Second Look: Atlanta Hawks 84, Orlando Magic 81 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 29

Second Look: Atlanta Hawks 84, Orlando Magic 81

AP Photo/John Amis

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic face a long, uncertain offseason. Those months off will be filled with questions about how a season that started with such promise ended with such overwhelming disappointment. A team that advanced to the NBA Finals in 2009 and reached the Eastern Conference finals in 2010 didn’t go beyond the first round this year. This postseason ended Thursday night after the Magic fell 84-81 in Game 6 of their opening-round series to the Atlanta Hawks. [...] The series concluded, appropriately enough, on a pair of misfired 3-pointers. J.J. Redick missed a wide-open shot that would’ve tied the game with 3.9 seconds remaining — a shot he’d likely sink eight out of 10 times inside Amway Center’s gym. [...] The Magic had another chance to tie the score after Atlanta’s Al Horford collected the loose ball and stepped on the baseline with 1.8 seconds left. But Jason Richardson, playing on an injured left heel, put up a desperation heave that Hawks forward Josh Smith blocked easily. The final play set off a wild celebration inside Philips Arena, the same place where the Magic completed a second-round sweep of the Hawks last year.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “The road of regression is complete. The Magic have come to a devastatingly depressing dead end. From NBA Finals two years ago to first-round losers Thursday night. They used to run with Lakers and Celtics; now they can’t even hang with the Hawks. So where do they go now after this devastating 84-81 season-ending loss to Atlanta? Where do they go now that they have become lost on this highway to nothingness? Team CEO Bob Vander Weide has already said nobody is getting fired and that he is happy with general manager Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy. But as Van Gundy said before tipoff Thursday night, ‘Those votes of confidence are usually the kiss of death in this game.’ Of course, Van Gundy was joking even though this is not a joking matter. We are, after all, only talking about the future of the franchise here. And since it appears nobody else will take the fall, I guess I will. If Vander Weide needs a scapegoat, I’ll take the blame. I’ll volunteer to be fired – as long as I get Van Gundy’s $8 million buyout. It was me, after all, who provided the Hawks their fuel and fire heading into Game 6.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “In a cruel, twisted sort of way, it was only fitting Thursday night that the biggest play of a game that ultimately ended the Orlando Magic’s season came down to an offensive rebound. As had been the case all night long, Atlanta got the rebound and the Magic didn’t. And because the Magic struggled on the boards early in the game and again at the end, their season abruptly ended in the first round – well short of the stated goal of winning a championship. When the Magic couldn’t corral an offensive rebound with 10 seconds to play in a one-point game, they were forced to foul Jamal Crawford, who buried two free throws. Orlando was left with a clear 3-point look by J.J. Redick to tie, but when the shot hit off the back iron, the stunned Magic were left to contemplate an 84-81 Game 6 defeat and a 4-2 loss in the series to the rival Hawks.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “The Atlanta Hawks ended the Orlando Magic’s season Thursday night with an 84-81 victory in Game Six of their playoff series, and for the first time in four seasons, the Magic failed to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Joe Johnson scored 23 for Atlanta, while Jamal Crawford added 19, but their combined 16-of-41 shooting attests to the fact that the Hawks took this game for reasons apart from their offense. Indeed, the Hawks–the league’s second-worst offensive rebounding team in the regular season–snared 36.8 percent of their own misses Thursday night against a Magic team which led the league in defensive rebounding. As a result of the offensive boards and frequent misses, the Hawks finished the game with 12 more field-goal attempts than the Magic, which may have been the difference in a three-point game.”
  • Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “They’d been the better team through four games, and then they lost Game 5 and folks started talking about how lousy they were. An Orlando Sentinel columnist called them the Birdbrains, which sounded a bit strange: If the Hawks were such plods, why were they still leading? The same scribe predicted the Magic, having won one game in a row, would outsmart the Hawks and win the series. And maybe if this were “Jeopardy” they would have. But this is basketball, and at last check MIT hasn’t been to the Final Four lately. And Orlando won’t be going to Round 2 of these NBA playoffs. The Atlanta Birdbrains will.”
  • Bret LaGree of Hoopinion: “The Atlanta Hawks took control of this game in the first quarter on the strength of the defense played by Jason Collins and Kirk Hinrich. Without the play of those two without the ball in their hands, Jamal Crawford and Marvin Williams don’t get a chance to make the jump shots that clinched the game for the Hawks (to the extent that Orlando missing open jump shots didn’t clinch the game for the Hawks). Hinrich didn’t just stifle Jameer Nelson when given the chance to play. He, in the first quarter, dug down very effectively on Howard (as Collins used his bulk to hold him up) and salvaged points from more than one sluggard and potentially empty Atlanta possession. {…] To Larry Drew’s credit, he came up with an effective game plan to defend the Magic over 10 matchups this season. That’s a huge step forward from the 2010 playoffs even if he didn’t always stick with said plan. It turns out that a fixation on Dwight Howard had real, tangible value for the 2010-11 Atlanta Hawks.”
2 comments
Laphonso
Laphonso

I think that the decrease of performances of magic players (especially Arenas, Richardson, Turkoglu) depends on that the Stan Van Gundy is the most annoying choach selected by 90 percent of NBA players. I think that Stan van Gundy should change his offense strategy at all. This team should drive somethimes also to the rim and make some baskets. If you ara a jump shooting team, you cant be a champion at all. And Stan should let the players in offense. why not triangle offense for example. Lakers did it with Shaq !!

Adolfo
Adolfo

Wow, Atlanta is on fire! they just take Game 1 from Chicago... I didn't see the game but I checked the recap, apparently those 3's are still falling...