Orlando– If the Hawks beat the Magic tonight at Pyramid Scheme Arena, then a) they finally figured out Orlando b) Woody coaches the East All-Stars, c) the Hawks extend their lead over the Magic in the Southeast Division to 1.5 games, and d) they stay in front of Boston for No. 2 in the East through the weekend. Lose, and none of those things happen.
So while finishing this week 2-2 would be good, 3-1 means some national shine. And, as Hawks PR Man Arthur Triche notes, it means Woody will be forced to come up with a story to explain his missing eyebrows to the hundreds of reporters who will ask him about them for four straight days on All-Star weekend.
– The smallish Hawks might get a large dose of the Magic lineup featuring both Dwight Howard and Marcmaybe not. Stan Van Gundy seems to think the lineup is good for matching up with bigger teams, but maybe he’ll see if he can use it to dictate to a smaller opponent.in Gortat that was effective against the Celtics Thursday night. Then again,
– Van Gundy is one of the league’s unfiltered coaches. He speaks his mind and tends not to care who takes offense (though, after the way Shaq cracked back on him last season, perhaps sometimes he should care). And so even when he praises the Hawks for their season thus far, he does it like this:
“They’re a very talented team. Their first eight or nine guys are outstanding, and they’ve played the entire year injury-free. So, they’re one of the few teams that hasn’t had to make any adjustments. They get the same eight or nine guys out there every single night. They’ve been together for a long time. They’ve had no injuries this year. It’s rolling along. That has a lot to do with it. They’re a good team, and they’ve faced no adversity whatsoever.”
The Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins says Van Gundy’s tone wasn’t jerky when he said that, he was just being matter-of-fact. I covered Van Gundy, so I know what Robbins means. Nothing Van Gundy said isn’t true (except maybe the “no adversity whatsoever” part) but it seems to me Van Gundy managed to get his digs in, too. He’s never boring, at least.
– Al returns to Gatorland and gets some love.
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.