- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “If the Orlando Magic defeat Atlanta Hawks tonight in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Magic will become only the sixth team in NBA history to win its first eight games of a single postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 1982-83 Los Angeles Lakers, the 1988-89 Lakers, the 2000-01 Lakers, the 2004-05 Miami Heat and the 2008-09 Cleveland Cavaliers are the only teams in league history to have started a postseason with an undefeated record of at least 8-0. The Magic enter tonight’s game with a 7-0 record in these playoffs.”
- Vince Carter has been enjoying the playoff ride, so far.
- Joe Johnson states that the Atlanta Hawks will “give everything” they got against the Orlando Magic in Game 4.
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “ With his Orlando Magic possibly on the verge of their second four-game sweep in as many weeks, small forward Matt Barnes was asked on Sunday about the prospect of recreating Moses Malone’s famous “Fo’, Fo’ Fo’’’ prediction. “Yeah, Moses Malone, baby,’’ said Barnes, one of the players old enough to recall the 27-year-old prediction. “That would be great, wouldn’t it? It’s a lot easier said than done, but that’s what we’re going for.’’ […] The Magic have been able to break the will of Charlotte and Atlanta with their ability to build a lead and then dramatically add upon it. Part of the reason is Orlando possessing four all-star starters and the deepest bench in the NBA. But another factor is Orlando’s rising maturity and expanding killer instinct.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy chimes in on the firing of Vinny Del Negro.
- Scoop Jackson of ESPN Page 2 wants to thank the Hawks for making him look stupid: “Thanks. That’s the only word that feels appropriate. That’s the only word ESPN will let me use without violating the language code set in place for moments just like this. Thanks for making me look like an idiot for publicly picking you to win the East. Yes, I said “publicly” and yes I did that. Back In January, I went out of my way to tell anyone that wanted to listen that I believed the team from the ATL was going to be the last one standing in the NBA East when it was all said and done. Over Boston, over Cleveland, over the Orlando Magic. Now I look like the last comic standing … without any jokes.”
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a look at Orlando’s success in the postseason: “Uh, yeah, the Magic are dominating on both sides of the ball; just look at that 17.9 efficiency differential! Defensively, Orlando is holding its opponents to below league average in each of the Four Factors as well as offensive efficiency. More impressively, the Magic are beating league average themselves in three of the Factors, with the only slippage coming in the turnover area. If you want to disregard the regular season, then consider this: Orlando scored 114.2 points per 100 possessions against the Charlotte Bobcats, the league’s most efficient defensive team, in the first round. And in their current series, the Magic have limited the Hawks, owners of the league’s second-most efficient offensive attack, to 95.2 points per 100 possessions. So it’s clear that Orlando’s success of late is no fluke. It’s truly firing on all cylinders, so to speak, on both sides of the ball. The Magic’s top-notch execution, coupled with their singular focus on winning a championship, has made them as lethal a team as any other in the league.”
- Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated states that the Magic are the team to beat in the postseason and explains why: “With rare exception, such as the ’08 Celtics in the Big Three’s first season together, NBA champions have been tempered and forged by near-misses at winning it all in the seasons immediately before their breakthrough. The experience the Magic gained by outlasting the Cavs in a thrilling conference finals last year and then succumbing to the Lakers has clearly whet their collective appetite. There are some new components at the top of the rotation — a healthy [Jameer] Nelson in place of Rafer Alston or Anthony Johnson, Carter instead of Hedo Turkoglu – but players like Rashard Lewis, Mickael Pietrus and [Dwight] Howard (against Atlanta anyway) are playing with the confidence and savvy of performers who have already been tested on the big stage. They have experienced just the right amount of success and failure to play with a laser focus and big-picture attitude.”
- If only Fran Vazquez had the desire to play in the NBA … M. Haubs of The Painted Area highlights the Spaniard’s performance in the 2010 Euroleague Final Four: “Rubio was particularly devastating when paired in the pick and roll with Fran Vazquez, which made it surprising that Barcelona ran the combination so infrequently. As good as Rubio is at making the decisions and completing passes from all angles, Vazquez seems that good at finishing the play – he has great hands and coordination for a 7-footer. Vazquez can also finish the shot both at the rim or on a jump shot. Vazquez had 11 points and 6 rebounds on 5-6 FG in 22 minutes in the semi, and was a defensive force in the final, contributing 4 blocks in just 16 minutes, to go with 6 points (2-2 FG), 2 rebounds and 2 nifty assists. Frankly, I was surprised Vazquez didn’t play more, because I thought he affected both games whenever he was on the floor. The guy has skill, length, mobility, hands: Fran Vazquez is an NBA center, period.”