Time for a Run?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks have seven games left until the All-Star Break:
Wed. vs. Raptors (Record: 13-36, Streak: Lost 12)
Fri. vs. Clippers (19-28, Won 2)
Sat. @ Wizards (13-34, Lost 5)
Feb. 8 vs. Sixers (21-26, Won 1)
Feb. 12 vs. Bobcats (20-27, Lost 2)
Feb. 14 @ Pistons (17-31, Lost 3)
Feb. 16 @ Knicks (25-22, Won 2)

If there was ever a time when you could say that this Hawks team SHOULD win six (or even seven) straight, this is probably it.

At the same time, these are the types of opponents that are hungry for any win they can get, and they can sneak up on you if you don’t give them the proper respect and focus. If Coach Drew has his way, then no team will ever be overlooked.

LD was adamant about not looking past the Raptors today after practice. “As I tell the guys, and I know I sound like a broken record when I say it, we have to respect all opponents.”

The rest of the players followed suit, each one rattling off some version of the “take it one game at a time” cliche.

  • Joe Johnson – “Really your record doesn’t even matter. We are all professionals and we understand that you can get beat any given night regardless of who you are playing. We respect every opponent that we play and we approach it that way.”
  • Jamal Crawford – “The thing about the NBA is that anybody can beat anybody on any given night. It took us Mike Bibby hitting a huge shot for us to get a win down there.”
  • Al Horford – “The first time we went in there really took care of our business. The last game we were up and they made a run at us, and we were able to pull it off. I think that transition defense is going to be big, they like to get out and run and play.”
  • Josh Smith – “They got some guys that can put the ball in the hole. We definitely have to come out playing aggressive… keep the foot on the gas.”

As far as how a substantial winning streak could effect the Hawks position in the standings, there seemed to be a range of opinion about who would, or should, take notice.

“I’ve been looking at that,” said Joe earlier today. “Where we could be seeded. Who we would be seeded up against. Granted, we have 30 some odd game left, but we still look at that up to this point and I continue to look at it every day.”

On the flip side, LD leaves the standings and team records for the fans and bloggers. “I don’t really pay much attention to that. I’m just being honest. I don’t look at the standings, I don’t look at the records. I do know teams that have been playing well and where teams are, but… I won’t look at the wins and losses. I don’t know if I’m superstitious or what, but I’ve just never done that. I look at our games, look at our weeks coming up.”

Hopefully he looks at the two weeks between now and the All-Star Break and he sees a chance to go on a little run.