The Atlanta Hawks are finally getting their time in the sun. They are one series away from making their first NBA Finals appearance since 1958, back when they were in St. Louis.
All that stands in their way are the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by their All-Star and former MVP LeBron James.
The Hawks and Cavaliers are the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the Eastern Conference, respectively. It makes sense for these two teams to fight for supremacy. There’s just one problem. The Hawks are not the talk of the town in the NBA.
Let’s look at the storylines for the postseason. The Hawks have taken a back seat because this is a player-driven sport. The player gets more press than the teams/franchises.
If you look at the remaining teams, the Hawks don’t have that. The Cavaliers have James and Kyrie Irving. They also could have had Kevin Love if he didn’t go down in the first round.
The Western Conference is no different from this stigma. The Golden State Warriors rely on their splash brothers: Klay Thompson and current MVP Stephen Curry. The Houston Rockets have MVP runner-up James Harden and Dwight Howard as their attractions.
So, where’s the love for Atlanta? Do they not have anyone able to step up to the NBA’s top dogs? Actually, they do. We just haven’t heard of them yet.
The common basketball fan do not know who Kyle Korver, AL Horford or Jeff Teague are. That’s a shame.
Korver is the veteran shooter who can hit three-pointers from downtown at a moment’s notice. Horford is their dominant presence in the middle. At power forward/center, he can give the Cavaliers problems in their upcoming series. Teague’s their point guard general on the court.
This wouldn’t have been accomplished without their head coach Mike Budenholzer. He helped shape this team into the force it is today.
Whether they can get past Cleveland remains to be seen. Yet, they’ve surprised plenty before.
They got past the Washington Wizards in six games, nearly by the skin of their teeth. They’ll need more to advance to the Finals.
The Cavs stopped the Bulls in six, despite not having everyone healthy. Their bench stepped up where it needed to most.
That’s what the Hawks need from their team. They need their collaborative effort to beat the Cavs. Too much is on the line for Atlanta, and they might not get their shot again with this group of talent.
It takes teams to win games. The Atlanta Hawks are the definition of that, with no man soaring above them from within. Now, they need to own up to that.
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