They call these types of games ball game, ummm, ball games. That is right ball game ball games. A win by the Hawks and this series is ball game, and a win by the Bucks, and it is a ball game again. See what I just did there.
It is tough to see a Scott Skiles team getting swept, and with the normal oddity that role players play much better at home, and the Hawks are not particular good on the road, it does not seem out of the question that Milwaukee takes one out of two at home. After all, their team is almost entirely role players. I just hope it is the second game.
That being said, the Hawks do not need this game, and that is what scares me. You "oh well" one playoff game and all of a sudden you are in a game seven win or go home situation. There is no reason for that. Even if the Bucks hit a few of those open shots they missed in the first two games, the Hawks have such staggering offensive advantages they should still win. The only problem is the road can just do funny things to you. In the first two games, the Hawks with stood runs without ever losing control of the game. On the road, those runs are more than threats to the betting line, they are changes in momentum, and the switch to turn things back on becomes harder to find as you feel a little frantic.
One bright spot for the Hawks is our role players have sucked something awful this series. Maybe the road will provide just the reverse psychology they need to get things going. If Mo Evans, Jamal Crawford, and Zaza Pachulia can give average minutes, the front court dominance should continue in some form or fashion for the Hawks to win their third in a row. I have no doubt Skiles will throw something new at the Josh and Al, but I can't help but think it will be at the expense of guarding Joe Johnson or Jamal Crawford. So that is fine by me.
In the end, effort, patience, and commitment to the mismatches should provide an opportunity for a sweep. That is all Mike Woodson needs to preach. Really, the coach can't adjust to what he does not know, and going in, there is little reason to adjust what works. His challenge will be to see Skiles' moves and change accordingly so the Hawks feel comfortable being patience and mismatches are being exploited in new ways.
And while I fully understand moderate let downs (see Lakers and Cavs), I more fully encourage momentum. Nothing bad comes from sweeping a team. Nothing good comes from an opponent winning. I already know the Hawks weaknesses thank you very much. One thing I do not know is how that sharp that killer instinct is. It would be refreshing to find out the answer to that question is scary, borderline illegal tonight.