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Hawks turn to ‘D’ to take series from Bucks

ATLANTA, GA. – As hard as it was to imagine after the Atlanta Hawks had the meltdown of the decade and blew a sure NBA photo fileswin in Game 5, losing that game may be a blessing in disguise.

Adjustments had to be made after that debacle and the Hawks were forced to come out and play defense to win the next two games against the Milwaukee Bucks, one on the road, to take the best-of-seven series 4 games to 3.

With their backs to the wall after the Game 5 loss, the Hawks clamped down defensively and held the Bucks to a franchise low 69 points for an 83-69 win in Game 6 and came out playing defense again on Sunday, coasting to 95-74 win at the Highlight Factory.

With the win, the Hawks move on to face No. 2 seed Orlando and should take that defensive mindset with them when they face the Magic on Tuesday.

Playing in the first NBA playoffs of his career, NBA sixth man award winner Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 22 points on Sunday, just two days after he netted a game-high 24 on the road in Milwaukee in Game 6.

Crawford has spent his career on struggling teams and is enjoying the atmosphere of the playoffs.

“It’s just so much fun,” said Crawford. “It’s like walking on air.”

Crawford nailed 8 out of 16 shots, including two outside the arch while Al Horford added 16 points and 15 rebounds. The Hawks simply outplayed the Bucks, maintaining a double digit lead throughout much of the game while dominating the boards on both ends of the court.

Of the other starters, Mike Bibby scored 15 points, Josh Smith added 15 and Joe Johnson continued to struggle from the field hitting just 4-of-14 for 8 points.

“We let [the fans] down in Game 5,” Josh Smith said. “We enjoyed every minute of this.”

More NBA: LeBron Wins Second Consecutive MVP

 Hawks Implode on Home Court and Lose Game 5 to Bucks

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

Posted in NBAComments (1)

Hawks implode on home court, lose to the Bucks

ATLANTA, GA. – Milwaukee Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings soared into Philips Arena, scoring 12 straight points in mike woodson hawksthe first six minutes of the game Wednesday night to let the Atlanta Hawks know his team wasn’t rolling over in Game 5 of their NBA Playoffs series.

The Hawks responded, pulling away several times throughout the game and seemed to have the deal sealed after Josh Smith sunk a long jumper with 4:10 remaining giving his team a 82-73 lead.

But here’s where the old cliché kicks in: “It’s never over ‘til it’s over”.

With the Hawks thinking about hitting the showers, the underdog Bucks had other plans and stunned the home team with a 18-5 run, storming off the court with a 91-87 come-from-behind win and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

That final run included a 14-0 spurt where the Hawks missed seven in a row from all areas of the court, imploding in front of their shocked hometown fans.

Jamal Crawford who received the NBA Sixth Player Award just prior to opening tip, was everything but, hitting just 4 of 18 from the field.

“This is incredible. We had the game won. It just slipped away from us,” Crawford said.

With this struggle and potential elimination ahead for the Hawks, coach Mike Woodson may want to get a fresh resume ready to shop around before the season ends.

Over his tenure, his team has shown several runs of unmotivated play and with his contract due again, he has good reason to be nervous.

Another face that may be packing his bags is All-Star Joe Johnson who becomes a free agent this summer. Sometimes criticized for his lack of consistency, Johnson again showed that side of his game during this crucial game, hitting just 6 of 16 from the floor for 13 points.

“It’s a terrible loss, embarrassing. It’s the same thing, effort, toughness, that’s killing us. Everybody here should check themselves in the mirror,” said Johnson.

Yes, effort and toughness but you forgot lack of motivation. Three important qualities that have been engrained into players at playoff time by passionate successful NBA coaches like Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.

Unless the Hawks find a way to win in Milwaukee on Friday then back at home in Game 7 on Sunday in Atlanta, Mike Woodson may be involved in his final playoff series behind the bench in Atlanta.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

Posted in NBAComments (2)

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