Hawks in Brooklyn knowing they need to think sweep, not split

The Hawks have a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their playoff series against Brooklyn. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

The Hawks have a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their playoff series against Brooklyn. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

NEW YORK — This is rarefied air for the Hawks in the postseason. They are in a position to sweep the Brooklyn Nets in the first-round of the playoffs or at the very least come up away with a split of two games on the road and then close it out back at Philips Arena in game five.

But about that second possibility: Don’t think it.

HERE’S A LINK to the full column on this with quotes on MyAJC.com

“I think we have to realize the importance of the game in their (Nets’) mind,” Kyle Korver said Friday after the team’s practice at the Barclays Center. “It’s easy when you’re up 2-0 to relax just the littlest of bits and feel like as long as we come in and get one we’re going to be in great shape. But you’re playing with fire if you do that.”

The Hawks haven’t dominated the Nets in this No. 1 vs. No. 8 match-up as some anticipated. But playoffs aren’t supposed to be easy and it’s not as if the Hawks have a franchise resume of postseason domination, their 60 wins in the regular season notwithstanding. I’ll have more on that topic in a full column on MyAJC.com.

If the Hawks win game three Saturday (3 p.m.), history is overwhelming on their side. Some numbers:

• No NBA team has ever rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The total series count: 111-0.

• Only three of 110 teams have even forced a game seven, only to lose anyway: The 1951 New York Knickerbockers, the 1994 Denver Nuggets and the 2003 Portland Trailblazers.

• The Hawks have never swept a best-of-seven or best-of-five series. They defeated Houston 2-0 in a best-of-three in the first round in 1979. The St. Louis Hawks won a series 3-0 in 1966 (over Baltimore) and 1967 (over Chicago).

• The last time the Nets were swept in a playoff series was 2004 to Miami in the first round.

Here’s a few scenes from Brooklyn…

Something has been off in Brooklyn all season. You may: Y? (See what I did there?)

outside

Hey look, Joe Johnson is on sale. I thought the trade deadline was over?

Joe

There’s a picture of New Kids On The Block (reunion) on the wall adjacent to the entrance of the visiting locker room at the Barclays Center. Seems appropriate for the Hawks.

newkids

Aaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhh!!!

bieb

Ah, Neil. Much better. Like A Hurricane . . .

neil

Looks like it’s going to be a “Blackout” for in the Barclays Center. (This promotion still causes bad flashbacks in Athens.)

georgia

A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Braves’ starting pitching is coming up short
— AJC: Braves swept by Mets, as Teheran is latest starter to struggle
— AJC: Hawks’ sale positive but does Gearon’s role ensure Ferry’s exit?
— AJC: Poll: Should Falcons pursue Adrian Peterson, Randy Gregory?
— MyAJC: Falcons’ risk-reward scale may tip in new direction
— AJC: Budenholzer wins coaching honor, and it shouldn’t have been close
— AJC: Millsap, Sefolosha, Horford — what’s going on with Hawks?
— MyAJC: Hawks need a better Millsap for long playoff run
— MyAJC: Budenholzer knows what playoff success is all about
— MyAJC: Hawks hoping to leave Atlanta playoff wreckage behind
— AJC: Hawks lose lottery pick but get better playoff match-up: Nets
— MyAJC: Jordan Spieth: Perfect champion, perfect story

 

Reader Comments 0

18 comments
vpdii
vpdii

The Hawks should win this series but I do not think that they will make it past the second round. The Hawks were arguably the best team in the NBA during the first half of the season but the coaching staff elected to tank it in the second half. The Golden State Warriors played hungry for the WHOLE season.The playoffs are here, and while Golden State still looks like the team that they were the WHOLE season long, the Hawks still look like the team that they were during the second half.

RangeRover
RangeRover

This is not the same team we saw in January.  Championship caliber teams don't play against 8th seeds the way this team is playing and has played for the past couple of months.

This series will go to six or seven games and then look to the Hawks getting bounced in the second round by a team playing with more heart and a greater sense of resolve.

When you're the worst team in the NBA in offensive rebounding (they rank dead last--16th--out of the 16 playoffs teams in offensive rebounding) and you're not shooting well you'll keep every opponent in the game.

David McCallum
David McCallum

After watching the Nets basically control this game and had chances to win both games in Atlanta, I am very concerned about the Hawks. If  the Hawks are serious about going deep into the playoffs, they cannot allow the Nets to When I look at Cleveland, the Bulls, and even Washington, those teams are really taking care of business. The Hawks, I'm afraid, are in for a long seven game series with a chance for the Nets to have a chance in the end. This is where not having that dominant scorer may get this team in trouble. 

buick59
buick59

God I hope the Nets come back and win the series....more humiliation for that rotten city. 

GoBigOrGoHome
GoBigOrGoHome

About as bad as it gets.  Other than New Orleans.


This team might not make it out of this round.  But certainly not the next.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Hey, Jeffie Doodle, why is it that you can write a column about a current ongoing NBA playoff series and get 12 comments in a couple days, and Brat Li could write an article about a little girls' marbles tournament and get 150 comments first day?


Doesn't that tell you something?


AJC, doesn't that tell YOU something. Get some writing talent on this paper, would you? Please, please, please, oh..... pretty please! (And do you not have editors read this guy's stuff?)

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Did any one watch what the Spurs did to the Clippers last night? They knocked  them on the floor at the beginning of the game. Then they held their arms and legs and sat on their chest and held them down. And then finally they put their foot on the Clippers neck and then stood on just that one foot choking them and jamming their neck and head into the floor until the game ended. 


Some might call that nothing unnecessary "style points"  - and they are wrong. What that is is a "making a statement." And the statement is "You cannot beat us, and you will not beat us, and if you try to beat us if you ever try to climb back into a game that you are losing badly with us, this will happen to you again." 


It is not only just good for winning the game at hand, but it sets a tone for the next game, the one after that, and for the teams watching who will the Spurs will play in the next round. I am not sure how the Clippers are feeling this morning, but I would bet they are not feeling "confident" about the next game with the Spurs. 


This is what Atlanta needs to do to the Nets. Sure, it is fine to just beat them and even sweep them. It's all over, and on to the next round. But that is not what Atlanta needs. What Atlanta needs is to destroy them. Knock them on the floor at the get go and do what the Spurs did to the Clippers. And it needs to do it two times in a row. 


Why? Because the Hawks need to practice getting them down and keeping down. Why? Because once they get into the next rounds, the Hawks let those teams climb back into the games they are losing badly, it will not go with those teams like it has with the Nets. If they don't grow a killer instinct, and fast, they will not make it to the finals. 

playmeortrademe
playmeortrademe

Don't think the NBA of refs care about protecting the Nets.  Now when the BronBron show comes to Atlanta at the end of May, then our PA guy might as well introduce the refs with the rest of their starters.  DMC and Teague better not breathe heavily on LeBrick and Kyrie.  Hawks will have to shoot their way to winning the ECF, but it can be done.

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

Hawks will be battling the Nets and the refs. in game 3. Let's hope Mike Scott can get going and find his rhythm. The Hawks don't need a close game on the Nets home court.

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

Stay away from the NYPD, Nets are desperate.

braves for life
braves for life

What ever happen- Happy with Hawks coaches and the new management Go Hawks...

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

Who the hell wants to buy a Joe Johnson jersey for $80?

mdet
mdet

@Dirtyb8 I know and it was on sale "now $80". How much was it before?

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@mdet Cost of his jersey is representative of his contract but not his game apparently.

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

We had to beat the official and the Nets on our own floor Stay focused Hawks.



ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

See you drew the short straw again, poor guy.

FalconUGAFan
FalconUGAFan

A sweep sure would be sweet. Nice....you managed to get your low-blow shot at the Dawgs in!