Hello, Game 4. Goodbye, Hawks' season? History says yes

Welcome to potentially the last game of the Hawks' season. Down 3-0 to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals, it wouldn't be accurate to say they have zero chance today against the Cavaliers (3:30 p.m., Philips Arena). But that's certainly the way to bet. Cleveland is a five-point favorite as a road team.

More importantly, consider these trends:

• This is the sixth time in franchise history the Hawks have trailed a best-of-seven playoff series 3-0. In each of the previous five occasions, they lost Game 4 and were swept. Two of the five came against Cleveland. Chronologically: 1970 in the Western Division finals against Los Angeles (lost on the road 133-114); 1999 Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks (lost on the road 79-66); 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals against Cleveland (lost at home 84-74); 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals against Orlando (lost at home 98-84); 2015 Eastern Conference finals (lost on the road 118-88). To recap, the losing deficits were 19, 13, 10. 14, 30.

• The Cavaliers are 6-0 all time in Game 4's when leading 3-0. That includes last year's first round against Boston, the conference finals against the Hawks and this year's first round against Detroit.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said he again will go with Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup and bring Kyle Korver off the bench. That worked for three-plus quarters, when the Hawks led by as much as 11 points. But nothing made a difference down the stretch when the Cavs turned it on -- and I'm not sure it's going to make a difference today.

Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.
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