Second Look: Orlando Magic 101, Atlanta Hawks 76 | Magic Basketball



Apr 27

Second Look: Orlando Magic 101, Atlanta Hawks 76

Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “For the first four games of this playoff series, the Orlando Magic could depend on only one player: Dwight Howard. No one else hit shots consistently. No one else defended game-in, game-out effectively. And no one else brought the necessary intensity at the beginning of games. But with their team facing elimination Tuesday night, the rest of the Magic finally had Howard’s back. On an evening Howard faced early foul trouble, his much-maligned supporting cast turned Game 5 — and perhaps the series itself — on its ear. J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson and the rest of the roster propelled the Magic to a 101-76 thrashing of the Atlanta Hawks at Amway Center. Still, there actually was a time Tuesday when it seemed like the Magic might not force a Game 6. […] Howard committed his second personal foul on a reach-in with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter and the Magic leading only 10-8. Coach Stan Van Gundy had to pull Howard out of the game. When Howard has been off the floor earlier in the series, the Magic played like Samson without his hair. But not this time. Led by Redick, the Magic closed out the quarter on a 16-5 run.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “If there was any Magic player who actually would dare to offer shooting tips on his website, it had to be J.J. Redick. The way Magic players were misfiring jumpers during the series against the Hawks, they should have been taking advice — and taking out liability insurance. Redick does have an instructional shooting video on the market (“Better Basketball With J.J. Redick), and gives folks some pointers on his site in ‘J.J’s Shooting Drills.’ Redick, though, wasn’t exactly coming through as a company spokesman until it counted most — in Tuesday night’s elimination game. J.J. helped break the game open in the first quarter, hitting five straight baskets to ignite the wipe-out, the first a driving, reverse layup. […] He finished making 6-of-8 shots for 14 points. He oddly found a way to beat the Hawks’ defense that hugged the 3-point line — J.J. didn’t take any. He relied more on pick-and-rolls and curl patterns to spring him free, shades of his Duke days.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “With the Magic season hanging in the balance and the future of the franchise at stake, Orlando needed somebody to step up and help out Dwight Howard Tuesday. Guess what? Somebody didn’t step up. Everybody did. Howard scored 46 points and pulled down 19 rebounds in Game 1 and the Magic lost by 10. He had his worst statistical game of the series (8 points, 8 rebounds) Tuesday and the Magic won by 25. Go figure. J.J. Redick ignited the Magic by scoring 10 straight points at one juncture in the first half when Howard was on the bench with foul trouble. Jason Richardson returned from his one-game suspension to lead the team with 17 points. Gilbert Arenas was a major contributor yet again. And the Magic, who shot miserably from beyond the arc during the first three games of this series, hit 11-of-26 treys in Game 5.”
  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic played their best defensive game of the playoffs during Tuesday night’s 101-76 win over the Atlanta Hawks, holding the Hawks to a series-worst 36.2 shooting percentage and 76 points on 91 possessions. The Magic’s defense has held the Hawks in check for the most part in this series, but they took it to another level in Game 5, swarming the perimeter and protecting the rim almost flawlessly. The Hawks had very, very few easy baskets and seemingly had a Magic player crowding the ball at all times. Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson — averaging a combined 44 points per game for the series coming into the game — scored just 13 total points on 20 percent shooting. It’s difficult to imagine the Magic playing much better on defense.”
  • John Denton of “On a night when even the team’s mascot, Stuff, banked in a halfcourt shot during a timeout skit early in the game, the Orlando Magic finally found their shooting strokes from afar and breathed some life back into this best-of-seven series. The Magic battered Atlanta early and often by raining in 3-pointers from all corners of the Amway Center to win 101-76 going away in send-a-message style to the embarrassed Hawks. Orlando staved off elimination, pulled within 3-2 in the series and set the stage for what could be an epic Game 6 in Atlanta on Thursday night.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Tonight’s game represents what some folks expected might happen in this series: the Magic tear the Hawks apart with Howard inside and the three-point shooters outside, while Atlanta clanks jumper after jumper. That summation is a bit reductive, I admit, but when one considers the Magic’s convincing sweep of the Hawks last season, as well as the Hawks’ six-game losing skid to end the regular season and their negative point differential, it’s not too terribly far off the mark. But nobody could have counted on Orlando’s unbearably bad three-point shooting to date, even accounting for the Hawks’ fourth-ranked three-point defense. Nor could anyone have known Crawford would become the first reserve in six seasons to score 20-plus points in four straight games, or that Hedo Turkoglu would shoot worse than every volume-volume shooter since 1995. All those factors set the stage for the Magic fighting to stay alive Tuesday in just their fifth game this postseason.”
  • Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “After taking a beating from the Magic, the Hawks return to Atlanta facing familiar questions about how far they have really come. Down 3-1 in the series and facing elimination, the Magic struck back for a 101-76 victory at Amway Center. The Hawks still have home-court advantage and history on their side. They can win the series with a victory in Game 6 on Thursday at Philips Arena, and only eight of 194 NBA teams that have faced a 3-1 series deficit have rallied to win. But Tuesday the Hawks looked nothing like the focused, poised group that had won six of eight games against the Magic this season. The Hawks instead resembled the group that Orlando swept by an NBA-record margin of 101 points in the second round of the 2010 playoffs.”
  • Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Remember these guys? This is what you feared. Not a game, but a cartoon. Not a loss, but four quarters of exploding body parts. For most of four playoff games against Orlando, we saw what the Hawks were capable of. Then we saw what we already knew they were capable of because they showed it all too often during their bipolar season. Before the game was half over Tuesday night, the Hawks trailed by 10, then 15, then 25, and then everybody pretty much stopped paying attention. Now the doubt is back in Atlanta, and the hope is back in Orlando.”
  • Bret LaGree of Hoopinion: “It’s just one game and some history still awaits the Hawks if they can win at home on Thursday or even in Orlando on Saturday but the chance to record an, if not outright impressive, at least a feel-good series victory likely passed them by tonight. The Hawks took bad shots, their head coach created foul trouble where none yet existed, that choice put an inferior defensive unit on the floor for long stretches of the first half, the Hawks fell way behind, and they tried to catch up by taking more bad shots. A familiar tale for the 2010-11 Hawks.”
Deron R. Pope
Deron R. Pope

Good job Orlando, but their still going to lose this series. The Magic are a one dimensional team. Stan Van and Dwight need to stop whining and play. The should be just worrying about the Hawks. If the Hawks win; they will be the 9th team in the last 30 years to successfully avenge a playoff sweep from the previous season.

Andrew Leff
Andrew Leff

If Dwight & Co. can run train on the Hawks like they did last night, they should be able to at least pull out a close win in Atlanta. After all those two losses were by a combined seven points, and included a last-second shot from Jamal Crawford. Last night, the entire Magic team was on a totally different level. They beat the Hawks in shooting percentage from the floor, downtown, and the free throw line. They had more rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. There’s no way to lose playing like that. Check out the stats: