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Posted By John Morgo On Mar 22 2011 @ 9:16 pm In Atlanta Hawks | No Comments

I know I’m technically supposed to wait until the game is over before filing, but what I’m watching on TNT is just nasty. The Hawks are down by 20, 59-39 in the closing stages of the first half. Now, a few weeks, the Hawks stromed from behind to win a close game against the Bulls (I believe it was at the start of this six game home stand), but now they dug themselves a deeper hole. To be fair, Chicago has lit up the nets. They’re shooting an unbelievable 74% from the floor, and Atlanta’s doing quite well on their own, at a 51% clip. No way will Chicago keep up that pace, but Atlanta will experience a fall-off rate as well, and then anything gos. Either way, this stretch with 10 out of 11 at home will more than likely result in a 4-7 mark, and a 40-31 overall record.
After quick subtraction, there is only 11 games left in the season. Atlanta started the day four back of Orlando for that fourth spot, meaning an Magic-Hawk first round series, (which I foresaw at the All-Star break) will happen, with Atlanta on the road. Considering that Atlanta saves its’ real stinkers for the home crowd, being the road team isn’t the worst. As beat writer for the Hawks for the AJC, Michael Cunningham contends in this story, http://blogs.ajc.com/hawks/2011/03/22/bulls-at-atlanta-hawks-is-it-really-about-the-intangibles/?cxntfid=blogs_hawks, he doesn’t think leadership is the problem. THe shots aren’t falling, and when that happens, you press, you make defensive lapses, and you get out of your rhythm. (Hawks down by almost 30 at the break, but I doubt the crowd will thin out. They want to see the Bulls anyway.) Whatever the reason, Atlanta needs to figure it out fast, as issues about this team that I’ve noticed all season haven’t gone away. They play well against teams they should beat, and more than often not, do poorly against the elite. We’ll see if Larry Drew can get it fixed. Atlanta goes to Philly tomorrow before playing a back-to-back with the Nets and Cavs. Philly may be hard, but it’s in Pennsylvania, so my theory will get put to the test. This might be the last breather before the stretch run.

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