- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Stan] Van Gundy said his team was serious even though all the [Orlando] Magic did was watch film and shoot. He said players have been sharply focused ‘for the last three months.’ And, to a man, says small forward Mickael Pietrus, they are on ‘a mission’ to win the title. They haven’t lost in over a month, their last defeat coming April 2 in San Antonio. The Magic have won their last 11 games, including five in the postseason, and are 38-8 since the midway point of the season. Vince Carter says the team’s mind-set is simple: Win ‘em all — by 43 points or 1. ‘Why not? Doesn’t matter what round it is,’ he said. ‘If we’re scheduled to play tonight, we’re scheduled to win tonight.’ ”
- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “Jamal Crawford has started on a lot of bad teams in his 10 years in the NBA. It was with a better team, as a reserve, that he truly blossomed. “Who knows if I could have did this early on [in my career],” the Atlanta Hawks guard said. “But you have to have a certain level of maturity to know there’s a big picture of winning. If this is going to give our team the best chance to win, I’m all for it.” A reserve for the first time in years, Crawford became the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year this season as his play keyed Atlanta’s success. In the Hawks’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Orlando Magic, Crawford’s play will impact how well Atlanta can recover from a 43-point loss in Game 1.”
- Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Figuring there’s no use wallowing in the misery of Game 1, Hawks coach Mike Woodson focused on his team’s positives during Wednesday’s video review. If that sounds like a short session, it was. Still, the Hawks wanted to go over the little good from Game 1 — their play in the first quarter — to help them believe they can compete with the Magic when they go back to Amway Arena on Thursday for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The problem for the Hawks is that the evidence to support otherwise has now stretched to four consecutive losses at Amway Arena and seven of eight losses to the Magic overall. The most compelling proof is those other three quarters of Tuesday’s 114-71 loss.”
- Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Nobody seriously believes the Magic are 43 points better than the Hawks — the best team in the NBA isn’t 43 points better than the worst — but Game 1 was a reversal of such immensity that it all but washed away the good feeling from the Milwaukee series. Woodson plans to tweak things for Game 2. He’ll revert to his usual substitution pattern, as opposed to making 12th man Jason Collins his first sub, and will activate Randolph Morris to have another big man to use against Dwight Howard. He’ll have Joe Johnson guard Vince Carter and — good luck with this — let Mike Bibby try Jameer Nelson. But tweaks alone won’t override a 43-point spread; Woodson’s players simply must be tougher. We can’t really say the Hawks have no heart. Were that the case, they’d have been eliminated by Milwaukee. What they lack, even in this third playoff go-round, is the mental toughness to keep playing smart basketball when the opponent is flying and its crowd is roaring. The best they can offer is to note that, what the heck, they’ve been blown out before. And that’s weak.”
Sneak Preview: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic, Game 2
Likewise. I'm interested to see, as well.
Oh yeah, I vividly remember.
Agreed. This series isn't over with until the Magic have won four times. I have no doubt that the Hawks will put up a better effort in Game 2.
As for Jameer's interview, I missed it but given how you described it, I'll make sure to look out for it.
I refuse to claim this series over, like a lot of pundits are, until we are up 2-0. Hawks are good enough and young enough and brash enough and embarrassed enough to come out and bust some heads.
Ther 43 point win was not necessarily a fluke. . .but the momentum can work both ways. I do like how Orlando is staying focused though.
Did anyone hear Jameer's interview on The Herd? Great interview. It was very team oriented with 'we' and 'us' and all that. He sounded, frankly, like a champion. It shows, you don't have to do dance routines and hoot and hollar on the bench to be a 'team'. Game 2 of this series is just one more hurdle on the road to a title. I say Magic win in a close one.
Anybody remember which one of those Atlanta writers said last year that the Hawks starting lineup was slightly better than Orlando's?
Excited to see tonight's game. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments Atlanta will make for this game.