Atlanta Hawks at Magic: Game thread
Orlando–Larry Drew says Erick Dampier will be dressed tonight so look for Dampier to get a shot at checking Dwight Howard. “We need a big body,” Drew said. Hawks coaches went over plays with Dampier last night.
- Josh Smith on being left off the All-Star team: “I felt I deserved it for two years in a row. You’ve got to factor in there is a lot of politics involved in the All-Star selection. Once you get that it’s really about politics, then nothing really surprises you. I call it ‘Nothing But Associates,’ NBA. It’s all who you know. I guess I don’t know the right people or kiss enough ass. All I can do is play my game. The whole world knows I deserve to be in an All-Star. I can’t be salty about not making it I’ve just got to keep doling the things I’ve been doing on the court and that’s playing at a high level.”
- Josh on media and fellow players saying he got snubbed: “I watched TNT. I thank those guys for having me as an All-Star. I think that Louis Williams deserves to be on there. He’s been the most surprising player and the most efficient player for [the Sixers]. Rudy Gay should have made it. But it is what it is. I can’t really point a finger and blame anybody because, at the end of the day, when you leave it up to certain people that still have ties to their agents [and] players in this game today probably [are] just putting in a bid over the phone or however they do it. You have to factor that in.”
- Some Tweeps ask me if Josh was taking a shot at Joe Johnson with his comments. He wasn’t. As you can see, he’s just mad at the politics involved in how the team is picked.
- A Magic media guy asked Josh if he thought Ryan Anderson also was snubbed: “He’s played good but he also plays my position. So I felt I deserve it over him, too. Maybe he deserves to be in the three-point contest. I’ve been playing at a high level for two years now. I guess you have got to get snubbed two or three times before [you make it].”
- Josh on whether the snub will motivate him: “I can’t play no better than what I’m playing, you know what I’m saying? Just keep playing the same way I’ve been playing since Al [Horford] went down and that’s at a high level [like] even before the injury to Al.”
- Drew: “It’s really unfortunate. I just think he’s definitely an All-Star. The way he impacts both ends of the floor, he deserves to be on that team.”
- Joe: “He’s been playing great and he has the numbers to show it. It just didn’t happen. It’s unfortunate. I think we all feel he should have been an All-Star but it happens. For him, he just has to move on and continue playing. I feel like he’s an All-Star in everybody’s eyes here.”
- Stan Van Gundy: “The guys who make the team are really good players but there are always guys who are left off that can make a case. Smith is one of them.”
- Joe on his selection: “It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of it. It never gets old. I’m looking forward to coming back to Orlando in a couple weeks with my family and enjoying everything Orlando has to offer.”
- After coming here like 57 times during my Heat beat days, I’m still trying to figure out what Orlando has to offer. February days like this are an attraction, of course, but weather wasn’t really a factor when I lived in Miami and it still isn’t enough to make me like it here.
- Van Gundy on the Hawks: “They are different without Horford. They’ve moved Josh Smith back to the four spot and now they’ve got a little more 3-point shooting in the floor and they shoot it very well.”
- More Van Gundy: “They are a huge post-up and isolation team. There’s not a lot of movement. They do a great job passing out of double teams. So we either have to dig down and play them one-on-one or double and rotate out of it.”
- Van Gundy on last year’s playoff series: “Their defense was good against us and it affected us. We missed some shots that were presented to us but their defense was outstanding. That certainly was the biggest factor in our struggles.”
- Glen Davis: “Me and Dwight are physical guys. We bang down there. But at the same time that doesn’t matter if we don’t match their intensity. They are physical, too, like with Ivan Johnson.”
Following shootaround the Hawks made Ivan sing “Happy Birthday” to Zaza Pachulia, who turned 28 today. Ivan enthusiastically fulfilled his rookie duty with a smile.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat