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Hawks Vs. Bulls: Fans Asked To Arrive Early For Games 3 and 4 In Atlanta Due To Extra Security

Osama bin Laden may be swimming with the fishes thanks to a bunch of hero Navy SEALs, but you need not look further than the NBA playoffs to realize that those minor inconveniences due to the War on Terror continue.

Thanks to the "enhanced potential for anti-American violence," the NBA issued a directive to the clubs remaining in the 2011 NBA Playoffs to step up security at all of the remaining games.

The Atlanta Hawks are taking this directive very seriously when the best-of-seven series continues here at Philips Arena on Friday and Sunday. All fans that head out to the arena to watch the Hawks take on the Chicago Bulls will be screened via wand metal detectors. Their bags will also be searched.

As a result of the heightened security, folks with tickets are asked to make their way into the arena early. Philips Arena will open up 90 minutes before tipoff, which means doors open at 5:30 p.m. for Game 3 on Friday and 6:30 p.m for Game 4 on Sunday.

Obviously, these heightened security procedures will also be in place for Game 6 here next Thursday, but we here at Atlanta SBNation hope that the Hawks win the series by then and we're talking about enhanced security procedures for the Eastern Conference Finals here instead.

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Hawks and the Bulls is set for an 8:00 p.m. EDT tip at the United Center in Chicago on Wednesday. Atlanta upset Chicago 103-95 in the first game of the series to take a 1-0 lead.

For more on the series, visit SB Nation's NBA hub, Peachtree Hoops, Blog-a-Bull, and SB Nation Chicago.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.