The Atlanta Hawks will run out of talent before they run out of nerve.
Their inexperience can wind up being an enemy but not right now, and the Milwaukee Bucks are the latest victim on the Hawks’ road playoff tour, stealing their third consecutive Game 1 — this time in the Eastern Conference finals.
If there’s one thing about them, they don’t scare — and the longer the games go, they scare you. It’s confidence meeting poise meeting a whole lot of gamesmanship and showmanship on a stage that usually requires the most buttoned-up approach.
Trae Young can shimmy after shaking up Jrue Holiday and hitting an open three, then toss an alley-oop off the glass to John Collins like it’s an All-Star Game — and mind you, this team didn’t have an All-Star because of its slow start.
But Collins will chase down loose balls and hit a critical triple with 1:39 left that cut the Bucks’ lead to one, feeling veteran cool, and Young will take over a game in the third quarter that all the great point guards learned to master.
Except it’s the first playoff experience for both.
To paraphrase R&B singer Deborah Cox: The Hawks are not supposed to be here.