3 keys for the Atlanta Hawks to reach the NBA Finals

Trae Young, Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks. (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Trae Young, Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks. (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /
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1. Continue to be road warriors to steal one, or two, away from State Farm Arena

Of Atlanta’s eight playoff victories this summer, five of them have come away from State Farm Arena. Atlanta stole Game 1 at Madison Square Garden over the Knicks in the first round before sealing the deal in Game 5 to end it by way of a gentleman’s sweep. The Hawks took Games 1, 5 and 7 at Philadelphia in the conference semifinals. Their only home win the series came in Game 4.

Because Atlanta is once again the under-seeded team in this best-of-seven, the Hawks have no choice but to win at least one game at Fiserv Forum. Given that they are only 3-2 in their five home playoff games, one would think the Hawks may have to win a pair up in Wisconsin if they wish to advance. Fortunately for the Hawks, they have proven they can win games anywhere.

What has been really impressive about this team is that they have won both of their playoff series away from State Farm Arena. While Atlanta could theoretically punch its ticket to the NBA Finals at home in Game 6, one would think it is infinitely more likely to happen up in Milwaukee in a winner-take-all Game 7. Lesser teams crumble on the road, but this is no big thing for the Hawks.

Ultimately, what Atlanta has to do to win the Eastern Conference is not out of the realm of possibility. The defense has shown an ability to slow down secondary scoring options. We have seen the offense play with pace and keep the turnovers at a minimum at times. This team has also shown some mettle to win big road games in incredibly hostile environments. They have a chance.

If the Hawks can do these three things, they can beat the Bucks and win the Eastern Conference.

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