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Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks Playoff History: Previous Matchups, Records, and Rivalries

Miami Heat is one of the most successful franchises of this era but also one of the youngest. They were only recently added to the NBA in the 1988-99 NBA season. In the 34 seasons, they have made 23 playoff appearances and were barely ever at the bottom of the NBA.

Whereas the Atlanta Hawks came into the NBA in the 1949-50 season. They’ve gone under 3 name changes to get where they are today. They were first named ‘Tri-Cities Blackhawks’, then went to the ‘Milwaukee Hawks’, then the ‘St. Louis Hawks and now the Atlanta Hawks. In their 73 seasons, they’ve made the playoffs 48 times. 

Even though the Hawks have been there for almost double the time, Miami has 2 more NBA titles than Atlanta.

Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks: Playoff records

All-time stats in the playoffs Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks
Wins  9 8
Losses 8 9

 

NBA Playoffs Date Matchup Final Score Series 
1994 Playoffs 28th April, 1994 Miami at ATL  93-88 Heat Lead Series 1-0
1994 Playoffs 30th April, 1994 Miami at ATL 86-104 Hawks Tie Series 1-1
1994 Playoffs 3rd May, 1994 ATL at Miami 86-90 Heat Lead Series 2-1
1994 Playoffs 5th May, 1994 ATL at Miami 103-89 Hawks Tie Series 2-2
2009 Playoffs 8th May, 1994 Miami at ATL 91-102 Hawks Win Series 3-2
2009 Playoffs 19th April, 2009 Miami at ATL 64-90 Hawks leas series 1-0
2009 Playoffs 22nd April, 2009  Miami at ATL 108-93 Miami Tie Series 1-1
2009 Playoffs 25th April, 2009 ATL at Miami 78-107 Heat lead Series 2-1
2009 Playoffs 27th April, 2009 ATL at Miami 81-71 Hawks tie series 2-2
2009 Playoffs 29th April, 2009 Miami at ATL 91-106 Hawks Lead Series 3-2
2009 Playoffs 1st May, 2009 ATL at Miami 72-98 Miami Tie Series 3-3
2009 Playoffs 3rd May, 2009 Miami at ATL 91-78 Hawks Win Series 4-3
2022 Playoffs 17th April, 2022 ATL at Miami 91-115 Heat Lead Series 1-0
2022 Playoffs 19th April, 2022 ATL at Miami 105-115 Heat Lead Series 2-0
2022 Playoffs 22nd April, 2022 Miami at ATL 110-111 Heat Lead Series 2-1
2022 Playoffs 24th April, 2022 Miami at ATL 110-86 Heat Lead Series 3-1
2022 Playoffs 26th April, 2022 ATL at Miami 94-97 Heat Win Series 4-1

 

Miami is a very young team but very successful. Hence, these teams have played each other 3 times in the NBA playoffs so far. Once in 1994, once in 2009, and this season is the third time. 

These teams seem to only meet each other in the first round. In the 1994 NBA Playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks were the number 1 seed in the NBA. And this was a time when the first few rounds were a 5 game series. Being the favorites, the Hawks did beat the Heat. But they did it in a Game 5 win at home. By game 3 Miami was up 2-1 in the series and looked like they were gonna be pulling off the upset. 

They met up again in 2009, but by this point, Miami had a future Hall of Famer by the name of Dwayne Wade on the team. The Hawks were a higher seed than the Heat but it did not look like they had an answer for Wade. Wade played out of his mind in the series but lost in a tough game 7 loss to the Hawks.

Both series went similarly. 1st round matchups going all the way till the last game and the Hawks climbing out victorious. However, this season, it looks like the Heat will be breaking this streak by destroying them in this series.

Key matchups from the past

Danny Manning vs Steve Smith 

Danny Manning is not a well-known name but was a pretty accomplished player. Manning was a 2-time all-star and a former 6MOTY. Steve Smith is also a former all-star and NBA champion. These players were good but not superstars. This is why, in the 5 games series, these players averaged less than 20 points per game. Danny averaged 18 and Steve Smith averaged 19. But it was Danny who had the last laugh after winning the series. 

Dwayne Wade vs Joe Johnson

 

Joe Johnson, aka ISO Joe Johnson, was an offensive killer. During his time in Atlanta, he grew into an All-Star. He carried the offensive load of those Hawks teams. However, he was coming up against prime Dwayne Wade. Wade was the scoring champion coming into the playoffs and the Hawks had no answer for him. Wade belittled Joe by averaging over 12 points per game. Dwayne even scores 41 in Game 6 to force Game 7. But the Hawks were too much for the Heat and beat them by 13 in game 7. 

Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks: Current season matchup

This season these teams have played each other 4 times. The Heat, won this season’s series, 3-1. The only game, out of the 4 played, that was close, was the game Atlanta barely won. The Atlanta Hawks are the 2nd best offensive team in the NBA but near the bottom defensively. This has always been a problem for the Hawks in previous seasons as well. And the reason why they never get to or win the NBA Finals.

 

Miami is top 10 in offense and top 5 in defense. They are elite on both ends of the floor and have the best record in the East. They were the favorites to win the East and the way they are demolishing the Hawks, it’s easy to understand why. 

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