Return home serves Hawks’ Howard well

Dwight Howard looks relaxed and efficient in his first season with the Hawks. (AP photo)
Tim Bontemps
The Washington Post

OAKLAND, Calif. – Each of the past two years have played out the same way for the Atlanta Hawks: after riding a beautiful offense predicated on ball movement and spacing at all five positions to successful regular seasons, the Hawks would then come up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.

And, once they met the Cavaliers, the Hawks were powerless to stop them. Cleveland used its combination of size and strength in the paint to sweep Atlanta out of the playoffs twice in a row.