--Having survived the pressure cooker that was Game 7 against Miami Sunday, the Hawks had a relative calm about them before Tuesday's series opener against Cleveland."It's a lot like Boston was last year," Marvin Williams said of the Hawks' battle against the top-seeded Celtics in the first round. "There's no added pressure on us because, if you let people tell it, we don't belong."
The Hawks thrived in that atmosphere against the Celtics, pushing the eventual champs to seven games before getting blown out in the finale. There's no fear of the unknown this time around, now that the Hawks are veterans of back-to-back seven-game series in their last two playoff sets.
"I think the Celtics taught us how to play playoff basketball," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We were probably scared as hell when we went down there, it being our first time in (the playoffs). Then we got home and won Game 3 -- it was a difference spin in that series. We got our confidence going and they truly believed they could beat the Celtics. ... I thought it prepared us for this season.
"Our summer play and coming back for veterans' camp, I thought it really pushed guys in the right direction. It pushed guys to do the right things. And we set goals and some of our goals were accomplished."
Making it out of the first round of the playoffs was one of those goals. Anything beyond that, Josh Smith said, is up to the Hawks.
"This series is going to be what we make of it," he said. "We didn't show up here to be somebody's punching bag and just go home. We're like everybody else still playing. We want to win it all, too."
--Woodson used Tuesday morning's shootaround practice to take one final look at Marvin Williams to make sure he was ready to play after missing but five minutes of the final five games of the Miami series.
While Williams' right wrist remains an issue, both Woodson and Williams believe he can play limited minutes and help in trying to slow down LeBron James and the rest of Cleveland's frontcourt rotation.
"I'm going to start working him back in with some minutes now that we're in a new series," Woodson said. "He told me this morning he was good to go, so we've got to try to work his minutes up, at least to 20 minutes. If I can give him more I'll give him more."
Williams said he shot a little bit Tuesday, and his wrist still bothered him. But it's a pain that won't go away anytime soon.
"It's going to be what it is," Williams said. "I can play through it, though. So I'm not stressing it. I think the days I spent not shooting at all really helped me. Like I told Coach, it's not going to get completely better in the playoffs, so I can just play like this and hopefully help out as best I can."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That was a couple years ago. I had good times there. But I'm a Hawk now, so it's about what I'm going to do now with Atlanta." -- Flip Murray on his time with Cleveland and how it impacts him in this series.