Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 88, Magic 85

  • The key for the Hawks in Game 5 is obvious: Score 88 points.
  • The Hawks survived to win Game 4 after they made lots of their familiar mistakes–poor shot selection, stagnant possessions, blown defensive assignments, turnovers. “We made some plays that weren’t very characteristic of us and took some ill-advised shots,” L.D. said, pointing out one thing that is very characteristic of this team.
  • The Hawks offset all of the bad with key rebounds, another efficient game from Jamal and some clutch free throws by J.J..
  • The Hawks have taken a beating for their lack of toughness and character in the past and so now they deserve some credit for winning ugly in this series. From the time Arenas made that 3 to tie it early in the fourth until the final buzzer, the Hawks answered every challenge.
  • “In the huddle, the first thing I did was look at all the guys’ faces and I didn’t see a sense of panic, which was a great sign for me,” Drew said. “In the past this team has been in those type of situations and didn’t respond well.”
  • The Dwight Defense and the Magic’s trades can’t completely explain how the Hawks are on the verge of winning this series after they got handled by the Magic last spring.
  • “We’re very confident right now, understanding during the regular season we had success with this team,” J.J. said. “Coming into the playoffs, we just wanted to ride that confidence. We got game one in Orlando, so our confidence grew through the roof. Now we’re up three to one, we just have to go to Orlando and stay focused and try to get another one.”
  • It’s not over. The Hawks have needed stretches of hot shooting to win three games and at some point don’t the Magic have to start making shots even if the Hawks are not really giving them lots of clean looks?
  • “It’s hard to play against a team whose back is against the wall,” Smoove said. “We have to play our best basketball of this series to close this team out.”
  • Jamal is still a big-time shotmaker. It’s easier to overlook that forced 3 on the bad possession in the final minute when he scores 25 points on 18 shots and adds six assists against one turnover and a blocked shot (!).
  • “We’ve tried a lot of guys on him so far and no one has been able to guard him yet,” Stan Van Gundy said.
  • J.J. offset his 6 for 15 shooting and six turnovers by making all six of his free-throw attempts in the fourth and collecting four of his nine defensive rebounds in the final period. OK, one of those rebounds was after Dwight blocked his shot, but still.
  • Smoove had some Josh Moments, especially in the third quarter. He also had 10 rebounds, five assists and did good work protecting the rim.
  • It’s a strange phenomenon hearing fans at Philips Arena beg and plead with Josh to stay focused and play smart is a strange phenomenon. You can feel the mix of frustration/affection/hope/anguish/joy as he goes through his cycles.
  • The Hawks outrebounded the Magic 44-42. Atlanta’s guards combined for 16 boards.
  • The Magic were desperate for someone else other than Dwight and Jameer to score. Surprisingly Arenas delivered, but then Nelson was 3 for 12 and Turkoglu turned in another clunker.
  • The final play, when Al poked the ball away from Turkoglu, illustrated how badly he’s hurt the Magic in this series. Van Gundy has barely been able to contain his disdain for his forward’s decision-making: “He basically gave him the ball.”
  • The Magic were 2 for 23 on 3-pointers.”I thought about taking a couple threes myself to boost our percentage,” Dwight said.
  • “I don’t want to take anything away from them because they are playing great defense, they are having an effect on our threes, but I really thought we had good looks tonight,” Van Gundy said.
  • Maybe, but it’s clear the Magic’s shooters have been flustered by a defense that stays sound on the perimeter and has long guys running at them. “Even when they do have looks, we’re making a conscious effort to get out and get a hand up,” Drew said. “I give my players all the credit for that.”
  • Hinrich (42 minutes) outplayed Jameer. The debate about whether the trade for him was a good one in the big picture won’t be settled for a while. But there’s no longer any question the team is better with him at point guard instead of Bibby, especially since Hinrich has rediscovered his shot (which he can get on his own, unlike his predecessor).
  • Hilton Armstrong, the throw-in in that trade, was called into action because of Zaza’s suspension and Twin’s foul trouble. He had had two steals, drew a charge on Dwight and was checking Dwight when he twice traveled.
  • “I was trying to make him use his counter more,” Armstrong said. “I didn’t want him to get flowing with his regular running hook. I know that’s his go-to move so I was make him spin a little bit more.”
  • If the Hawks win this series and Armstrong never does another thing for them, he will be remembered for this night.
  • Josh had a turn on Dwight, too: “I knew I was going to have to guard him a little bit.” L.D. took him out after he picked up his fifth foul. and out Collins back in.
  • If the Magic come back to win this series, they still have to realize that this team is flawed. The Hawks have outlined the blueprint to defend them and the Magic’s role players have all been tight.
  • “I told [teammates] if they don’t believe that we can win, then stay in Atlanta,” Dwight said. “We just have to keep believing and guys have to make shots, it’s as simple as that. They gotta act like it’s a practice or shootaround and don’t be afraid to miss. These guys are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to make shots.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

175 comments Add your comment

Rev in Tampa

April 25th, 2011
12:22 am

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
12:26 am

2nd? Eye candy on Latineuro

tom

April 25th, 2011
12:27 am

the ride has been bumpy but glad to be up 3-1! GO HAWKS!!!!! how was game 4s crowd compared to game 3???

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
12:28 am

Hawks=pickup game

Najeh Davenpoop

April 25th, 2011
12:30 am

“We made some plays that weren’t very characteristic of us and took some ill-advised shots,” L.D. said, pointing out one thing that is very characteristic of this team.

Haha real talk.

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
12:31 am

“I told [teammates] if they don’t believe that we can win, then stay in Atlanta,” Dwight said

Stay in Atlanta Dwight

Dewight on the hot seat on NBA TV right now…12:31am

Najeh Davenpoop

April 25th, 2011
12:35 am

“Hinrich (42 minutes) outplayed Jameer. The debate about whether the trade for him was a good one in the big picture won’t be settled for a while. But there’s no longer any question the team is better with him at point guard instead of Bibby, especially since Hinrich has rediscovered his shot (which he can get on his own, unlike his predecessor).”

Definitely in the short term the trade has improved the team. But the ideal alternative would have been to simply develop Teague over the last two years so that trading two first round picks for a stopgap point guard wouldn’t have been necessary.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 25th, 2011
12:36 am

“If the Hawks win this series and Armstrong never does another thing for them, he will be remembered for this night.”

Specifically, he’ll be remembered for murdering Quentin Richardson on that pick at mid floor. I didn’t know he had that in him. That brought an audible buzz through the crowd.

Nate ArchiBALL

April 25th, 2011
12:37 am

Magic: 2 of 23 from the 3 point line……wow

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
12:38 am

it was a brutal pick!^^^^

Najeh Davenpoop

April 25th, 2011
12:38 am

Great atmosphere at Philips tonight. Probably the first playoff game in the last three years that has approached sustaining the level of crowd noise from the Boston series in 2008. There were times here and there when the crowd got that loud against Milwaukee and Miami, but not for the whole game like we did tonight.

Rev in Tampa

April 25th, 2011
12:39 am

What is frustrating is that when Orlando and Atlanta play straight-up team basketball the Hawks are clearly the better team. So at the beginning of the game when both teams are working their game plans and sticking to their strengths the Hawks jump out to a double-digit lead. But then the Hawks start making sloppy passes, stop running out at their 3pt shooters, and start shooting jump-shots. Quickly the game turns into a playground pick-up game. All discipline goes out the window and the Magic climb back into the game.

That second quarter and most of the third quarter was hard to watch.

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
12:40 am

LD finally answered a question all he Hawks faithful have wondered about for a while. Apparently, he lets JC do his thing and jack up shots with a” mile-long” leash because “he is an assassin.” We will win this series, but I hate that mentality going into a tougher series in the second round. We have a very good chance to make it to the Conf finals:might even be the best shot we have had in years. Am not taking anything away from Chi, but who thought we would be here?

JeJe

April 25th, 2011
12:42 am

Why did we not trade for Hinrich last summer so he had more time with these guys? If we had, we’d have won more games in the regular season, including later in the season

WE GOTTA ATTACK THE BASKET. TOO MANY JUMPSHOTS

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
12:46 am

iam watch the 3rd quarter on the dvr, Josh Smith dribbles dribbles dribbles then shoots an 18 foot fade away air ball.This guy doesn’t get it. Just a momentum killer Josh is…Brutal man………………..

JSS

April 25th, 2011
12:47 am

@ Najeh…
They just can’t develop front line guards. I’m so over losing sleep because of it… I’m just going to dwell on the “here and now.” Bring on Game 5, the Hawks can close out an opponent on their floor for the 1st time since 1996 at Indy!

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
12:48 am

Najeh

Glad to see your opinion on Kirk come around.
I think this underdog thing definitely helps the Hawks’ mojo against talented teams, and the Bulls better take notes. It is amazing how dynamics sway in the playoffs because in the space of 2 months, the Hawks could potentially have gone from being talented, but mentally soft and inconsistent to a grind it down playoff team….The playoffs Baby

Plain & Simple...

April 25th, 2011
12:49 am

If the Hawks can match their defensive presence with poise and patience on the offensive side, they’ll be hard to beat by anyone. This game was a blow out in the making, but the Hawks did not take advantage of their hard work on defense.

Armstrong just might develop into something and as a big man, that would certainly make up for losing JC2 and a late first rounder in a weak draft year.

Love to SVG whine while Dwight gets frustrated.

Jamal is a stone cold killer.

Come out running Tuesday night again!

Keep it going Hawks!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 25th, 2011
12:53 am

“Glad to see your opinion on Kirk come around.”

“Come around” is a good choice of words, because as Kirk’s play has fluctuated my opinion about him and the trade has fluctuated accordingly. Right now he’s playing really well on defense and is making enough plays on offense to keep the offense flowing.

Row 109

April 25th, 2011
12:53 am

Wow, what a difference 1 year makes! As hard as everyone, including myself has been on LD, we have to give some credit. I mean really, I like this grind it out style. GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Plain & Simple...

April 25th, 2011
12:55 am

Orlando was 2 for 23 from behind the arc. At 8.7 percent, it was the worst 3-point performance in a playoff game with at least 20 attempts in the last 20 years.

Row 109

April 25th, 2011
12:57 am

Woody would have doubled DH and left a shooter open.

Grandad

April 25th, 2011
12:57 am

I don’t mean to be a “BabyRuth” in the punch bowl;
But,
the Hawks had a chance to win today
-&- destroy the Magic”s confidence completely while they were @ it.
We pissed around and nearly lost,
what should have been an un-lose-able game.

I’m really not going to lambast LD on this one.

1st, I must say again, I like Josh.
but he displayed the most remarkable lack of basketball acumen
in the 1st half, I’ve ever seen.

Then Joe with his disappearing act???
I know he made some big shots in the clutch,
but we should never been in a clutch situation.

These guys…..they drive me banannas !

Up 3-1…Go Hawks.

Magic body language = dispirited.
As drmaryb would say:
Now go down there and put your foot on their throat !

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
1:01 am

Am not trying to beat a dead horse, but from day one it was clear that Kirk is a playoff type guard-Teague, Bibby were not. Win, lose or draw-The Hawks, have decided to live and die with JC according to LD’s press conference statements. But, he’s a jump shooter and streak shooter at that. We wont win against Chicago with that game plan.I am not a Jamal hater, but boy is he a team offense killer even when the shots are falling.

kgbsfinst

April 25th, 2011
1:02 am

Great series so far. After watching this team in the playoffs the last three years, I am expecting after they give up the lead in the 3rd the last two games we fold and the magic would run away with the game, but it hasn’t happened. Maybe this team is different, but it will take finishing off the magic and play good, if not great in the second round.

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:07 am

mc these videos bog down the i phones. it is impossible to scroll with them on the screen

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
1:09 am

cp3 destroyed LA!

Stat line:27 pts, 13 rebs, 15 dimes!!!!!!!!!!! We coulda had him?????????

Grandad

April 25th, 2011
1:09 am

James on Pharr Rd

On Jamal:
“but boy is he a team offense killer even when the shots are falling”

I must disagree;
*Jamal runs the pick and roll well
*Jamal feeds the post well [when someone is actually in there]
*Jamal hits cutters
*Jamal moves well w/o the ball
*Jamal consistently feeds Zaza / (only one to do so)
*Jamal makes quick decisions

**Joe on the other hand ??????

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
1:13 am

New Orleans tied 2-2 with LA, what a surprise?? Like this Hawks series??

Slimjr

April 25th, 2011
1:14 am

@doc, life is full of surprises? LOL

Crazy Fan

April 25th, 2011
1:17 am

Was in the crazy fan section for game 3 and 4 and it was great to see Phillips rocking for the hawks other than half the arena cheering for the other squad. I know the players really appreciated the love and support the fans have showed already.

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:18 am

yeah MC the fan reaction to josh is kind of like the home depot game of higher or lower where the audience is asked to play. only i dont think it is what josh wants to hear but is so stubborn he does it anyway. when do they get him with a good sports psychologist?

Sleepy

April 25th, 2011
1:19 am

James on Pharr Rd – and James just how do you know we wont win against the Bulls ? Did you even think we could win against the magic prior to game one ?

If you think 25 pts 6 assists on 55% shooting is killing this team when you consider how poorly we are offensively to start the 1st and 3rd quarters before jamal even comes in the game well then I dont know what to say .

Why dont you tell us what gameplan that involves benching jamal because hes a team killer would work ?

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:28 am

hilton may have learned a bit from twin. he was huge tonight just huge. sad twin isnt more of a player. maybe he is a coach though. certainly seems intelligent enough for it. keep him, magnum and hilton along with zaza and we might have something young and competent to go with al and josh uh, smith that is.

slim watched it and enjoyed it. have a love hate relationship to kobe so i dint mind someone sticking it to him. also a big fan of phil but i like monty and the hornets and really like cp3. we dont see enough of him and a good thing or we would have torched bk, woody and nique by now for making that collective mistake. bk pulled the trigger but it wasnt in a vacuum.

HawkEye

April 25th, 2011
1:33 am

If the Hawks make it out of this series, I’m curious to see how they plan to defend D Rose and the Bulls.

Good ugly win. 3-1 going back to Disneyland.

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:34 am

i like the way svg has boiled down his coaching to “guys you are going to have to make a shot”, while not developing a well rounded attack over the past three years becoming more enamored with getting the game centered on dwight not realizing that teams can weaken them by allowing him to have his way and take care of the rest. dwight is good but he aint wilt, nor jabbar or even shaq who couldnt win em by themselves either. just saying svg, so go back to the drawing board

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:35 am

but wait until next year if there is one and you are coaching. heh heh

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:39 am

jeje both astro and i were begging for kirk on the other blog during the summer of stagnation. geez, the guy was not going to play with walls there and tou had to wonder why he went there and why we didnt inquire maybe of it of chicago who seemed set with rose though thibs was saying he could make room for both.

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
1:41 am

Grandad and Sleepy:

Let me re-state, I root for the Hawks, and I am excited to see us win-pleasantly surprised as most will admit to see us here,right? But our success in this round doesnt mean we can beat a better defensive team on the same game plan. My issue with Jamal is his style of game- he takes too many jump shots and bad shots as the TNT crew brought to our attention EVEN WHEN THEY ARE FALLING.(refer to Kenny’s pictures) For as long as I can remember, there is not team that has prevailed in the playoffs with one on one jump shooting style ball.

@Grandad:
Jamal runs the pick and roll well…You mean he doesnt pass the ball out-I saw one play this game with AL and he was a full second late on letting the ball into the post to Al
*Jamal feeds the post well [when someone is actually in there
*Jamal hits cutters-Yes
*Jamal moves well w/o the ball-So does Marvin and Zaza
*Jamal consistently feeds Zaza / (only one to do so)-That is not true, if am not mistaken, we do not run many offensive plays successfully when he has the ball as point man.
*Jamal makes quick decisions-Yes, he does, but how many bad ones.

mykhalc

April 25th, 2011
1:43 am

Kirk has always been a hard nosed, blue collar player!!! bet cha CHI would like him in their lineup for the playoffs!!! luv the W…still hate the way they play…even MORE after tonite!!!

SUPERIORBLOGMAN

April 25th, 2011
1:44 am

Hawks are the worse winning team in the NBA. I am not impressed. I would not be surprised if we still lose this series. All Orlando needs to do is blow us out by 30 on Tuesday and they will win this series. Kirk is just another jumpshooter who can defend well against certain people and Jameer seems to be one of those people. Al nor Josh nor JJ’s numbers are impressive. Jamal is playing good defense for his standards which is scary, he will revert. For those of you that say let’s enjoy the goodtimes while they last, do your thing but that’s not my personality I am a BIG PICTURE being and the picture is clear. This team is not winning anything worth noting as constructed.

Fire LD
Let Sund Walk
Get a New Owner
Get a Legit Starting NBA Center

Then your core is worth noting. You build from your core. A core of Al, Josh, Joe, and Jamal is not worth much attention.

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
1:44 am

^
The Hawks strength is our defense, and with JC on the floor for his usual starter-like minutes, we become vulnerable. I would like to see Marvin play some more minutes that almost always go to Jamal. He’ll bail us out for stretches, and then set us back in other stretches. Fools Gold baby!!!!!

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
1:46 am

Superiorblogman

Help me out on this Jamal thing, why does everyone fall for the bait about JC-When his shots are not dropping, and believe me, they will stop……

mykhalc

April 25th, 2011
1:47 am

AAU bball at its best…PERIOD!!!

Ra'mon

April 25th, 2011
1:49 am

If the Hawks win on Tuesday, I could very much see D12 forcing a trade this summer. Hedo and Arenas are both impossible to trade now. So Orlando virtually have no way of improving their roster going into next season. And its clear, this roster will only be a first round out next season too, because no one is young enough to significantly improve for them.

Wabe

April 25th, 2011
1:51 am

To chime in on what Najeh mentioned about Hinrich improving this team in the short-term.

That’s a no brainer. I don’t think anybody was arguing prior to the playoffs starting that Hinrich wasn’t an upgrade over Bibby. Most agreed that Hinrich did make the Hawks better. But, would that upgrade really make the Hawks that much closer to getting over the hump?

Simply put, the Hawks have gotten to the 2nd round the previous two seasons with Bibby at PG, so getting past a declining Magic team still doesn’t mean this deal was a good move for the long term success of this team. How the Hawks perform the next round will shed a bit more light as to how close the Hawks are to being over the hump.

As for the Teague bashers who expect dude to come into the league and tear it up without any time to develop. Just look at Philadelphia and Jrue Holiday. This kid seriously looked like a bum just a season ago, but he seems to be coming along quite nicely now. That’s what playing time and development could do for a young guy whose raw. The same could be the case with Teague had our coaching staff given this kid an opportunity from day one. Bibby had been on the decline for some time. We wouldn’t have drafted a PG had we not needed one. But, we still chose to go with an aging PG rather than develop the one we drafted. The Hinrich deal could’ve been one not needed had we taken the initiative of developing the dude.

But, I’m sure most think continuing to talk about Teague’s development is just beating a dead horse. It’s the usual story with this team. It is what it is.

Lets hope the Hawks can close the Magic out and see how we match up with the Bulls. We’ve beaten the Magic 6 out of the 8 times we’ve played them this season, so I’m confident they’ll get this thing closed out. Hopefully they avoid making it interesting though.

SUPERIORBLOGMAN

April 25th, 2011
1:52 am

James on Pharr Rd

April 25th, 2011
1:46 am

Superiorblogman

Help me out on this Jamal thing, why does everyone fall for the bait about JC-When his shots are not dropping, and believe me, they will stop……

I don’t know my friend. I think they fall for him like they do Josh because Jamal looks good on ESPN and highlights and he can somewhat carry a team offensively for spurts. I am starting to think with the bad management crew we have that they will resign him and pay too much, instead of going after something we really need which is out there like, Dalembert, Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, or Greg Oden. Jamal is actually worse than Josh with his flaws to clarify my stance. Jamal does not play D consistently, takes bad shots, and is already 30 years old so he is not changing.

Sleepy

April 25th, 2011
1:57 am

James please why dont you tell us the lottery numbers since you keep telling us what we wont able to do in the future ?

This is the the NBA playoffs you do what works until someone stops and then you adjust . The key is to get he win and move on not stop and psych yourself about about the next series before its even played .

Its amazing how many hawks fans are more than wiling to bet on other teams before there own .

Who cares what the TNT crew has to say when was the last time they wanted the Hawks to do well or even complimented us on doing well(besides Cwebb)

How do you not believe a team will win and then complain about how they won it when they do ?

No team without a superstar had won it before the Pistons did it but does that mean they shouldnt have tried ?

You better learn to take what those clowns on TNT say s with a grain of salt because they are routinely wrong and contradict themselves all the time .

As I said before you watch the last two Bulls games and tell me that Rose didnt take any bad shots on his way to shooting 5-30 from three and then listen to them praise him . I love Rose but if you watch TNT all the time I do they dont have a leg to stand on this case as they always ALWAYS are playing favorites .

Why dont you tell us what other team you can think of in playoff history who has a player who has been as hot as jamal has been these past 4 games and somehow catches this much flack for the team riding him ?

Its the playoffs and you ride the hot hand .

Wabe

April 25th, 2011
1:59 am

Jameer’s not an attack the basket kinda player. He’s a spot up jump shooter. Occasionally, he’ll dribble-penetrate to set others up.

D.Rose is a different beast. Should we advance, you’ll see the same Kirk Hinrich defense that looked so great on Jameer look not so great on D.Rose. I know the regular season doesn’t matter anymore, but to ignore the Hawks performances (aside from one half) against the Bulls this season would be foolish. The Hawks played the Bulls 3 times since the Hinrich deal, and we managed to put together one good half out of 6 halves of hoops.

The Bulls are a much better defensive unit than the one we face. But we still find ourselves scoring in the 80’s against a Magic team that are throwing mismatches across the board at us.

We’ll have to be more efficient offensively if we stand a chance against the Bulls. Our bigs will need to step up their effort. We can’t go into that series looking for hero-efforts from JJ/Jamal. Horford and Smith will need to beast on Noah/Boozer. I honestly think we should contemplate rolling out a big lineup with Zaza in at the 5.

Of course this is all if we do advance. Don’t wanna get ahead of myself here, but I do think the Hawks will take care of business.

Sleepy

April 25th, 2011
2:01 am

here come all the haters trying to pose as fans who gave up on th team two weeks ago trying to act as though they are imparting some wisdom . After what some of you said before the playoffs started you dont have a leg to stand on .;

We werent supposed to show up but we did… we werent supposed to win but we have been and now some of you are here talking about whats going to happen . ROFLMAO