Magic’s Nelson thinks win over Hawks is foregone conclusion

If the Hawks needed bulletin board material, Jameer Nelson just provided it. (AP photo)

If the Hawks needed bulletin board material, Jameer Nelson just provided it. (AP photo)

There are legitimate reasons to not be confident about the Hawks in the upcoming NBA playoffs, not the least of which is the fact that they just lost to the Washington Wizards by 32 points. Also, they’re 11-18 over the last two months.

But is it wise for the starting point guard on the Orlando Magic to just be assuming victory over Atlanta in the first round?

The Magic lost to Chicago 102-99 Sunday. It was a game some were building up as a possible second-round playoff preview. It’s fine for the media to do that. But afterward, there appears to be video evidence that Orlando’s Jameer Nelson whispered to Chicago’s Derrick Rose, “I’ll catch you in the second round” — which means there’s a built-in assumption by Nelson that the Magic will eliminate the Hawks in their first-round series.

This quote was sent out on Twitter by both Chris Palmer and Arash Markazi of ESPN. Also, this video of Rose’s post-game television interview is now making the rounds on the internet.

Here’s one version, via a Hawks blog site: Soaring Down South:

I’m guessing Nelson will shrug off the comment when asked about it. But do you think Nelson’s comment is indicative of the feeling in the Orlando locker room, and do you believe the result of this series is a foregone conclusion? (For what it’s worth: The Hawks were 3-1 against the Magic this season.)

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

227 comments Add your comment

Barton

April 11th, 2011
11:49 am

Matt from MN

April 11th, 2011
11:49 am

Hawks out in Round One.

Barton

April 11th, 2011
11:52 am

Never thought that was going to happen… The Hawks are a sad sack of a team. Losing by 30+ to the Wizards? Give me a break. I’m so sick of trying to analyze the problems with this team. The problem is they keep saying the same things after they lose and win and no one is telling them to shut up and be men. If Joe Johnson tells me that they “just didn’t play hard” one more time after we just gave him 121 million dollars I think I might just cry. How are there no repercussions for this kind of attitude? No one is being held accountable! Losing to the Orlando Magic IS a foregone conclusion.

Paul H

April 11th, 2011
11:53 am

No reason to think this team can win a playoff series.

jgsbirds

April 11th, 2011
11:57 am

for any other team in any sport this would certainly make great bulletin board material. unfortunately the group we have in atlanta and call the hawks have no intestinal fortitude, heart or any kind of emotion so i don’t think it really matters to them.

it ticked me off as a hawks fan! it would tick me off as a player or coach of the hawks too. but as a coach of the hawks i would not tolerate this lifeless bunch. how can our coach sit there and watch from the sideline and locker room and practice court and not go crazy. i’ve came close to smashing my 50 inch plasma about 50 times already this year after watching this group attempt to play basketball.

i’m hoping we can “man” up and play a competitive series–but i’m not holding my breath!

Tim

April 11th, 2011
11:57 am

The Hawks are a miserable franchise. Nelson is spot on. The Hawks have reached their peak and other teams in the conference have improved their lineups significantly.

Jeff Schultz

April 11th, 2011
12:01 pm

Interesting to see what the early pulse for this series is. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Ted M

April 11th, 2011
12:02 pm

Hawks can’t beat them

Andre

April 11th, 2011
12:02 pm

I’m the biggest Hawks fan I know and can almost assure you, pretty much all Hawks fans believe that this team is one and done.

Art Vandelay

April 11th, 2011
12:02 pm

Why should Nelson be criticized for speaking truth? Doesn’t matter that we beat them 3-1 in the regular season; they’re better coached, more talented and more dedicated than this bunch of losers the Hawks have on the roster. I guarantee Las Vegas agrees with him, as do the players on every other team in the league.

I’ve been a Hawks fan for 30+ years, but I’ve had enough of this nonsense. I hope they get swept in the first round and go back to the drawing board — get rid of everyone but Horford (and Smith can stay if someone can convince him to stop being a moron). Everyone in the front office should be collecting unemployment by mid-summer, and the owners should have the team forcibly stripped out of their control by the league if a buyer doesn’t emerge soon.

Benjamin

April 11th, 2011
12:03 pm

I’d say that’s a pretty accurate assessment of the Hawks’ chances, Jeff. ;) I dunno, though. We did beat them a few times this season. It won’t be a roll-over-and-die series like the second round was a year ago. I say we go six.

Ted M

April 11th, 2011
12:04 pm

The Hawks will lose in the first round of the PO for the next 3 yrs…at least

Connie Lingous

April 11th, 2011
12:05 pm

Hilarious, Nelson’s right, no doubt about it.

puppydawg

April 11th, 2011
12:06 pm

Take Orlando in 5, assuming the Hawks can man up enough to win even 1 game.

Ted M

April 11th, 2011
12:06 pm

The JJ contract is way worse then Koncak contract for the Hawks.

Ted M

April 11th, 2011
12:08 pm

The GM is worse then the coach and he’s not too good.

GT Alum

April 11th, 2011
12:08 pm

The Hawks can beat them, but that doesn’t mean they will. Quite frankly, the Hawks haven’t done anything to deserve any respect from Orlando. If they want respect, they can play consistently and not get blown out by below-.500 teams.

The other question is, even if the Hawks make it to the 2nd round, do they have any chance of winning there? This team has won the first round the past couple of years, and the knock had become they couldn’t make it past the second round. So, for there to be any level of progress, they’d have to not only beat Orlando, but also be at least competitive in the 2nd round. Sounds like most commenters think this team has actually taken a step backwards.

SWAT Native

April 11th, 2011
12:09 pm

Good, I’m glad they’re over-confident.

Dawgs97

April 11th, 2011
12:10 pm

The Hawks suck.

Kaye

April 11th, 2011
12:11 pm

come on Hawks! We can definately compete with both Orlando AND Chicago in the playoffs! I think they will pull it together!

Hawks Madness!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTY074F6Oio

Barton

April 11th, 2011
12:11 pm

Oh I forgot to give my solution to the problem – stop going to games. Force accountability by tightening the string on the pocketbook. Hawks aren’t living up to our expectations/stop going to games. Someone mentioned it on another blog, but I really do think a boycott of the final home game of the season (not sure if it has been played yet, sorry for being lazy and not looking it up) would be a fitting display of disappointment from the fans in this team. Joe Johnson has made it clear, however, that they could give a darn about the fans… so maybe not.

Losers

April 11th, 2011
12:11 pm

My county high-school age recreational team had more spunk than the Hawks.

Peter in MN

April 11th, 2011
12:12 pm

Put it this way, does any HAWK let alone Hawk fan believe “we’ll” see Chicago in the second round?

GT Trumpet

April 11th, 2011
12:13 pm

Based on the way we’ve been playing the last few games, and especially all year, I agree with him. Even if we are 3-1 against them this year.

Josh

April 11th, 2011
12:13 pm

This is one case where I don’t think it’s inappropriate or cocky for a player to look past an upcoming opponent. I know we won 3 of 4 this year, but i think we’ll be lucky to win 2 against Orlando in the playoffs.

Steve

April 11th, 2011
12:13 pm

Swept in the first round again.

Badgerina

April 11th, 2011
12:14 pm

The Hawks will not win one game. Drew will be back as coach next year. This whole season has been disappointing.

Kevin

April 11th, 2011
12:15 pm

Well he right with Smith slow as a fish Crawford at helm and owners sale team we be out in 5 games again…and its wait till next year i rather keep the Thrashers here n let hawks move to Vancover also….

SWAT Native

April 11th, 2011
12:15 pm

One thing I’ve learned about following Atlanta teams over the years: just when you think they can’t win or lose, they always do.

Art Vandelay

April 11th, 2011
12:16 pm

GT Alum, most commenters think this team has actually taken a step backwards because this team clearly HAS taken a step backwards. They have no leadership, on or off the floor, and the highest-paid player on the team is probably the third-best player on it. The Hawks are an unmitigated disaster, and probably won’t see the right side of 50 wins for a decade without taking drastic action.

Paul H

April 11th, 2011
12:16 pm

The difference is one team gives a sh-. The other does not. This has clearly been demonstrated over the season of embarrassing blowout losses to teams who won’t be in the playoffs at all.

GT Alum

April 11th, 2011
12:20 pm

Barton,

Part of the problem with that plan is folks already have been boycotting the team. The Hawks have a hard time getting anything close to a full house at Philips. Even during the regular season last year, when this team looked to be improving, they had trouble filling Philips, and attendance has dropped by about 1000 fans a game this year.

The Hawks showed some willingness to make moves by trading Bibby, even if it was pretty much a lateral move. We just have to hope they will be willing to do something big this offseason to try to improve this team.

lowdowndurtydogg

April 11th, 2011
12:28 pm

The Hawks suck! Who cares? First of all the NBA sucks as a whole. You can pick the playoff teams, give or take the 7th and 8th seed, every year! Then you add that there is almost no upsets, you can pretty much predict who will play and win the title. Everybody knows it comes down to two teams in the East and two in the West. So thats why I dont care about the NBA anymore. Its no fun.

Back to the Hawks. Where do I begin? I can talk about our point guard play and dwell on the fact we dont have a center worth a damn. I could talk about how our team has three players that can match up to anyone on paper but dont play like it on the court. Dont get me this Al is the guy crap either cause he gives up and sucks a lot too. He’s mad that he cant play PF all game. So. Play where they tell you and dominate that. Its not too many Dwight Howards in the league anyway. Most centers are undersized so stop crying. Josh is so wishy washy. One day he wants to dunk over the world and the next he thinks he’s Steve Kerr. His attitude sucks and although he is a GA boy, he can take his behind on! Just go!! Im tired of the pouting and crying and half effort you give anyway. Joe Johnson is the weakest of them all. He is too soft. I mean, name one time he came down and made a dunk on somebody. Thats what I thought. No one remembers and no one cares. He will be the sole reason why the Hawks end up moving. 100 million bucks. Man please!!

We are in trouble my Ga people. As long as we have owners like the losers that run the Hawks, I will never buy a ticket or watch a game on TV again!

EW

April 11th, 2011
12:29 pm

When we give ppl a reason to take us seriously in the post season they will. Until then we deserve that kind of brushing aside. We won’t be contenders this year either. Sorry for the dose of reality folks.

aytunstopable

April 11th, 2011
12:30 pm

there is legitamacy to it but do u really want to piss the hawks off. the times we’ve seen them pissed off included wins against Chicago, boston, miami, and the magic. so does he really want to piss them off. when the hawks actually play and are motivated they kick everyones behinds and we know this so did he really want to get atlanta focused because right now they aren’t focused. The Hawks are already laying down but you know the saying let sleeping dogs lie. well maybe they’ll wake the hell up now.

JustAThought

April 11th, 2011
12:30 pm

Jeff…….you just like the hawks………………funny!

Karl Hungus

April 11th, 2011
12:31 pm

It’s just gamesmanship. Whether or not Nelson believes that the Magic’s victory over the Hawks in the first round is a done deal, that’s not what he’s saying to Rose. He’s saying to him, “We’ll get you next time.” And the next time would be the second round, if both teams got there. Are people up in arms in Indy over the comment? If he’s just assuming that the Magic will handle the Hawks, then he’s also just assuming that the Bulls will handle the Pacers. I don’t think he’s disrespecting the Hawks by making that comment to Rose.

That being said, if the Hawks want to use it as bulletin board material going into their series with the Magic, then go for it. Because they’ll need all the help they can get.

JustAThought

April 11th, 2011
12:31 pm

I meant ………………..PATHETIC………………….funny!

@ArthanteLafleur

April 11th, 2011
12:32 pm

Normally I would be the first berate local fans for their lack of faith in or support of an Atlanta team… but the Hawks have given this town no reason to think this year will be any different than previous playoff appearances.

Sure, they show a little flash every now and then, but are wildly inconsistent and often appear clueless or disinterested. They routinely get blown out at home by very bad teams. They regressed this year and have shown little gumption down the stretch.

I don’t know the players personally so I won’t say they lack heart or discipline, but boy does it seem that way based on what I see over and over. All things considered, what reason could we possibly have to think Nelson is wrong? Sure it’s a douchey thing for him to say, but hell–would anyone here bet against his prediction?

I’ll be cheering the Hawks as always, but if we’re being completely honest here, we’ve all seen this movie before.

TM923

April 11th, 2011
12:32 pm

I can’t understand why anyone would think J. Nelson is wrong with his assessment.
This Hawks team is sooo blah. No inspiration, no fire and they make the same mistakes over and over.

Why wouldn’t a good team think they can dispose of a team like this?

JeJe

April 11th, 2011
12:34 pm

Game 1: Magic pull away and win by 25
Game 2: Hawks keep it close, Turk destroys us 4th qtr
Game 3: Lose by 4
Game 4: Lose by 35

FIRE LD

Zing

April 11th, 2011
12:37 pm

Hawks will probably win a couple of squeakers against the Magic but also lose in embarrassing fashion a couple of times. That’s not just crazy speculation–that appears to be the Hawks’ m.o. based on the playoffs the last couple of years (and this season).

C. Tampa Ironworse

April 11th, 2011
12:39 pm

Pretty much…

chc4

April 11th, 2011
12:40 pm

Hawks are an embarassment. They will get swept, roll over and play dead like always. This group is so dysfunctional it’s scary. It all trickles down from ownership though it’s not excuse. Wouldn’t be surprised if the one stud on the team (Horford) demands a trade. Wouldn’t blame him.

Geemack

April 11th, 2011
12:41 pm

Jeff

It not like the Hawks will compete.

If this was a team with Kobe on it, then this is be bill board material, but the Hawks could care less.

The Hawks will keep it close in 1 game in this series and blame the blowouts on injuries to JJ and Josh and keep the team together next year.

Dr. Warren

April 11th, 2011
12:43 pm

Since being traded, Jordan Crawford has pretty much played even with Joe Johnson. We have $100,000 million in debt and a guy close to 30. The Wizards have a 21-year-old gamer with a big upside and tiny contract.

5150WTGW

April 11th, 2011
12:47 pm

Who is actually going to attend any of these games?
Give ALL the tickets away to the Elementary Schools, Homeless Shelters, and Free with any meal bill over $60 at any downtown restaurant.

Tardy For The Party

April 11th, 2011
12:51 pm

FIRE WOODY!

Oh, wait, what year is this???

ICECOLD

April 11th, 2011
12:53 pm

Hawks win it in 6… i say six instwad of seven because orlando will play the last game at home if it go to seven. But the hawks will win the first game and then their games at home… I believe in them in the first round only because Orlando is not what it use to be. Their 3 pounters cant kill us like they did with the old players they had… and now we can play dwight straight up. As long as nelson dont kill us… the hawks can take the series if they stay focus….

Kaye

April 11th, 2011
12:53 pm

come on Hawks! We can definately compete with both Orlando AND Chicago in the playoffs! I think they will pull it together!

Hawks Madness!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTY074F6Oio