The Hawks are riding a three game winning streak and got there by doing what was needed … pounding bad teams. The Hawks beat the Bobcats twice and the Pistons (who they will play once more at home), drilling both teams appropriately. The Hawks scored more than 100 points in each game and ran away with games late. But this week the Hawks run into the Celtics and the Magic and both games are on the road. Two playoff teams in hostile environments and the Hawks need to beat these teams as well.
The Celtics took the season series from the birds last year and won the first game against the Hawks this season, although narrowly escaping a great comeback from Atlanta. The Hawks rallied from 15 down in the fourth quarter only to have Jeff Teague shoot an air-ball on a potential game tying 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. The Hawks need to go into Boston and knock off the C’s this week. The Celtics will be on the second night of a back-to-back when the Hawks come to town and will be flying back after a trip to Miami. The Hawks will have been off for three days and should come out and play fast with fresher legs. We owe these guys!
The Hawks have owned the Magic over the past two seasons and play a style suited to frustrate Orlando’s offensive attack. Refusing to deviate from their winning strategy the Hawks simply repeat the process- allow Dwight Howard to score 200 points, foul Howard with a wave of centers and stop the 3-point shooters from getting open looks. It’s worked and should work again particularly with Hedo Turkoglu out with a smashed face or face fracture, to be more accurate. Atlanta outscored the Magic 25-12 in fast-break points and 38-36 in the paint in the last meeting. Do it again!
The bottom line is this, a three game winning streak is good, taking it up to five and beating two playoff bound teams along the way is better. Let’s do it.
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