Pivotal moment in time. Will this be the true turning point??

Yes, anybody can be beat on any given night. And yes, players have off nights. But the game this past Tuesday in Atlanta against the Chicago Bulls was a little bit different. Twice this year the Hawks have been blown out on their home floor. The Bulls began this game 14-0, and was up as much as 20 going into the third quarter.

Then, something happened. All of a sudden, defense that the team is always capable of started bothering the Bulls. The motion offense was working perfectly. And even tho Joe Johnson (double teamed every time he touched the ball) had a bad night and Josh Smith didn’t play, the team crawled back into the game.

Still, the Hawks have come back from deficits before, only to lose. But this time, they were clutch. Jamal and Al ran a perfect screen and roll. And on the next possession Joe Johnson and Al Horford caused a turnover to take the lead.

Over the season glaring weaknesses at perimeter defense just killed chances of playing consistent ball. Obviously that won’t be a problem anymore, Kirk Hinrich basically stopped Derrick Rose. The other weakness, the lack of focus throughout the entire game. Whether it’s coaching or the players, this is a bad thing. But on this night, despite getting knocked around, they showed that they really could play with anybody and win.

So what does this mean for this year’s playoff’s? First of all, can they make a push for the fourth or even third seed? Can they make it past the second round? Will they be viewed as a serious threat? If they play like they did Tuesday, the answer is yes. They have the talent, a great system. It remains to be seen, but this could be a special year, and all under the radar.

By the way, this was the most exciting Hawk game I’ve seen in 10 years.

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