Heat Bring Hawks Back to Reality
Miami was only playing the first game of this series at home, but it was the second game in a row in which they looked like they were in a different league. After Atlanta made a huge statement in game one the Heat have brought them back to earth with two straight dominating performances from MVP hopefully Dwayne Wade. Once again he shone at both ends of the floor, dominating his counterpart Joe Johnson and leading his team to victory.
For the second game in a row Miami’s defense pressured Atlanta into taking bad shots, and the young Hawks obliged, taking numerous ill-advised shots through double teams or deep on the perimeter. The field goal percentage has reflected this shot choice as Miami shot very well for the second straight game while Atlanta once again struggled. The Heat also once again were over 50% from behind the 3-point arc, as they continue to pick apart the rotating Hawk defense.
So far it has been a tale of two series as one has Atlanta storming out of the gate and dominating the Heat at home while the next has Miami dominating the Hawks in two straight games to take a 2-1 series lead and a stranglehold on the momentum. Each team has looked extremely good and even unstoppable in victory and horrible and pathetic in defeat. While this may turn out to be a decent series yet, it’s hard to argue against Miami winning the next two games in stride and heading to Cleveland.
Atlanta seemed to be loading up the bandwagon all season long as they surprised many by securing home court advantage in the first round in their second straight year in the playoffs. Unfortunately it seems that Miami is not quite yet ready to relinquish the crown as they have absolutely shut down Atlanta for two straight games. The Hawks are reeling and desperately need someone to pull them back together. A task that will be much more difficult of course on the road, a place they have always struggled.
Mike Bibby needs to take control of this team and settle them down. Marvin Williams has to return and provide energy to a team desperate for momentum. Joe Johnson has to shut down Dwayne Wade and shine on the offensive end. The Hawks need to take better, smarter shots as a team and look to run more and score easy baskets off turnovers. Without a change Miami is going to stroll into the second round. They are dominating this series and look unstoppable, thanks in large part to Atlanta’s very poor play.
Can Atlanta make this the series everyone hoped it would be? As much as I would love them to, probably not. After the first game I thought the Hawks could take it in seven, but now I can’t find any reason why Miami shouldn’t finish things in 5. How quickly things can change in the NBA playoffs…