How Far Can Atlanta Hawks Go In Playoffs

Flying Through Playoffs

By: Buck Blanz news services

Heading into this series against the Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks knew that they were the more talented team.

The young Hawks squad, led by All-Star Trae Young, never seemed to be bothered by the physical antics that the Knicks brought with them to get any competitive advantage over the Hawks. However, it might’ve been the opposite of what the Knicks wanted because it only seemed to make things worse.

In his first ever playoff series, Trae Young averaged 29.2 ppg and 9.8 apg and shot 44.1% from the floor vs. the Knicks. It’s safe to say he put on a show by making play after play for Atlanta.

For the entire series, New York fans were giving the Hawks all they could handle but they responded from a Game-2 loss in New York with three straight wins to close out the series in dominating fashion.

Strangely enough the Hawks played their worst game statistically in Game-5 and still came out with a 103-89 win. Showing evidence of Nate McMillan’s coaching impact bringing the Hawks, who are known to be a defensive nightmare, to leading the playoffs in scoring defense.

To McMillan credit he has turned the Hawks around from a very disappointing season to being just where they had hoped they would be at the start of the season.

What is probably the most exciting part of this team besides going 33-13 since McMillan became the interim Head Coach, is the fact this is not all Trae Young’s doing, everyone is contributing.

The Hawks bench of Huerter, Williams, and Gallonari are all valuable parts to this team’s success while Williams and Gallonari are a part of the few Hawks with playoff experience.

Also, the additions of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela continue to look better and better as this team continues to make its playoff run.

After many years in Houston reaching the Western Conference Finals and being a role player, Capela is finding a home in Atlanta and resembling the Hawks legend Dkembe Mutumbo while doing it.

Capela is currently second in playoff blocks and third in playoff rebounding, continuously proving that he is a difference maker while on the floor.

As for Bogdanovic, he currently has the fifth highest plus/minus of anyone in the playoffs at +78 while giving Atlanta another dependable offensive talent. Bogdanovic’s impact goes further than numbers due to his defensive ability as he showed throughout the first round.

After clinching their spot in the eastern conference semifinals, the Hawks will try and continue to do damage to their opponents but this is no easy feat.

Through the three regular season meetings between these two clubs the Sixers won two of them and when you look at these teams on paper there might be a clear favorite.

However, over the last few months the Hawks have shown they’re nothing to mess with either while both the Hawks and the 76ers have posted a 31-12 record since March 1st.

Even with Philly potentially missing their MVP candidate in Joel Embiid I’m sure most people will write the Hawks off, but after what I just witnessed, I’d say the Hawks will give the 76ers fits.