I had the chance to sit down with Will Sevidal, editor over at Soaring Down South to discuss tonight’s matchup between the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks, fresh of an impressive win over the Miami Heat.
5 Questions: Bulls vs. Hawks
1. The Hawks have a rough division stacked up against them this year with the Heat and Magic both ahead of them at the moment. Being a playoff team last year, how disappointing will it be if the Hawks miss the playoffs this year given it’s a 66 game schedule?
I don’t think there will be anything more disappointing. This Hawks team is easily a top 8 team in the East. I don’t see how some analysts or fans believe otherwise. I actually have the Hawks pegged as the 3rd best team in the East behind Miami and Chicago. Some can argue Boston and New York are better, but the way I see it Boston’s top players are old and New York has no depth in any position and their weakest position is at (in my opinion) the most important position, point guard. To get back to the question, if the Hawks don’t make playoffs, 2 or 3 of the Hawks best players must have gotten injured. There’s no way they don’t make playoffs, I’m willing to bet my right arm and my left leg on that.
2. Atlanta’s coming off a rough loss to the Rockets. From what you saw in that game, how confident are you that the Hawks can come into Chicago and down the Bulls?
That game really was rough, I’m not sure if there was one Hawks player that played well that game. But the win over the Heat last night more than made up for their performance that night against the Rockets. But to answer the question on how confident I am that the Hawks can upset the Bulls tonight, not too confident. Tonight’s game will be the 2nd game of a Hawks road back-to-back, so I would assume fatigue might have some effect on some of the Hawks players. I’m not saying the Bulls will win for sure though, this Hawks team is more than capable of challenging the Bulls and winning the game. They have the talent to challenge the Bulls, but if I were a betting man, I’ll go with Chicago winning tonight.
3. It’s early, but five games into the season who would you say is the Hawks MVP thus far?
Really hard to pick one. There isn’t a Hawks player that has dominated each and every game. In all of the Hawks 4 wins, they got good contribution from multiple different players. If I really had to, I’ll probably go with Marvin Williams. That may come as a surprise, but he’s the only Hawks player that has contributed and played up to or higher than what is expected of him in each and every game. I’m sure as the season progresses, a better Hawks player MVP will come, but for now, Marvin Williams is the Most Valuable Player….wow, I can’t believe I just typed that.
4. The Hawks first three wins of the season came against a mediocre Nets team and a bad Wizards team. Not that I’m taking anything away from the Hawks, but given those are the wins and the Rockets are the loss, how confident are you the Hawks can over take the Heat in the Southeast?
Not confident at all. The Miami Heat are on a different level than the Hawks…they’re on a different level than most teams in the NBA I think. I don’t expect the Hawks to compete for the division title, but I do expect them to be at least a Top 4 seed this season. I know the one loss against the Rockets was bad, but in all of the Hawks three wins, they won in an impressive manner. What’s crazy too is that in that one loss against the Rockets, every Hawks player played badly that game and they only lost by 11.
5. Derrick Rose ended up being the X-Factor last year in the Eastern Conference matchup against the Hawks. He’s starting to take off this year and he gets the Hawks at home. Does Derrick Rose scare you or has he somehow lost his intimidation factor post MVP with people expecting a slump by such a young player?
Derrick Rose will always be an intimidating player to me, even if Derrick Rose has had 20 straight bad games, I’ll probably still be scared of Rose. The way he performed last year was that amazing to me. I’ll say this though, I’m not as scared of Rose as I was during the playoffs last season, because I saw that the Hawks can find a way to defend him by making him a jump shooter, and making him defend on the other end. The Bulls and Rose are a scary team, but I wouldn’t put it past the Hawks to win tonight