--Mike Woodson said he plans to use the days leading up to the start of the series wisely, namely reminding his team that they've worked hard to earn home court advantage.But he also said he would make sure to point out that they've been here before, last year against the Celtics, and need to adjust their minds, bodies and spirits to rise up to the playoff challenge.
"As far as I'm concerned, from a coaching standpoint, we're in what I call Phase 3 right now and that's the playoffs," Woodson said. "And it's not about just being in the first round and being satisfied with that. It's about trying to win a title now and nothing else.
"Everybody else can talk about the first round and stuff like that. But I want to win it all because you never know when you might be in this position again."
--For a team that scrambled its way into the playoffs a year ago, rest in the final days of the season was not an option. With their fast start and steady grind to the finish, the Hawks earned a little breathing room this time around. Still, they were cautious not to let up too much at the end.
"We still went out there with hard hats on," said Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson. "For however long we were out there, we had to treat it like we do every game. It's serious business."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The Boston series last year was the beginning for us, not the end. We're still in the opening stages of what we're trying to do. We're not done yet." -- F Josh Smith, on what the fans can expect from the Hawks this year in the postseason.