What can you say? Maybe start by saying the Magic are great, and they are championship great when they play against the Hawks. It is tough when the team actually uses there all-pro center and shoots over 50% from the field. Actually, it is near impossible.
You have to give Stan Van Gundy credit. The Magic have plenty of good match ups and take advantage almost every time down the court. That is impressive. That is unselfish. That will beat most teams. The problem for the Hawks is they cannot adjust. They have no game plan against the Magic. The team is in response mode, and response mode relies on luck.
At the end of the first quarter, Hawks assistant Jim Todd was interviewed and said, "Well, we are getting fouled, driving the ball and trying to get to the line, and we are not getting calls." That is fine, maybe true, but Orlando is getting open shots or huge advantages that require fouling. Most of the time, the Hawks were beat so bad they did not leave the call up to the refs. Screw driving to get fouled. Atlanta has advantages. Take advantage. Spread the floor and pick and roll with Horford. Create ball movement. All these Isolation drives or shots are horrible because Howard is either going to alter the shot or get the rebound.
Defense did not enliven the optimism. In the first quarter, Mo Evans was called for three seconds....on a double team....in which he never actually double teamed. If the Hawks are waiting to see they need to double team Howard, they are waiting too long. Basically, the defensive strategy was "maybe." Maybe this or maybe that. I don't know what is the best way, but I know it is going full speed. Right now, slow double teams leads to slow close outs which lead to slow double digit deaths.
In the end, the Hawks are not going to win when opponent's tough shots are going in, refs are calling it one way, and Dwight Howard is playing like every Magic fan wants him too, but that does not mean the Hawks can't have a plan. They don't deserve to get lucky on tough shots or get the whistle or have Van Gundy keep Dwight to eight shots. The Hawks play "I hope we out shoot you" mentality against Orlando. That is a lack of confidence in winning with skill and strategy and that will keep losing.
- I am currently watching the game over as to what the Hawks did wrong against Howard, and in the first quarter, Howard committed five foul obvious fouls not counting the one he was called for. Granted I am focused on him, but this is the problem with reffing Howard. He is ridiculously physical. Nearly every single foul by the Hawks on Howard was legit, but half the time Dwight was fouling too. It is tough. How do you call or not call a guy whose job and advantage is to bang? I understand Dwight getting the offensive calls, but on the defensive end, he can't be able to throw people out of the way or hammer guys. That is not a skilled advantage. That is an impossible advantage.
- The problem with Mario West is that, since he can't play offense, he simply kills ball movement and encourages one on one basketball.
- I cannot understand the cost benefit analysis of "giving a foul" at the end of a half.
- Way too many early shot clock jumpers.
- Jason Collins is Mairo West without the effort.
- Those six offensive rebounds by the Magic were incredibly painful. Felt like 15.
- Screw Ryan Anderson. That guy hates the Hawks.
- What was Mike Bibby thinking on that break away by Dwight Howard? That was by definition probably a flagrant foul. Luckily, Bibby does not have the strength to commit a flagrant.