After a very disappointing game three in this series, the Hawks answered the bell for Game Four. And they did it in that particular gut-check time the fourth quarter. Chicago started the final frame with a two point lead, but Atlanta exploded in the fourth, outscoring the Bulls 33-19 and getting out of here with a 100-88 victory. This ties the series at two heading into Game Five, which will be up in Chicago on Tuesday. It also guarantees a Game Six in Philips Arena at the end of the week. And Jeff Teague didn’t have to lead the team in scoring for the Hawks. Three players got more than twenty. Joe lead the way 24, Josh Smith had 23, and Al Horford chipped in twenty. Derrick Rose got his points as well, with 34. Carlos Boozer added 18 and Luol Deng pitched in 13. Rebounding was just about even, but the Hawks shot better in all three categories (field goal percentage, three-point shooting percentage, and foul shooting percentage). That 1 of 6 abomination in the last game turned into a 4 for 11 outing this time around. Not much to write home about, but certainly better than Chicago’s 3 of 16. So besides the obvious place, Chicago, where does the series go from here, and most importantly, can Atlanta win in what is now essentially a best two-out-of-three? I like the fact that they played hard, and found open zones. I also like the fact that they went back to their philosophy against Orlando or let the star do his thing and keep the role players out of it. The strategy worked because the big players inside found room to operate. Atlanta made some threes, forced the defense to spread itself, and then found the lanes in coverage. But what I don’t like, and what I haven’t all year, is that Atlanta got stuck in a game where they needed to perform with their backs against the wall. They played lazily, got smacked around, and had to rise up. It’s this inconsistency that’s plagued them all season, and until they can string together a few games like this, they will not reach the elite status. We will see if it comes together again on Tuesday.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.