Atlanta Hawks Continue to Defy Their Critics

by May 03, 2011

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.”