Magic at Atlanta Hawks Game 4: Jamal Crawford, by the way, is balling

We interrupt the talk about fights and flops with the news that Jamal is having a good series.

Jamal was known as a good scorer/volume shooter on bad teams when he came to Atlanta. He shed that image with the most efficient season of his career while playing on a good team. Jamal also was the only guy to show up in the playoffs against Orlando last season but hardly anyone noticed because the Hawks were taking beatdowns (good scorer, bad team again).

After Jamal’s production and efficiency fell off this season in L.D.’s egalitarian offense, hardly anyone was expecting what we’ve seen so far in this series. According to ESPN Stats, Jamal is just the seventh guy in league history to score 20 points or more as a reserve in three consecutive postseason games.

“It’s different because in the playoffs, everybody knows every play you are calling,” Jamal said. “They went over it. They have had three days to prepare. At times it comes down to making plays and creating stuff. I love the big stage. I love playing at the highest level. I used the last month of the season to get in a rhythm and get relaxed.”

That part about loving the big stage is true. Anyone who knows Jamal will tell you he loves the attention. Shoot, he will tell you it’s the reason he was hyped about joining the Hawks: “I was just excited about getting to play on the big stage and on a good team because more people notice that. ”

Jamal’s love of the limelight is an emotional counter to the logical argument that he can’t keep this up because he’s shooting way over his norm, especially 3-pointers. It’s also a way to explain how that lucky, banked-in, challenged 3 in Game 3 sort of made sense in a Jamal kind of way.

“It’s no fluke, really,” Al said. “We are probably a little surprised at the way that shot went in. But he likes that. He likes being in that position.”

Notes

  • Twin appeared to be moving a bit stiffly before the game but he’s in the starting lineup. “Just try to keep it warm and pay through any discomfort,” he said.
  • L.D. on Al possibly guarding Dwight: “I won’t completely rule that out. We will just have to look at the rhythm of the game and the flow of the game.”
  • Al on defending Dwight without fouling: “It’s really tough. If you are fronting him, maybe you can get away with some stuff. The whole key is to keep him off [the block] and make him shoot over you. You have to know when to [front] him. You have to pick your spots.”
  • Hilton Armstrong: “I have to wait for my name to be called to try to defend Dwight and give a couple hard fouls if need be. . . . We just have to try to be solid and hold our ground against him. He’s strong but we have to keep fighting and be physical with him.”
  • L.D. on Stan Van Gundy’s flop complaints: “Maybe that evens up all of the illegal screens that’s been set. . . . We haven’t gotten the whistle. We are not going to cry and complain about it. We are just going to keep playing. This is what playoff basketball is. You can’t cry about a whistle, you have to learn to play through it.”
  • Van Gundy said he’s not “posturing for calls” but just doesn’t like flopping. “I am talking about 7-foot, 270-pound guys falling down like they are grade-school kids out there. It’s not just our series. You see it all the time in the NBA. It’s something I don’t like. I think it’s bad for the NBA and I wish it would stop. I don’t have any problem with how the series is being called. . . . A lot of the flops they haven’t even called fouls on Dwight, which is good. I’m just saying don’t flop. Stand up and play.”
  • Zaza: “So what do you expect him to say, Dwight keeps elbowing guys? Of course he is going to defend his player. I am not surprised. But I know I am not [flopping]. We are just trying to play basketball. We are trying to win the game. That is our goal.”
  • Q-Rich is starting in place of J-Rich. “It allows us to stay bigger,” Van Gundy said. “I like J.J. coming off the bench. We can run some stuff for him. It doesnt’ put all of our offensive guys on the floor at the same time.”
  • Arenas will be back in Orlando’s rotation. “We are going to need five perimeter guys,” Van Gundy said. “He’s going to be in there and I expect him to play well.”
  • L.D. on how Orlando’s lineup change might affect Joe: “The way they’ve been playing him, they’ve been coming every single time just a matter of how we play out of it. I don’t see that much difference. Dwight is coming every single time.”
  • Said Joe: “I wouldn’t say it opens up much. They may double a lot more. With Jason, I thought they picked spots where they played one-one-one and were satisfied with it. Now if a smaller man is on me maybe they come with the double team a lot quicker. We have to see. I think it’s neither here nor there. If we come out with the effort we need we definitely can get a win.”
  • Q-Rich: “We are going to bring out intensity. As far as all of that extra stuff goes that Collins and them are doing over there, we can’t control anything. But like [J-Rich] said, we going to protect ourselves. We are not going to be bullied or back down from anything.”
  • L.D.: “We haven’t taken a step back when it gets physical and emotions are high. Because when you do that, you expose yourself. We don’t condone fighting but we are not going to back down.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

688 comments Add your comment

J.J.M.

April 24th, 2011
6:31 pm

just ate me some good food. ready for some hawks!

JeJe

April 24th, 2011
6:35 pm

Jae Evolution

April 24th, 2011
6:37 pm

Roy Boy and Sweet Lou came up clutch in both their games.

It’s unfortunate that the Nuggets Thunder series never took off like many had hoped, but hopefully the Hawks can get a critical Game 4 win tonight and make this series a little further out of reach.

JeJe

April 24th, 2011
6:38 pm

must-win tonight

J.J.M.

April 24th, 2011
6:43 pm

knicks gone fishin

steve

April 24th, 2011
6:45 pm

Trainwreck

April 24th, 2011
6:46 pm

Let’s get another win tonight

steve

April 24th, 2011
6:47 pm

another must win tonight. Can’t give the magic any magic heading back to O-lando

The Hawksta

April 24th, 2011
6:47 pm

Gotta win this one tonight! We can’t afford to lay off the gas.The Hawks need to win a game on TNT for once. This team as constituted hasn’t shown up when they have called our games. Charles and Kenny hate our iso’s and they make a point to say it. Hope there is a sellout! They will clown us if it’s not! Go Hawks!!!

steve

April 24th, 2011
6:51 pm

They will clown us regardless. ESPN clowned us the other night despite having a standing room only crowd. Media hates ATL for whatever reason

J.J.M.

April 24th, 2011
7:07 pm

stern is at the game we should get some fair calls from the refs tonight

bigdave

April 24th, 2011
7:08 pm

LETS GET IT!!!!!

BE SPECIAL….

i_am_soulstar

April 24th, 2011
7:09 pm

Eff ESPN. Go Hawks!!!!

steve

April 24th, 2011
7:11 pm

stern there to make sure his money man makes it through

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:11 pm

Hopefully these thunderstorms in our area will stay below severe levels, and I can watch this entire game without a power interruption.

I really want Al to step up to the challenge and guard Dwight tonight. And we can’t let a guy like Arenas turn back the clock tonight. The last thing we need is for him to get going.

Marvin . . give us something tonight man. I’ll take 11 points and 7 rebounds.

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:12 pm

Damn . . Collins can’t pick up cheap offensive fouls like that.

steve

April 24th, 2011
7:12 pm

need to save those for the defensive end jason

J.J.M.

April 24th, 2011
7:13 pm

wow a foul already

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:14 pm

I like that double team off the inbound that HOrford and Hinrich did, forcing the turnover. Nice.

cp

April 24th, 2011
7:15 pm

lol come on Josh

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:15 pm

Horrible rotation there. JJ has to know who he left. Turn back around and go out at him. But the dude has it going offensively tonight. Damn.

Wabe

April 24th, 2011
7:16 pm

Joe Joe feelin it.

honest_abe

April 24th, 2011
7:16 pm

josh is just awesome.

steve

April 24th, 2011
7:16 pm

you arent a pg josh..give the ball up

bigdave

April 24th, 2011
7:16 pm

EFFORT JOE!!!!

no open 3’s!!!

cp

April 24th, 2011
7:17 pm

Josh trying to do too much. Joe looks good early

steve

April 24th, 2011
7:17 pm

bigdave

April 24th, 2011
7:17 pm

EFFORT JOSH!!!!

recover!!!

Wabe

April 24th, 2011
7:17 pm

Hawks could be pouring it on right now if they value every possession here.

honest_abe

April 24th, 2011
7:18 pm

now thats what i’m talkin bout joe!

i_am_soulstar

April 24th, 2011
7:19 pm

This is some NBA Jam ish, ’cause Joe is ON FIRE!

James

April 24th, 2011
7:20 pm

The energy by the Hawks is great right now. They just need to play smarter. There were too many careless turnovers as a the result of possibly being over-anxious. The Hawks have the right intensity, they just need to make sure that that energy is smart energy.

Slimjr

April 24th, 2011
7:20 pm

if Marvin dont show up, cut his azz 2morrow…..

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:20 pm

Great defense so far. And Mr. Johnson has come to play tonight. Gotta love it. Now make these FTs. He’s only shooting 64% ( 9 – 14 ) in the series so far from the line.

Slimjr

April 24th, 2011
7:21 pm

and 1REF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

April 24th, 2011
7:21 pm

dont shoot any j’s Josh you suck at it!!!!!!!!!!!11

cp

April 24th, 2011
7:21 pm

sup with Joe and his free throws

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:22 pm

And of course, he only makes 1 of 2 FTs.

10 – 16 ( 62.5% ) in this series

steve

April 24th, 2011
7:22 pm

Slimjr

April 24th, 2011
7:22 pm

Bench Josh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wabe

April 24th, 2011
7:23 pm

There you go. That neutralizes the Zaza effect.

Slimjr

April 24th, 2011
7:23 pm

Give up the rock Magic jr (Josh)!!!!!!!!!!

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:23 pm

OK . . now THAT helps. 2 on Dwight. How does Van Gundy play this?

OK AL . . . this is YOUR TIME now. NO Howard, and you can play center. Marvin in quick, before Jamal. Al and Marvin need to impact the game right here.

cp

April 24th, 2011
7:24 pm

Dwight out with two quick fouls. attack the basket Hawks

bigdave

April 24th, 2011
7:24 pm

shut up Nique!

Wabe

April 24th, 2011
7:25 pm

wowzers smoooooooooove

i_am_soulstar

April 24th, 2011
7:25 pm

great pass by Smoove

tremaine

April 24th, 2011
7:25 pm

northcyde

April 24th, 2011
7:25 pm

LOL @ Marv . . shhhhhhhhhhh . . don’t be telling the nation that. We know how Philips Arena is.

Slimjr

April 24th, 2011
7:26 pm

I thought we had a pt guard Josh?????????????????????????????HUH??????????????