Our weekly Heat Check begins with a case study of how fickle a team's fortunes can be. Or, put another way, how quickly "hot" can become "cold."
BRAVES: On Tuesday they hit five home runs to move to 12-2. They've since lost four of five games, and in none of the four losses did they hit a home run. (In three of their five losses on the season, they haven't managed a run of any kind.) A check of the stats notes that the Braves are first in major-league baseball in home runs but 14th in on-base percentage and 21st in batting average, and also that they have the fourth-most strikeouts of any team. And, not to say I told you so, but I kind of did. Atmospheric indicator: They next play three games in mile-high Coors Field. They should hit at least 10 homers there.
HAWKS: Afrer working hard to get the matchup they apparently wanted, they lost Game 1 of their Round 1 series in Indianapolis by 17 points. That's a lousy beginning, but Game 2 isn't until Wednesday, and you know what they say about giving Larry Drew three days to adjust. Atmospheric indicator: Do the Hawks really want to win? Or would they rather just get a rolling start on on a offseason that stands to reshape this franchise? We're about to see.