At numerous focuses this year, the Atlanta Hawks’ season has appeared to waver near the very edge of annihilation. They began with a sub-.500 record under previous mentor Lloyd Pierce prior to changing to Nate McMillan at middle of the season; they were vigorously picked against by the media going into the first round of the end of the season games against the New York Knicks; they fell into enormous shortfalls against the Philadelphia 76ers on numerous occasions during the second round; they needed to win without whiz Trae Young to keep things even with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. Each time, the Hawks accomplished something exceptionally un-Atlanta-like: they conquered the difficulty as opposed to surrendering to it.
As Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it after Game 7 of the Sixers series, “We’re not accustomed to seeing Atlanta teams play like this when it matters most, but by the time these Hawks are done they might have reconfigured the way we — and the world — view Atlanta sports.”
Better late than never. Since 1980, no city in professional athletics has underachieved more than Atlanta as far as winning star championships.1 Atlanta has won only one title in that period of time, which is about 4.75 short of what you’d expect on the off chance that you made the straightforward yet-libertarian presumption that all groups in a class had an equivalent shot at a title every year.
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