Posted by Sekou Smith
ATLANTA – If the Hawks are nervous at all about what they’ll face from the Bucks in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series they didn’t show it Monday afternoon.
The mood in the locker room after practice Monday was two dancing bears short of a circus, in a good way.
(It seems to be a recurring theme for these Hawks, as this video snippet from The Jump will show):
Reserve center and noted team prankster Randolph Morris bounced through the door from the practice court and jumped clean over the head of an unsuspecting reporter, his choreographed landing drawing praise and stunned looks from the media throng working the room.
Marvin Williams cut through room from the other side moments later with music blaring from a portable iPod boombox he was carrying, drawing a round of laughs as he danced all the way to his locker.
The scene looked nothing like the aquarium of nervous energy that was the Hawks’ locker room in Boston three years ago, when they were the underdog 8-seed trying to recover from a Game 1 beating at the hands of top-seeded Celtics.
“Back then everything was new to us,” a smiling Williams said as he turned down the volume on the Dr. Dre song he was grooving to as he entered the packed locker room. “We were scratching and clawing just to make it. This is our third year doing this. Guys have gotten older and we know what it takes. So you won’t see anybody acting uptight around here.”
Josh Smith said that the Hawks’ easygoing style in the locker room is in no way a sign of disrespect for the Bucks or the moment. They were fresh off the floor from a rugged practice. “Once we get a chance to relax and enjoy each other,” he said, “we’re going to take it. Coach [Mike Woodson] always talks about this being a marathon and not a sprint. And we take that to heart.”
To the keen observer, it would appear that the Hawks are in danger of being a bit too relaxed.
Not so, according to All-Star center Al Horford.
“You can be relaxed off the court. And we always have a good time hanging out and making fun of each other,” he said. “But when it comes to game time, you must have done your homework and be ready to play. The fun and games stop long before you get to the court.”
(You can catch Hawks’ sixth man Jamal Crawford doing a little bit of everything in this behind-the-scenes look at his first playoff experience, courtesy of our friends at Hawks.com):