Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic: ‘Next step’ for Hawks?

It’s only November. This is just one of 82, as they say.

Except this date with Orlando is the first since you-know-what, and I don’t think anyone believes the ramifications won’t go beyond one game in the standings.

Hawks tri-captain Al rejected the notion they need this one for their psyche. Credibility is another matter.

“I don’t even think it has to do so much with confidence, but I think if we want to be considered as a contender to win the division, this is the step we have to take,” he said.

There’s been no indication that the Hawks have the quality of depth to compete with the Magic. Orlando is without Jameer Nelson, and that’s a major break for Atlanta. VC will play with a bum hip.

But the Hawks left Marvin and Mo back in Atlanta. L.D. says Marvin could miss up to two weeks: “After the first week, it’s about how much he can tolerate the pain.”

L.D. is going with Twin as the starting center again. Orlando reporters, who apparently examined Atlanta’s roster, asked L.D. if the Hawks really have the personnel to allow Al to move to power forward on more than a temporary basis.

“We’ve got some big pieces that can allow him to play some four,” he said. “That was a focus this summer was to bring in some more big bodies.”

When Al talked about the Hawks needing a bona fide center to be a true contender, obviously this is one of the matchups he was talking about. But it’s interesting that when the conversation with Al turned to Dwight’s impact on this series, he talked less about Dwight and more about Orlando’s shooters.

“In the past obviously he has hurt us, but more importantly their outside shooters have hurt us,” he said. “That is the challenge is to limit them. We can’t be giving them threes like that.”

Unfortunately for the Hawks, they just played a game in which they gave up all kinds of threes to the Suns. Or maybe it’s actually fortunate for them because L.D. had some fresh video to show them this morning detailing how their main issue was failing to match up in transition due to poor floor balance.

“When that shot goes up, I freeze the frame and I see that first guy not taking that first step,” he said.

By that, he means the guards. He wants them to help on the defensive glass but they “are not big offensive rebounders” so he doesn’t want them to think about helping on the offensive glass at all. If the threes or fours are caught on the perimeter and don’t have a chance for the board, he wants them to get back, too.

“All of that has been identified,” L.D. said. “Guys know what their jobs are.”

Take the jumper. Please

Dwight so far is taking and making more shots from beyond 10 feet. The goal is for him to diversify his offensive game, and maybe it works– L.D. said Dwight looks comfortable shooting from out there: “It just reminds you so much of Tim Duncan.”

Still, until Dwight starts making jumpers with the same consistency that he brings the thunder, L.D. picks door No. 2.

“Coaches are going to play the percentages,” he said. “I’d rather see him take a 12 foot jumper than to post up in the paint, because I know when he’s in the paint he’s almost unstoppable. At least when he shoots the jumper there’s a chance he will miss.”

MC

403 comments Add your comment

bigdave

November 8th, 2010
6:53 pm

lets get it..

bigdave

November 8th, 2010
6:57 pm

get those hands up on those shooters..!

lewis

November 8th, 2010
6:59 pm

hope the starters have energy after playing so many minutes last night

cp

November 8th, 2010
7:01 pm

I hope the guys bring it tonight and don’t get discouraged if things don’t go their way . I don’t want to see any quit tonight. I want guys out there going hard in the paint

lewis

November 8th, 2010
7:01 pm

oh god no i have to listen to the condescending orlando announcers all night

Ree Roe

November 8th, 2010
7:02 pm

I say we lose by 27 tonight. Hawks show heart early & completely disintegrate down the stretch.

ORL 105 ATL 78

;-(

-REEspectfully Roe!!!

cp

November 8th, 2010
7:03 pm

Dang what happened to Nique? He has been terrible on the mic but is this permanent or just for tonight?

Wabe

November 8th, 2010
7:03 pm

Hope for the best.
Expect the worse.

Lets see what they can do.

lewis

November 8th, 2010
7:10 pm

stan van gundy saying the hawks were trying to do more motion and different things on defense in the pre-season but have already reverted to iso and switching so they are the same team

O'Brien

November 8th, 2010
7:10 pm

I think this game comes down to rebounding. Dwight, gortat, bass etc will be active on the glass. Hawks can’t give up offensive rebounds.

We also need a huge game from either JJ or Jamal.

Section 303

November 8th, 2010
7:11 pm

I would like to be more positive, but I can’t. I really wish tonight’s game would not even be played. The Hawks are just going to get their heads kicked in, again.

I say they just call the Orlando games losses, and move on to the rest of the schedule. Hawks just can’t beat these guys. And, I hate watching the games when these two play.

Hate watching, but still watch….a lot like not being able to take your eyes off a train wreck.

Here’s hoping this is over quick.

cp

November 8th, 2010
7:12 pm

This new guy is already better than Nique which aint saying much huh

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:13 pm

i dunno this guy sounds boring.

Nothin could beat “Rathbun/Smith” !!!

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2010
7:14 pm

The unbiased side of me tells me the Hawks are going to get destroyed coming off yesterday’s loss, in which they had to scratch and claw to make it a close game. I hope I’m wrong.

By the way, who is this new person who has replaced Nique today?

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:14 pm

Dwight is such a monster

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:15 pm

Melvin

November 8th, 2010
7:15 pm

Keep shooting them Josh….

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:15 pm

somebody tell this new guy to speak up

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2010
7:16 pm

Good play by Collins to take the charge.

J from the A

November 8th, 2010
7:16 pm

Respect for the jumper opens up the drive and dish! Way to go Smoove!

GO HAWKS!

Melvin

November 8th, 2010
7:16 pm

How many of yall thought Josh was going to shoot that jumper instead of drive for the dish to Collins? LOL

Ree Roe

November 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

Good start. Let Dwight go for 50 & 25, let the rest of ORL beat us

-REEspect Roe!!!

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

ORL’s not used to so many moving Hawks

Jae Evolution

November 8th, 2010
7:18 pm

Josh Smith is growing on me with that jumper…

J from the A

November 8th, 2010
7:18 pm

No Q-Rich starting? Looks like the Hawks are already forcing the Magic to make adjustments.

RethinkPossible

November 8th, 2010
7:18 pm

I am liking this lineup.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2010
7:18 pm

Could Smoove be the Hawks’ best player already?

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:18 pm

lookin good..

Melvin

November 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

Nice start for the Hawks… The Magic plays much slower without Jameer.

YoDaddy

November 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

I like how we’re playing

RethinkPossible

November 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

Was on vacation the past week so i have not seen any of the games on the 6-1 run, is Nique no longer a telecaster or is he just out for tonight?

cp

November 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

The Hawks look like they came to play. Nice defense so far by Collins. Being able to guard Dwight with single coverage is the key

Wabe

November 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

J.Smith making Rashard Lewis actually close out.

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

i was just thinkin that@Najeh…..seems like it
really improved that jumper…..
he was already a good passer but even that seems to have improved.
his handling even seems better IMO

lukas

November 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

I like what i am seeing: Josh hitting jumpshoots, Twin playing good defense, the 3-point arc well covered. Keep it up!!

YoDaddy

November 8th, 2010
7:21 pm

hopefully he permanently replaces Dominique Wilkins

ignition

November 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

What a coach will do for you… Josh is playin lights out so far !!!!!!

Jae Evolution

November 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

WHOO HERE WE GO!

J from the A

November 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

Dwight with 2 fouls. lol

GO HAWKS!

Ree Roe

November 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

lol nice! Brehs is this real?

-REEpeal of Roe

Teabagger Johnson

November 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

What a start by Josh!

Melvin

November 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

Oh my, 2 fouls on Howard in the 1st qtr….

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:23 pm

We need Marvin……but would he be better off the bench? Is This THE starting lineup we need here???
Al at PF, A better shooting Smoove at SF?

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2010
7:23 pm

I always assumed that Joe would eventually give up that title of Hawks’ best player to Smoove or Horford, but I never thought it would happen this quickly. Not saying it has happened yet, but Smoove has been keying the defense and the offensive ball movement all season. At this rate, it would probably be fair to make that assessment by the end of the season.

lewis

November 8th, 2010
7:24 pm

Najeh, yes.

we look better than we ever did under mike woodson against them

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

November 8th, 2010
7:24 pm

ORL looks disoriented

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2010
7:25 pm

How many potential Smoove dimes have the guards left on the table the last couple of nights? Jamal just bricked another one…

Wabe

November 8th, 2010
7:26 pm

The Hawks are playing some DEF.

Hope they can sustain that energy on defense throughout the game.

If they do, they’ll give Orlando headaches.

cp

November 8th, 2010
7:26 pm

I havent seen this type of defensive effort all year from the Hawks. I wish they would bring it like this every night. The new dude is starting to get into it lol who is this guy

RethinkPossible

November 8th, 2010
7:27 pm

I disagree with the coach statement, last thanksgiving we were blowing the magic out in the first half, finishing the half with a 12 pt lead, however, we still lost…I love Drew, but it is still too early…