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News » Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-02

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-02

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-02
--ESPN/ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy is like most of the basketball viewing public; he's seeing the Hawks up close and personal for the first time this season during the playoffs.

Van Gundy said he was as surprised as anyone that the Hawks entered Game 5 tied at 2-2 with the top-seeded Celtics.

"Everybody, when you play them in a one-game situation is very fearful of their overall talent," Van Gundy said, pointing out all the different ways the Hawks can cause matchup problems with the likes of Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby leading the way. "To me, Josh Smith has such a huge impact on the game and is so disruptive around the basket.

"Al Horford's everything you want in a player, smart, competitive and loves the game. I've always liked Josh Childress off the bench. And I like (Zaza) Pachulia. I think he's nasty and competitive. And he's much better suited to be a bench player as opposed to someone you count on as a starter.

"But not knowing them, winning just 37 games in the Eastern Conference is more shocking than them being 2-2 in this series. And that's no knock on them and what they've done. It's just that until they resolve all their internal issues, the ownership mess and the story leaking about the general manager trying to fire the coach, it's going to hold them back."

--Mike Woodson was asked repeatedly about his job status before Wednesday's game and insisted that he's not focused on anything but finishing this series.

"Right now, I'm paid to coach this team," he said. "I'm the coach now and my contract ends the end of June. When we'll see where we are at that particular time."

--There was no chance for late-game heroics from Johnson or Smith, who combined to score all 32 of the Hawks' points in their fourth-quarter comeback win Monday night in Game 4.

The Celtics' subs were on the floor by then Wednesday, each of them spending time rubbing the Hawks' face in the sea of green provided by the sellout crowd of 18,624 at TD Banknorth Garden.

"Every single player gave us a lift with their energy defensively and just pushing the ball up offensively," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose team had 49-38 rebounding edge on the night and shot 53.6 percent from the floor. "That's one of the things we kept talking about, that we can run, too. We can't run as fast as them, but we can throw the ball ahead with the pass and run that way. And I thought we did that."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We were conscious of where he was at. Watching film, we showed the guards where he was going to be at and our whole thought was every time he helps, he's helping off of Kevin (Garnett). And if a guy helps off of Kevin, then we have to find Kevin. That's why Kevin got all the corner shots and the elbow shots. He's been there. We just haven't found him." -- Boston coach Doc Rivers, on the Celtics' awareness of Hawks power forward and shot-blocking machine Josh Smith, who menaced them with seven blocks in Game 4 but just one in Game 5.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: May 2, 2008


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