--Whether they win or lose this first-round playoff series, the Hawks will likely have to do it without starting small forward Marvin Williams.He missed his third straight game Wednesday night at Philips Arena, and both he and Hawks coach Mike Woodson acknowledged that his sprained right wrist will "probably" cost him the remainder of the series.
Woodson said the fact that Williams can't use his right hand on either end of the floor prevents them from being able to use him in any capacity.
When asked if he thought Williams would see the floor before the end of the series, Woodson was glib. "Probably not," he said. "We have to concentrate on getting him healthy for whatever lies ahead."
Williams tried to work with his right hand Tuesday and airballed three free throws. He was on the floor in practice gear for Wednesday morning's shootaround but worked exclusively with his left hand.
"For me, if I can't be effective, I almost feel like I'd be doing more damage than good trying to play," Williams said. "I can barely dribble right now."
With veteran Mo Evans entrenched in the lineup in his place, Woodson said the Hawks would try to finish the series without Williams.
"He still can't shoot," Woodson said. "We're going to wait on him. And we have managed without him, which is a testament to his teammates. I've always said, when our backs are against the wall, somebody seems to step up out of nowhere and good things happen for our ballclub to help us win.
"And these guys are hungry, man. We earned the right to get to this point, and our guys are going to fight to the finish, no matter who is in uniform."
--One of these two teams, either the Hawks or the Heat, and perhaps both, will play Sunday.
If a Game 7 is necessary, it will be played Sunday. But if the series is wrapped up after Friday's Game 6 in Miami, the winner moves on to play in Cleveland on Sunday in the same 1 p.m. EDT time slot.
Evans played with Orlando last season and doesn't have fond memories about the quick turnaround from the end of the first round to the start of the second.
"You don't get a break," Evans said. "You have to bounce back quick and be ready to go for the next series. They're trying to do 40 games in 40 nights or whatever, so they don't have time to waste."
Woodson said the accelerated pace of games after the first round is an adjustment every team has to make.
"It comes down to now players really focusing in mentally and getting rest," he said. "And that's from the moment the playoffs begin until someone wins that (Larry O'Brien) trophy. There's so much going on, with practice, film sessions and everything else. But mainly, it's about getting guys rested and ready to go for the next game."
--In his ongoing tour of the playoff series, NBA commissioner David Stern made an appearance in the interview room before Game 5 Wednesday.
Stern praised the Hawks for their franchise revival of the last two seasons, which have included consecutive playoff berths. He also pointed out that the Hawks trail only Cleveland in new season-ticket sales for next season.
"That just shows if you wait long enough, good things will happen," Stern said. "It's very much a franchise on the march, and that wasn't always the case."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They kicked our butts in pretty much every way possible. It turned into a highlight show after awhile. They were trying to embarrass us, but they did what they had to do ... and pretty much pounded us in every way, shape and form." -- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on the way his team got smacked around by the Hawks on Wednesday night.