Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  10 responses

Atlanta Hawks Continue to Defy Their Critics

Josh Smith and his teammates keep hearing from so-called experts that they don’t have a chance, and yet, they keep winning. Something’s not adding up, which is perfectly fine by the Atlanta Hawks. The AJC reports: “That switch the Hawks flipped to start the postseason is still on, shocking opponents and critics each step of the way. The Hawks stormed the United Center and stunned the Bulls with a 103-95 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday. Atlanta, the fifth seed, took home-court advantage away from the top-seeded and heavily-favored Bulls. In each of the past two postseasons were swept 4-0 in the second round by large margins. They vowed it would be different this time and immediately proved it by beating the Bulls. Even after they vanquished fourth-seeded Orlando in the first round, the Hawks felt critics focused more on their foibles then their triumphs. The doubts only increased when point guard Kirk Hinrich went down with a hamstring injury. ‘They can keep questioning our team while we keep moving forward,’ Hawks forward Josh Smith said. ‘You can tell by the way we are playing we don’t care what the critics say. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of pride and talent in this locker room and we are not going to back down.’ The Hawks rode spirited defense, determined rebounding and the shot making of guards Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford to end a 15-game losing streak in the second round.”

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  • http://kobebeefnba.com LDR4

    During the regular season, Rose only shot 14% when Teague was guarding him. Last night Rose shot 41% but only 33% from midrange and behind the arc. Stopping Rose’s penetration will be key for the Hawks but they seem to have limited him elsewhere on the floor…for one game at least. Teague must be using Paul George’s bend don’t break style of defense.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    JT guarded Drose pretty good in my eyes.

  • AD

    the hawks have the players to shut down their whole squad except DROSE……. PLUS DROSE DONT PASS ENOUGH ANYWAY SO WHY COUNT DA HWAKS OUT

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    The Hawks didn’t “shut down” anyone. The Bulls missed easy shots, didn’t get offensive boards as much as they usually do, and played subpar defense.
    That being said, offensively the Hawks were on fire, especially Johnson and Crawford.
    Smith needs to stop taking those perimeter shots though.

  • Landry_Legend

    Hawks vs. Heat = Eastern Conference Finals

  • bull22

    the pressure to win increases with each round a team advances.. the hawks are sick and tired of losing in second round, so the bulls have to match their intensity and play harder,, i highly doubt the bulls are going to lie down after this wakeup call… its a seven game series..

  • MikeC.

    Hopefully Rose’s ankle is OK. It would be a shame to have an injury blemish the playoffs this year.

  • AD

    @Enigmatic i didnt say they did… the just have the capability..

  • Riggs

    collins…actually…set the tone?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Nobody gets shut down in the NBA. But the Hawks are capable of making Rose work harder than ever for his points and making every Bulls supporting cast player have to take contested jumpers. What they probably are not capable of is playing offense consistently as efficiently as they did in Game 1. The Magic series started the same way, with the Hawks winning Game 1 where their offense clicked. After that their offense didn’t click for the rest of the series but they won with defense and rebounding. The same thing is possible in this series.