Are the Atlanta Hawks capable of upsetting a team in a seven game series? The Utah Jazz can do it, the Oklahoma City Thunder could, and surely the San Antonio Spurs can, but why is it a team with All Stars and veterans all over the court cannot?
Josh Smith, Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, and Al Horford all find it impossible to be consistent and take the next step as an elite team in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are a team that swept the season series with the fourth seeded Boston Celtics but struggled against sixth seeded Milwaukee Bucks, but why?
That question can be easily answered if you have watched Game 1 or Game 2 of the second round of the playoffs. The effort from the Hawks is missing and in Game 2 Josh Smith displayed an attitude that might have dug his grave after an excellent season on the defensive side of the ball, his actions shown against the Magic in Game 2 were unforgettable.
He was caught several times walking up the court with an attitude that displayed how much he cared that his team was beating the Magic by three points. He put his team in a bind when he was standing on the other end of the court pouting and that let the Magic have a four on five mismatch and left them open to hit an uncontested three-pointer. What was even more puzzling was that he stayed in the game despite this occuring three or four more times.
Another thing is that it seems the Hawks do not know their limitations. For example it would not be in Al Horford's best interest to try to post up Kendrick Perkins or Shaq so he doesn't, but Josh Smith has this mindset that he is Lebron James and tries to dribble through defenders like he is a point guard and as a result got ripped five times in the third quarter alone.
The hawks also tried to get into a shooting match with the Magic last night, which is a battle you will always lose unless you are the Cavs or Lakers. Though the Hawks are undersized, their athleticism helps them dominate the paint, yet for some reason against good teams like the Cavs and Magic they are intimidated and choose to settle for mid to long range jump shot instead of playing in the paint and getting their opposition into foul trouble.
Now their are some holes throughout this whole Atlanta Hawks lineup and coaching staff and that might need to be fixed this off season. That might improve with the addition of Dwyane Wade and a true center. Again, I doubt Josh Smith will be around after the show he has put on in games 1 and 2 of the series.
Honestly, I would approve of shipping him off for a center that would help move Al Horford to a PF position. That should help change the Hawks attitude and how far they go in the playoffs.
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