Game 5: Pregame Notes and Quotes

Monday, April 25, 2011
By Jon Newberry

Here are some interesting notes and quotes for Hawks fans to digest while mentally preparing for Game 5 on Tuesday night:

  • This is the first time the Hawks have held a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series since the opening round of the 1970 NBA Playoffs. Back then there were no conferences and only eight teams made the playoffs, so the opening round was the Western DIVISION semi-finals. The major difference in that series was that the Hawks were the heavy favorites as the top-seed from the Western Division, and they held a 3-0 lead before winning the series in five games.
  • On Sunday, Jamal Crawford became just the third player in the past 20 seasons to score 20 or more points off the bench in four consecutive playoff games. Kevin McHale did it in 1991 and the other player that did it is none other than Hawks’ Player Development Instructor, Nick Van Exel. “Nick the Quick” averaged 30.5 ppg over his hot stretch in the 2003 NBA Playoffs while helping the Mavs to the Western Conference Finals. Neither McHale or Van Exel was able to score 20 in the fifth game.
  • Jamal’s 24.0 ppg in the playoffs is on pace to be the highest average for a reserve in the past 15 years.

Quotes:

  • Al Horford:
    This is the first time we’ve been in this position, being up 3-1. You know, we are a different team. They’re coming out and they’re going to give us all they have, so we have to make sure we come out ready.
  • Coach Drew:
    (On putting the series away earlier rather than later) It’s very important. I think with this team particularly, I’m always talking about this team growing. To me, them positioning themselves as they are right now, to go into Orlando and to finish this thing off… that’s a huge step in our growth process.
    (On  deciding minutes for the guards) It’s really hard. I actually have a dilemma. There did come a point in the game in the second quarter where I wanted to get Joe back in the game, but yet both Kirk and Jamal were playing really well. Actually, just showing you the kind of person that Kirk is, and the pro that he is, he came over to me and he said ‘we gotta get Joe back in there.’ We left Kirk in there another minute and then we got Joe back in. It’s a nice problem to have. I like having that problem.
  • Josh Smith:
    It’ important to get the win. No matter if it’s 7 games… 5 or 6 games. We want to get it done tomorrow, but if not we will have another shot at it at home… we really want to get it done tomorrow.

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