The Hawks proved the regular season vs Orlando wasn’t a fluke. now what?

The Hawks came back to the Highlight Factory knowing full well that if they lost game 6, they’d probably lose game 7. Despite all the critics and bad pub because of game 5, they showed up, played all 4 quarters and were rewarded with a hard fought victory and entrance into the 2nd round.

Of course, it’s not getting to the second round that has been the issue lately. The Hawks haven’t appeared in a conference finals since Nique. They meet the number one seed Chicago Bulls. They lost the season series 2-1. Here is why I believe they can beat Chicago.

1. If Kirk is healthy, I believe he can slow down Derrick Rose and make him work. If Indiana could do it, Atlanta can. Plus, Joe will play him and Jeff Teague, who is just as quick as Rose.
2. Boozer can be nullified. The Hawks will probably play the lineup with Al at 5 which means its Smoove playing Boozer. Marvin will be on Deng. This means its Al vs Noah and there is no way Al is going to let Noah outplay him head to head.
3. The Bulls have nobody that can play Joe Johnson. So if Joe can stay consistent, he will make life miserable for them.
4. Nobody is stopping Jamal Crawford. both he and Kirk get to play against a team they both played for, so they have extra incentive to play well.
5. The Atlanta bench will get a chance to play, and I believe they are ready. Marvin, Teague, Damien and Josh Powell and big Z and the “Difference” Jamal Crawford should win that match up.
6. The Bulls should’ve lost the series with Indiana 4-2. No they probably won’t play exactly the same, but if Atlanta takes a page of how Indiana played D, Atlanta should win this series in the end.

As we all have noticed, this has been the most evenly matched 1st round in decades. You can’t say who is going to end up in the Western or Eastern conference finals for sure. All I’m saying, this could be the year we get over the hump. Atlanta is a growing sports city, with winning teams in all three sports. Falcons went 13-3 last year, Braves made the playoffs. This could be that year, (that i’ve been predicting for like 10 years) that all three Atlanta teams can make a championship run.

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