Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Hawks in Brooklyn knowing they need to think sweep, not split


The Hawks have a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their playoff series against Brooklyn. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

NEW YORK -- This is rarefied air for the Hawks in the postseason. They are in a position to sweep the Brooklyn Nets in the first-round of the playoffs or at the very least come up away with a split of two games on the road and then close it out back at Philips Arena in game five.

But about that second possibility: Don't think it.

HERE'S A LINK to the full column on this with quotes on MyAJC.com

"I think we have to realize the importance of the game in their (Nets') mind," Kyle Korver said Friday after the team's practice at the Barclays Center. "It’s easy when you’re up 2-0 to relax just the littlest of bits and feel like as long as we come in and get one we’re going to be in great shape. But you’re playing with fire if you do that."

The Hawks haven't dominated the Nets in this No. 1 vs. No. 8 match-up as some anticipated. But playoffs aren't supposed to be easy and it's not as if the Hawks have a franchise resume of postseason domination, their 60 wins in the regular season notwithstanding. I'll have more on that topic in a full column on MyAJC.com.

If the Hawks win game three Saturday (3 p.m.), history is overwhelming on their side. Some numbers:

• No NBA team has ever rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The total series count: 111-0.

• Only three of 110 teams have even forced a game seven, only to lose anyway: The 1951 New York Knickerbockers, the 1994 Denver Nuggets and the 2003 Portland Trailblazers.

• The Hawks have never swept a best-of-seven or best-of-five series. They defeated Houston 2-0 in a best-of-three in the first round in 1979. The St. Louis Hawks won a series 3-0 in 1966 (over Baltimore) and 1967 (over Chicago).

• The last time the Nets were swept in a playoff series was 2004 to Miami in the first round.

Here's a few scenes from Brooklyn...

Something has been off in Brooklyn all season. You may: Y? (See what I did there?)

outside

Hey look, Joe Johnson is on sale. I thought the trade deadline was over?

Joe

There's a picture of New Kids On The Block (reunion) on the wall adjacent to the entrance of the visiting locker room at the Barclays Center. Seems appropriate for the Hawks.

newkids

Aaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhh!!!

bieb

Ah, Neil. Much better. Like A Hurricane . . .

neil

Looks like it's going to be a "Blackout" for in the Barclays Center. (This promotion still causes bad flashbacks in Athens.)

georgia


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.