Maybe our guys don’t respond to those things very well.”

“At home at times [this season] it didn’t feel like we had that confidence of the crowd, but I feel like our crowd feeds off what we do,” Al Horford said. “So if we have some highlight plays and really get it going, the crowd buys into that. Or we play hard. That’s all the fans ask for. It’s really disappointing at times we don’t do that as a team.”

If they hustle, if the get out and run a little, if they have a chance to take a 2-1 lead over the Orlando Magic when there are 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the fans will be plenty loud. But the Hawks have been blown out more than once this season on their home court due to a flat effort. That’s not on the fans. But it adds to their apathy.

This isn’t New York or Boston, they Hawks will have to drag their fans along with them. But those fans will jump on the bandwagon.

The Hawks just need to go out and give them a reason to.

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