Sneak Preview: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks, Game 4 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 24

Sneak Preview: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks, Game 4

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Orlando] Magic GM Otis Smith will take applications for the backup center position behind Dwight Howard for 2011-12. Can a kid who logged zero minutes and seldom practiced with the team win the job? Is Daniel Orton that guy? ‘I believe I am,’ Orton told me. ‘I believe I am for so many reasons, but I’d rather not say because it would only raise expectations higher. I’m not a sayer. I’m a doer.’ As the Magic’s first-round pick out of Kentucky, Orton, 20, couldn’t do anything this season as a rookie but watch. He didn’t get on the floor after battling a lingering left knee injuries, which eventually required surgery in late December. He partially tore the ACL as a junior in high school, and tore his meniscus as a senior, undergoing more surgery. He underwent arthroscopic surgery after playing his second game of a D-League stint with the New Mexico Thunderbirds. Physically, Orton says his knee is sound, but he won’t go full bore until sometime this summer.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Maybe familiarity really does breed contempt, because the first-round playoff series between the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks is becoming downright chippy. On a day the NBA handed down one-game suspensions to Orlando’s Jason Richardson and Atlanta’s Zaza Pachulia for fighting each other, both teams escalated their posturing for officials and had increasingly harsh words for each other. Stan Van Gundy complained that Hawks centers Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia hit superstar Dwight Howard at every opportunity but flop to the court whenever they face minimal contact. Meanwhile, Collins and Pachulia said that Howard dishes out at least as much punishment as he receives. And the Magic stewed that Richardson received the same punishment as Pachulia.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: ” This could be your big chance, Gilbert Arenas. Tonight’s the night. Don’t blow it. Starting shooting guard Jason Richardson has been suspended from tonight’s crucial Game 4 of the Magic’s playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks. This could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, Gilbert, to get back into the rotation and earn that $18 million salary Magic fans believe is the biggest waste of money since frozen coffee drinks. {…] If ever there was a time for Agent Zero to become a Magic hero, this is it. Call me Mr. Melodrama if you want, but there isn’t just one game riding on tonight’s outcome; the season is riding on it. The future of the franchise could be riding on it. This is as close to must-win as you can without actually being mathematically eliminated from a series completely. Let’s face it, does anybody really think the Magic can afford to go down 3-1 to the Hawks – a talented and athletic team that has beaten the Magic 5-of-7 times this season? If the Magic lose tonight, the chances of them winning this series are about the same as the chances of Van Gundy being invited to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ This could be Gilbert’s grand opportunity to not only save the Magic’s season but to save good friend and Magic GM Otis Smith’s reputation – and perhaps even his job.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick flashed the bright, red wound on the inside of his left arm, offered to show the matching strawberry abrasion on his hip and admitted on Saturday that there are still times when he feels a stabbing pain from an abdominal strain injury. But with his Magic shorthanded because of a suspension, rattled somewhat by a shooting slump and peering out of a 2-1 playoff hole courtesy of the Atlanta Hawks, Redick knows that now is no time for pity. He said his team should be feeling the urgency to deliver its finest performance come Sunday’s Game 4 at Philips Arena in Atlanta. A Magic squad that’s struggled to score in the regular season and playoffs against the Hawks will be playing Sunday night without shooting guard Jason Richardson, Orlando’s second-leading scorer this season. He was suspended a game for Friday’s fourth-quarter fight with Atlanta center Zaza Pachulia. Richardson said the Magic clearly got the worst of that swap.”
  • Steve Hummer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The Magic center, by way of tiny Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, stands as the single largest — 6-foot-11, 265 pounds to be exact — obstacle between the Hawks and Round 2 of these NBA playoffs. Against the Hawks, Howard has been a transcendent force, playing all but five of 144 minutes of the first three games, despite a rotation of Hawks big men hanging from him like anchor chains. His scoring has dropped with each game (46 to 33 to 21), yet within this star-laden postseason, he entered Saturday ranked first in scoring (33.3 per game), rebounding (17.7 per game) and minutes per game (46). Orlando so needs him on the floor that his coach, Stan Van Gundy said, ‘It’s very hard to even let him get a drink of water.’ He is a soloist, the Yo-Yo Ma of post play, while Orlando aches to hear from the rest of the orchestra. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series looms Sunday at Philips — the Hawks up 2-1 and the stage set for further friction. Hawks center Zaza Pachulia came out of Game 3 on Friday looking as if he had spent the evening locked in a cage with an angry wolverine, scratches covering one arm. Howard has banked two postseason technical fouls already, both of them involving Pachulia. He flung the Hawks’ backup big man to the court in Game 1, and on Friday flailed at Pachulia after a hard foul, catching him across the neck.”
  • Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Losing Zaza Pachulia hurts the Hawks. Losing Jason Richardson hurts the Magic more. It’s pretty simple why. Zaza is a sub splitting minutes at center, where the Hawks have other choices: Jason Collins is the starter in this lineup, and Al Horford has had some success at the position, having twice made the All-Star team. Richardson is a starter and was, at least during the regular season, the second-leading scorer on a team starving for options beyond Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. Howard has averaged 33.3 points in this series, up nearly 10 over his regular-season yield. Of Orlando’s 92 baskets, he has 33. Nelson has 19. That means 56.5 percent of the Magic’s offense is coming from two players. That’s why the Hawks lead 2-1. The rest of the Magic men have been, in a word, lousy.”
6 comments
hulkk
hulkk

Need I say I told you so, Eddy???????????????????????? JJ Redick is garbage and overrated. Over paid and weak minded. NO mental toughness.

hulkk
hulkk

Also, do you realize we could've signed Keith Bogans who shot the 3 ball better then JJ this year, better defender, big, stronger and a lot more mentally tougher, all for about 16million less???? Keith is just one of about 3-4 players the Magic could've have signed that had a better season then JJ. Plain and simple, JJ isn't what Otis thought he was going to be. 20mill for this?? 7, 6 and 6 per yr for this??? And don't get me wrong I'm not a JJ basher, I LOVE my Magic team BUT you have to do a better job as a reporter/writer. Are you the only writer that Orlando has to provide for me as a fan?? Is "Synergy" stats helping us win games??? Dude I don't even know you & I'm not bashing you either but all I'm asking is stop the drama filled BS & "Synergy" stats.

hulkk
hulkk

We'll see what happens tonight when super Redick gets a fair chance to step up tonight. I'm criticizing JJ because he's OVERRATED!!! And nobody want to acknowledge it! If he stinks up the place tonight I want YOU, EDDY to criticize him the same as you CONSTANTLY do Arenas and every other player.

hulkk
hulkk

You suck as a writer, reporter or whatever it is they pay you to do. And JJ is inconsistent and VERY weak minded. Your love fest for JJ Redick is weak and your manhood should be questioned.

hulkk
hulkk

There's fans calling for Otis & Stan's job because of the bitter, drama filled blasphemy!!! Stop with this "synergy" crap and let's talk sports. "He's playing bad and needs to play better" Or "He's playing good and we appreciate it" There are plenty of other writers/sports analyst who will do the "bashing" and "Drama" BUT not the own Orlando Magic writers! There are PLENTY of fans with cool heads and aren't ignorant and doing go flinging Ape sh*t like little Ape's who APPRECIATES this team, good or bad. This ball club has always put determined, hard working players on the court. D. Armstrong, D. Strong, Joe Wolf, even Otis Smith himself!! Who is going to replace Stan & Otis after they're gone and do a better job?? Why would you replace them and they're doing a good job? AND Dwight loves them! Who do you want Otis to sign/trade for?!?!?! What great player is dying to play for the Magic!??! If Dwight leaves then that's his choice. Stan & Otis have done the best job possible to keep Dwight in Orlando. Whatever happen to level-headed press and fans who LOVED the Magic no matter what (despite a few moron's who panic about everything) Please, stop it. Every time I check in on this site there's something negative or Gilbert Arenas Bashing.

hulkk
hulkk

Orton is a bust. JJ is too small, weak minded, inconsistent in shooting the 3pointer (the main thing he's being paid $20mil) and is a defensive liability. Why is he even in the NBA?? So he shot the ball well and was scrappy (to say the least) on defense last year and yet these silly Orlando Magic fans still praise him and the Orlando Magic writers praise him by writing stories telling me (a Magic fan for 20yrs and season ticket holder) that the team is waaaaayyy better because of some "Synergy" numbers????? Gilbert Arenas is thrown into a different city, different playing style then he's ever been in (including college) asked him to come off the bench, handle the ball less AND be great instantaneously with a bum knee which I'm sure is ailing him more then we know and I bet EVERYBODY who's bashing him about his bad knee has never even had this injury and can't fathom what he's going through. So we bash him and make him out to be lazy and lacking toughness which is putting these weak minded Orlando Magic fans in a frenzy. Makes you wonder why?? Like, is racially based? Is it because Gilbert is being paid more? They're BOTH over paid. I don't understand this double standard. Why is this even news? Why do writers try to get "hits" fame, glory and riches off of bashing athletes, celebrities etc.?????? Stop it!! Just report basketball news and NOT DRAMA!! Please because you're putting these panicky little fans in a frenzy.