Second Look: Atlanta Hawks 80, Orlando Magic 74 | Magic Basketball



Dec 07

Second Look: Atlanta Hawks 80, Orlando Magic 74

AP Photo/John Raoux

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Stan Van Gundy wanted to find something positive about the way the Orlando Magic played against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. He pored over the box score and pored over it and pored over it. But he found nothing encouraging. The Magic lost to the Hawks in a game every bit as ugly as the 80-74 final score indicated. Dwight Howard, Mickael Pietrus and J.J. Redick returned from a nasty stomach bug, but the entire team played with little energy and just as little sharpness. […] Fatigue had something to do with it. Howard, Pietrus and Redick returned from the vicious stomach virus. And the guys who hadn’t been sick were finishing an exhausting stretch of five games in seven nights. Meanwhile, the Hawks left Amway Center feeling as though they had turned a corner. Until Monday, they had lost 11 of their last 12 regular-season and postseason games to the Magic.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The question on Monday night was whether the Magic could hold down the Hawks — and their lunch. They successfully accomplished one of the duties without IV drips or air-sickness bags or calling for mommy. After all their short-handed heroics last week, this home loss to Atlanta was hard to stomach, too. If you follow the Magic — and I wouldn’t follow them too closely yet without a flu shot — you know that the team has been downsized by an industrial-strength bug. It’s, uh, bowl season for the Magic. They still weren’t whole against the Hawks as point guard Jameer Nelson was home on sick leave. Dwight Howard, J.J. Redick and Pietrus found enough strength and Maalox to play. You wouldn’t think a strain of anything could bring down Howard, but he crumbled in sections. Of course, no virus would even think about approaching Stan Van Gundy without a whip and chair, afraid of the yelling. Despite being laughably depleted, the Magic went on the road and won two of three with as few as eight players. And Vince Carter pushed them, leading with his chin.”
  • John Denton of “Not that they needed any provoking with a nasty virus that has already swept through the team, but Monday the Orlando Magic suffered the kind of loss that could make them sick for at least a couple of days. Needless to say, this one was hard for the Magic to stomach. Unable to get stops down the stretch and mired in an offensive funk most of the night, a tired and sickly Magic squad suffered another indignity Monday night with an unsightly 80-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at a sold-out Amway Center. The Magic (15-6) shot a dismal 37.8 percent, missed 18 of 22 3-point shots and turned the ball over 17 times because of too many three-second calls, offensive fouls and forced passes. And even when the Magic battled through a 4-minute stretch of the fourth quarter without a point and got back to being down just three points, they allowed a 3-point dagger from Mike Bibby to seal the defeat.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Nights like this make one appreciate what Nelson can do for Orlando’s ballclub. Though Chris Duhon played one of his better games of the season filling in for Nelson, the Magic nonetheless had to use Carter to initiate much of their offense, which yielded unimpressive results. Carter wisely looked to attack Atlanta’s weak perimeter defenders in the pick-and-roll, but Horford and Smith provided expert help throughout the game. With the outside shots falling off the rim, the passing lanes open only briefly, and Jason Collins blanketing Howard inside, the Magic struggled to get good shot attempts. There’s very little good to say about that end of the floor tonight. Even without Nelson, Orlando’s capable of more offensively.”
  • Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “In one night the Hawks finally figured out how to beat the Magic and win a tight game against a good opponent, and do both without injured All-Star Joe Johnson. The Hawks defeated the Magic 80-74 on Monday night at Amway Center to end a six-game losing streak in Orlando. The Hawks had lost 10 of their last 11 games against the Magic, who swept them in 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals by an NBA record margin of 101 points. Considering that ugly history, this was more than just a routine December road victory for the Hawks. […] Atlanta led 62-55 with less than eight minutes to play, but Orlando quickly cut it to 64-62. After the teams traded baskets, the Hawks finally found a burst of scoring down the stretch. Smith made a fade-away jump shot and Josh Powell was fouled after rebounding his own miss. Powell made both free throws. Hawks guard Mike Bibby next pump-faked Chris Duhon and made a 3-pointer to cap the 7-0 run. The Magic had one last run at the Hawks. Rashard Lewis made a 3-pointer, after Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford answered with a driving score, Vince Carter scored on consecutive drives and completed a 3-point play on the second one to make it 73-67. That’s when Bibby delivered another clutch dagger. His high-arching 3-pointer from the middle of the court gave the Hawks a 76-72 lead and they finished off a rare victory over the Magic.”
  • Bret LaGree of Hoopinion: “The Atlanta Hawks beat the Orlando Magic in Orlando without a single player having a good offensive game and it’s this uncharacteristic nature of the victory that gives it its power. The Hawks won without shooting well. They won without dominating the offensive glass. They won despite scoring just two fast break points. They won due to a combination of self-awareness, adaptability, and, yes, effort. It might be a one-off. That might not matter. There aren’t many teams as deep, as well-designed, and as well-coached as the Orlando Magic. Tonight, the Atlanta Hawks solved a difficult problem and that achievement should, in and of itself, be sufficient. No qualifications or caveats necessary.”

Hopefully our guys will catch up with the rhythm they had before these last two games, honestly I think that the lack of rest (disease and 5 games road) was the main reason for these couple of losses, there's no way that the Hawks or Bucks would get the win with our entire roster, what do you think guys?


No, but we can blame the sports journalists looking for a trend of one. It's nice that they ground out a win in a bad game, which apparently the Hawks struggle with. But what happens next time when they shoot the same awful percentage, and the Magic return to the norm?

It's not like I care about the Magic's street cred or anything, but it's amusing to watch the narratives switch like a roller coaster over the result of one or two balls in a metal hoop at the end of a game. I know everyone has to pick some sort of angle to run with, but come on -- two teams play the game.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

It's pretty hilarious that they feel like they've "turned a corner". They won a game where we were missing Jameer (just like they were missing Joe Johnson, but let's be real, he usually has piss poor games against us), we were recovering from the bubonic plague, JJ missed 2 FT's, and we couldn't hit a 3 to save our lives. Oh, and Josh Smith made what felt like 80% of his jumpers. And they still had to rely on Mike Bibby 3's at the end to hold on.

It was a hard game to watch, but really, neither team should take much away from it in my book (except that Duhon cannot run this team right now for more than 5-6 minutes at a time, if that).