It’s no secret — despite a fantastic run that included a 27-11 record under Nate McMillan and an 11-game home win streak to end the season — the Hawks still haven’t piqued the interest of the national media. Nobody is buying what is cooking down in Atlanta — at least not yet — and nothing made that more clear than ESPN’s poll of their NBA analysts regarding the Hawks matchup versus the Knicks. 14 out of 16 picked Atlanta to lose the series, which is quite puzzling considering the two teams had the same record during the regular season.
With that being said, it’s not that shocking when considering just how desperately people in the national media want the Knicks to be good. People will go to ludicrous lengths to convince you that the Knicks are legit, but instead of looking at it as a negative, John Collins believes this is the perfect opportunity for the Hawks to announce themselves to the world.
John Collins: "I definitely feel like this would give us a big, big swing of momentum in the national media. I think everyone in this organization has been fighting for us to get more national attention… there's not a bigger stage in the first round, arguably."
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) May 18, 2021
That’s the best way to look at it, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think there is much bad that can come from the lack of media attention the Hawks have received. If anything, all the disrespect should serve as prime bulletin board material for the entire locker room. This is a group that has been playing with a chip on their shoulder all year, but just in case they needed some more, they will get it throughout the week leading up to Sunday’s Game 1 versus the Knicks.
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