Yes he's the league MVP, yes he has a chip on his shoulder for getting to the doorstep of an NBA championship and not making it through; yes he's wearing His Airness' sacred # 23 (it should be retired league-wide, yea I said it), but these Atlanta Hawks should not be deterred when Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers welcome them to the second round of the NBA playoffs tonight for the first time in a decade.
While everyone else was focused on that other first-round series, the Hawks dismantled Dewayne Wade and the Miami Heat in a tit-for-tat seven-game series. Now King James is their date for the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and if we were to guess, the Hawks are not the favorites.
That's OK, says Hawks AJC beat writer Sekou Smith, if it ever was a good time to be the underdog, now's the time:
Not only have the Cavaliers rolled to the best record in the league, boast the NBA Coach of the Year in Mike Brown and the leagues probably MVP in James, theyve also had nine days to rest and load up for the Hawks on their way to what all of the basketball-loving world assumes is a table for two in the NBA Finals with Kobe Bryants Los Angeles Lakers.
I cant think of a better time to be the Hawks.
No one thinks you have a chance. No one is expecting you to be anything more than a speed bump on the Cavs road to the NBA Finals.
Remember kids, it was merely a year ago that this Hawks team took the eventual champion Boston Celtics to a game seven, so who's to say they can't go a bit further this year and upset King James and his men?
(Photo by bittermelon/Flickr)
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