Atlanta Hawks News and Notes from Orlando

The Real MC talks about coach Drew's promise to play Jason Collins at center and Al Horford at power forward this season:

Say what you want about his effectiveness but L.D. has stuck to his pledge of using Collins so Al can play more at power forward. Assuming he doesn’t hack Dwight every other play and foul out in five minutes, after this game Twin probably will have played more minutes this season than he did all of last year.

Orlando Magic blogger Andrew Melnick talks about the Hawks recent struggles against the Magic:

Suffering from devastating defeats at the hands of the Orlando Magic is nothing new for the Hawks. If you include the postseason, the Hawks are now 3-13 in their last 16 games against the Magic.

Coach Drew talking about adjustments in play calling with Joe Johnson out of the lineup:

"We know that without Joe we have to do things a little different," Drew said. "We're running less isolation plays and maybe becoming a little less predictable. Mike is certainly capable of hitting big shots and he proved it tonight."

More Drew talk from MC's post game blog post:

"We try to distribute to the hot hand," L.D. said. "We look for any matchup in our favor. We try to get more people included. We become a little less predictable."

(Essentially that was the plan all along with the switch to a motion style offense)

MC checks off the accomplishments in his game recap for the AJC:

In one night the Hawks finally figured out how to beat the Magic and win a tight game against a good opponent, and do both without injured All-Star Joe Johnson.

Bret LaGree at Hoopinion talks about the game plan and the Hawks execution of it:

It's extraordinarily pleasant to see the home team do something different and logical, something that acknowledged the team's weaknesses, the head coach's weaknesses, and attempts to transcend them. 

Andrew Melnick talks about Atlanta's ball movement and Joe Johnson:

The Hawks weren’t very good either but did make some big shots when they needed to. Howard mentioned the Hawks have better ball movement with Joe Johnson is out of the game, adding to the controversy about the Hawks being better without Johnson that’s seemingly brewing in Atlanta. Johnson is a fantastic scorer and I think the Hawks need a go-to-guy like him to even compete with the upper echelon of the league but the way they use him is not going to get them any further in the postseason.

Evan Dunlap conversely talks about Orlando's lack of ball movement:

Against an active and engaged Hawks defense, the Magic failed to move the ball from side-to-side, which is one reason they've enjoyed so much success during Van Gundy's tenure. Far too much one-on-one play for Orlando tonight, which resulted in just 9 assists on 28 field goals.

(The Hawks assisted on 17 of 33 field goal makes in the game)

Eddy Rivera also discusses the lack of ball movement for the Magic:

Ball movement? Non-existent. It’s tough to pine the low number of assists (nine total) on Duhon but it’s clear that the offense isn’t the same without Jameer Nelson at the helm, who’s threat to either pass or score makes it tough on opposing defenses to key in on what he’s going to do on any given possession. Duhon isn’t a threat offensively, and that allowed the Hawks to hide Bibby — a defensive sieve — on him.

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