By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Very few had the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals of their 2021 NBA Playoffs brackets. They eliminated the New York Knicks in five games and prevailed in Game 7 versus the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. Up next, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Prior to the postseason tip-off, Eurohoops looked back on the previous success of Bogdan Bogdanovic in the playoffs. He had three spotless playoffs with Fenerbahce with sweeps in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Hawks aren’t undefeated in his first postseason run in the NBA but have kept the Serbian sharpshooter on the winning side of all five playoffs series between the NBA and EuroLeague.
Bogdanovic, 28, left Game 6 against the Sixers in the fourth quarter due to right knee soreness and was held to 2/8 from the field in Game 7. However, he made much greater contributions earlier in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He averaged 13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per contest opposite the 76ers. Overall, he has 14.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per playoffs appearance.
His first three NBA campaigns did not produce a postseason berth, but the magic is apparently still there for Bogdanovic. Helping Fener advance to the Final Four in all of his three seasons at the Turkish powerhouse was combined with plenty of memorable showings, especially in 2017 versus Panathinaikos, that triumph eventually leading to the championship.
Unlike EuroLeague, the NBA determines teams advancing through the semifinals and the season champion through fresh new playoffs series. Two more playoff series wins will keep his streak alive but most importantly will crown the Hawks champions for the second time after the 1958 title as St. Louis Hawks.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is planned to take place Wednesday.