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Playoff Preview and Game Thread #3: Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat

Atlanta Hawks 08-09 Playoff Game #3



American Airlines Arena
April 25th, 2009, 6:30 PM
TNT, Hawks Radio NetworkNBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Mario Chalmers
Joe Johnson SG Dwyane Wade
Marvin Williams SF James Jones
Josh Smith PF Udonis Haslem
Al Horford C Jermaine O'Neil


Hawks Injury Report: Acie's back is still injured. Still mixed reports on whether he is available to play.

Heat Injury Report: Luther Head is out.

Blogging With the Enemy: Penisula is Mightier

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: Michael Beasley 

Predicted hero of the Hawks existence: Joe Johnson

Game Preview:

I feel like the series is tied 4-4 in a best of 15 series, and then I remember we have only seen two games. All this time in between games and we have analyzed enough for 8 games. So lets just get back to the basics.

First with three questions.

  1. Where is Marvin Williams? He has performed well, efficiently, and shown no outward sign of back problems. So....
  2. Will Flip Murray break out of his slump? With bench scoring swinging so far in favor of the Heat last game, hot Flip needs to show up in a big way. I am talking dirty, hot Flip.
  3. Will the can't miss a shot Heat show up again this series? I lean towards no, but if they do, the demeanor the Hawks have had on the road all season will have to change.

Second, three things to remember.

  1. On any given night, the Hawks can easily have the advantage at four of the five positions. And the one disadvantage is still our best player.
  2. The Hawks have won this year in Miami. 
  3. The Hawks only need one of these two games.

Finally, three keys to the game.

  1. Joe needs to have the kind of game offensively that forces Dwayne Wade to guard him and not rest while shadowing Mo Evans at the three point line.
  2. Horford and Josh dominate the boards and the paint. If Miami hits 93 three again, hats off.
  3. Run the offense. The Hawks seem to play a lot of one on one basketball because they feel they have the advantage. Working the clock and rotating the balls will get you easier shots and draw more fouls.

I am returning to the comments for a joyous look at the NFL draft, to find microscopic reasons to get frustrated with Dwyane Wade, and to rage hell fire over the lack of post opportunities for Al Horford. Join me for all this and more.