Quantcast 2010 Orlando Magic: Magic vs Hawks

 

Orlando Appears More Powerful Than A Locomotive



Atlanta is 2-12 on the road in the last three playoff seasons. They have scored 80.2 PPG, and their opponents have put up 99.2 PPG.

Orlando has beaten the Hawks eight out of the last nine games with an average of a 21 point winning margin. Note: the one game Atlanta did win was by game winning buzzer-beater Josh Smith dunk.

During the Charlotte series, Howard seemed tense and frustrated with 26.5 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 5.5 Fouls/Gm. A more familiar loose and relaxed Howard has emerged this series however. He is back to being the two-time defensive player of the year that we all know with 34.0 MPG, 25.0 PPG, 14.5 REB, 4.0 Fouls/Gm.

If that isn’t enough, Joe Johnson only has 15.7 PPG in 6 games versus the Magic this season.

I wonder if this has any foreshadowing implications?





After Game 2 Steve Van Gundy said, “ These guys have been great. They enjoy playing together, they play well together, they trust each other. I’ve got a lot of confidence that will come down simply to how we play. It won’t be chemistry problems, it won’t be a lack of professionalism. It will come down to how we play.”

And play they did. Orlando started things off with a quick 3 and never looked back.

After Orlando went up 24-16 thanks to a barrage of threes, Howard got an early 2nd foul and had to go ride the pine. This would give Atlanta a chance to close in on the hot shooting Orlando team.

But Atlanta chose to ignore it. Instead, Orlando remained very balanced. It is already starting to look like Atlanta is going to get swept in the 2nd round just like last year against Cleveland.

End of first quarter: Orlando 28 Atlanta 18.

The second quarter was much like the first. Orlando continued playing stellar defense and continued bringing the ruckus from downtown.

Joe Johnson couldn’t buy a shot in the first half either. He was 1-9FG at halftime.

At the half the score was 52-33 in favor of Orlando.

Fans were already starting to trickle out at the half as the smell of another

blowout became more potent.

Orlando is looking like the most prolific 3-point shooting team of all time. And when you have an inside presence like Dwight working in perfect harmony with an outside game like that, you have a team that will make it to the NBA finals for the 2nd straight year.

At half time Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson said, “We have to come out ready to go the 3rd quarter. We can’t wait until the 4 th quarter. We have to get this thing under 10 (points) before the 4 th quarter.”

Van Gundy passionately said at the half, “The biggest thing right now is your mentality and how hard it is you’re going to fight to get this game done. You do not have a cushion in this game!”

Nine different Orlando players scored in the first half. The Magic also had a lot of second chance opportunities in which they capitalized.

Atlanta had numbers in transition a couple of times and could not make anything of it. They also had a couple of times where they mishandled the ball. This created frustration demonstrated by Johnson and Josh Smith with a combined 7-25 FG with 3:30 left in the 3rd quarter.

 

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A humorous observation I had was it seemed because Orlando has done so well in these playoffs and because of the substantial lead they currently had, they were not allowed to complain to the refs at all. Van Gundy and Barnes both got T-ed up as a result. I was pretty sure Reddick was going to get a technical late in the 3rd quarter as well, but his teammates swooped in and shut him up.

The 3rd quarter ended in much the same fashion as 1st and 2nd: Orlando with a commanding lead. The score was 79-55 Orlando.

Orlando toyed with Atlanta in the 4th. It looked more like a Harlem Globetrotters game from when I was a little kid than a 3 seed taking on a 2 seed. The game quickly turned into a broken record. It looked like this: Orlando scores…Atlanta does not score…Orlando scores…Atlanta does not score…and so on and so forth.

As the attendance depleted and the stadium deflated, Orlando continued to pile on the numbers in every beneficial statistical category.

After the game Howard said that it feels pretty good (to dominate a playoff game from start to finish), but we have one more game and we have to come out with the same intensity.

Howard also said that to win it’s all about playing the game the right way; you can’t get caught up looking at the scoreboard.

Howard led Orlando with 21 pts, 16 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, and 1 blk to their 105-75 blowout.



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Rashard Lewis’ 22 pts on 8-13 FG and 4-7 3P combined with 30 bench points surely did not slow down this old fashioned whooping. And with 10 team 3’s, Orlando backed up their NBA record-setting three-point reputation that they have built.

Vince Carter said, “It’s not about how many points did I score to show the world, its about how can I help my team to win to show the world that we’re a good team.”

This was especially true tonight as Carter only had seven points, but his presence on the court brings confidence and makes the Magic better.

Crawford had a productive night with 22 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, and 1 stl. This, however, proved to be not nearly enough for the Hawks.

Two-time NCAA Champion Al Horford was held to just 11 points and 8 reb. Is a single-double any good? Here’s a little note to Horford: If you want to win again, leave the Hawks.

Many people wondered how Orlando would do in postseason without Turkoglu. I think any doubt has been erased and replaced with a calming confidence. Orlando is beating their opponents by an average of 17.7 PPG so far this post season (second highest ever in NBA postseason history).

Tonight they would win by 30 in a 105-75 win. That makes a combined winning margin of an embarrassing 87 points against Atlanta. Looks like the Magic has someone’s number.

At the beginning of the game Mike Woodson said no one comes into this building and wins…boy was he wrong.

 

 

By: Brian Mabes
Pro Basketball Fans Orlando Magic Correspondent


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