The Bulls' Game 1 loss to the Hawks in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series opener didn't go the way Chicago fans had hoped, and that's part of why Blog-a-Bull is re-evaluating the Hawks as "a real opponent" after Monday night.
The Hawks may have had some embarrassing home losses in the regular season, but these are realer stakes, especially for a group that's lost in this round each of the past two seasons. I don't think we can expect them to just quit, especially if never given the proper opportunity.
So maybe it was their night. But as Orlando fans were quick to remind me, the Hawks had four such nights against their team. The Bulls may have been able to overcome poor play in round one, but the expected beatdown of Atlanta was based on the assumption that the Bulls would play at a higher level than they did in that round. Tonight wasn't really it, and the Hawks are better than the Pacers. And now we have a series.
Be sure to check out our Bulls vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-a-Bull and SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.