Posted: 4:43 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014

Can the Hawks really win this series? Yes 

By Mark Bradley

Game 2 could be the last Pacers home date of the season. (M. Bradley)

Game 2 could be the last Pacers’ home date of the season. (M. Bradley)

INDIANAPOLIS

I was on the record as believing the Atlanta Hawks had a very good chance — as good a chance as a No. 8 seed ever has — before the series began. With it beginning the way it did, I like their chances even more. I think the Indiana Pacers are more apt to collapse than to cohere, but I have, as we know, been wrong.

The Pacers have spent the hours after losing Game 1 sending mixed messages. On the one hand, they don’t believe there’s anything wrong with them. On the other, they might need to try something different. Such cognitive dissonance is, we can assume, preferable to admitting what has become increasingly apparent: That the East’s No. 1 seed has a real problem guarding the 38-44 Hawks.

“We feel really good about this matchup,” Hawks guard Kyle Korver said Monday, speaking after practice at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. But he also cautioned that matchups can cut both ways. So long as the sleeker Hawks are allowed to run free, Indiana is in trouble. But if the bigger Pacers can slow the pace and render subsequent games a halfcourt grind, the Hawks won’t seem so sleek.

It would be easy to dismiss Game 1 as an aberration, except that it wasn’t. As we know, the Pacers had played sub-.500 ball over the regular season’s final six weeks, and they’d been routed here by the Hawks on April 6. Granted, the playoffs are supposed to be a different entity, but how much different can they be? If you can’t guard a team in the regular season, what makes you think you will when it really matters?

Game 2 is essentially the season for the Pacers, who can’t afford another home loss. On desperation alone, you’d have to think they’ll prevail. But the Hawks clearly know how to hurt the Pacers, and it wouldn’t be a major shock if the hurting continued. Which is another way of saying: I really, really like the Hawks’ chances in this series.

From myajc.com, our premium site: Up 1-0, the soaring Hawks must press their advantage.

Also from myajc.com: For Hawks and Pacers, was Game 1 just one game?

Off Game 1: The Hawks win, and the No. 1 seed is in trouble.

From myajc.com: The Hawks handle the Pacers, and this time it’s no shock.

From last week: The Hawks have a real chance against Indiana.

 

20 comments
ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

71 percent say the Hawks will win the play-off.  Great Scott folks, being a fan does not mean such hogwash is all you spew.  Well, it does for y'all.  I was a fan of the Hawks when we were on KMOX and Lou Hudson Sweet Lou was shooting his jump shot in St. Louis.  Then, we bought them and it has been all downhill since.  None of you are accountable to yourselves for your B.S. which contributes mightily to our continuing play-off record in football, baseball, and basketball.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Ha, ha, ha! Like I said, we have to remember we're talking about an Atlanta professional sports team. Looked fabulous Game 1. Losing Game 2 by 25 with 7 minutes left.


I wouldn't be one bit surprised if it were now a 5 game series, though I'm gonna predict Pacers in 6. 


The Hawks had 1 little spurt and that was probably it.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Here beginning in about 17 minutes we will see. 


I'm tempted to say tonight's game is for the series, but I seriously think the Hawks can win tonight and still manage to lose in 7. 

Wilbo
Wilbo

My apologies to Mark Bradley. I have to tell you, buddy, you write such ridiculous monkey dunky glorifying the Braves, I think of you as a total moron, and I don't take any prediction you make seriously. On this one, though, you may be closer than I thought possible, but we all need to remember we are talking about an Atlanta professional sports team. What is the 1 thing you can absolutely count on an Atlanta pro sports team to do? Find a way to lose in the postseaason. Even if the Pacers do their level best to give this series away, the overwhelming probability is that the Hawks will find some way to blow it.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Can the Hawks really win the NBA Championship? 

It's possible but highly unlikely.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Rudy Gay will be perfect fit next year in this system.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Hawks just only one game how many time have we seen this pic.


ATL CALM  DOWN


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PantherWin
PantherWin

This team is only scratching the surface as to what it can accomplish under Budenholzer. Lets not forget they are doing this without Horford.

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

Barkley's well-publicized insults of the Pacers will probably wake them up, at least for this game.  Otherwise, their body language and the defensiveness of their coach after Game 1 had me thinking the Hawks would win Game 2.  Let's see, but the Pacers will probably win this one by 12.

Lon Stotts
Lon Stotts

If the Hawks can pull it out tomorrow night, or even make the Pacers sweat out a close one, hopefully the bandwagon will pick up steam when they get back to Philips.  Lord knows there's plenty of room on there.


And Mark, loved your prodding of Paul George today-- when you're getting mixed messages from the same guy, in jest or otherwise, you know they really have no clue how to fix this mess.

mbray42
mbray42

I must say I am shocked by the poll with 80% confidence they will win the series.  I hope it's right. The Hawks need to win some series to get some enthusiasm back in Atlanta.

gaboy983
gaboy983

Should be noted that the Hawks have held their own against the Pacers the last few years without any collapse by the Pacers.

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

The NBA doesn't reseed after Round 1 or any round. Addy is correct.

ReyB
ReyB

Hey Mark, 


Would the Hawks have to play the Miami Heat in the next round assuming the Heat win and the Hawks win of course? 

liquidvizions
liquidvizions

@devounknown1000 Calming down isn't the answer. You have to ride this wave and go in hyped. Calming down isn't getting you nowhere.

liquidvizions
liquidvizions

@gaboy983 exactly. it's great and everything what we did in game 1 but i expected us to take 1 in indy. we already blew them out of their building prior to this game just a couple weeks ago. so i'm not shocked like some of these so called nba analysts.

Addy
Addy

@ReyB  Hawks would play the winner of Chicago Bulls/Washington Wizards in the next round.