Magic wake up and Hawks show their ugly former selves

When J.J. Redick hit five straight shots in the first half, Hawks knew it would be a long night. (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel)

When J.J. Redick made five straight shots in the first half, Hawks knew it would be a long night.

ORLANDO – Remember these guys?

This is what you feared. Not a game, but a cartoon. Not a loss, but four quarters of exploding body parts.

For most of four playoff games against Orlando, we saw what the Hawks were capable of. Then we saw what we already knew they were capable of because they showed it all too often during their bipolar season.

Before the game was half over Tuesday night, the Hawks trailed by 10, then 15, then 25, and then everybody pretty much stopped paying attention. Now the doubt is back in Atlanta, and the hope is back in Orlando.

The final score was Magic 101, Hawks 76. It would’ve been worse if Orlando hadn’t put it in cruise control early.

The Hawks lost by 25, and Dwight Howard wasn’t even a factor. He scored eight points.

Remember these guys?

There’s only one positive if you’re the Hawks. It counts as only one loss. This remains a very winnable series. They lead it 3-2, and they can still wrap up this playoff series Thursday night at Philips Arena. That would be a good idea because winning a Game 7 back in Orlando generally doesn’t show up on the blueprint.

“Clearly we lost our composure,” coach Larry Drew said, referencing a 26-13 first-quarter deficit. “We did not play with the poise that I thought we would.”


The looks on faces of Josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Zaza Pachulia say it all. The question: Can Hawks avoid a hangover? (Orlando Sentinel)

The Hawks said all the right things before the game. They wanted to close out the series here. They wanted to play like the desperate team. They wanted to take the Orlando crowd out of it early. Then the game started, and they wound up eating those words.

“They were the hungrier team,” Jamal Crawford said. “If they lose, their summer starts tomorrow, and they played like it. We didn’t. We’re just lucky it’s not a round-robin tournament and the points don’t carry over.”

“I actually think we did come out a little desperate,” Al Horford said. “But we rushed things at the offensive end. We missed shots and they made shots, and then we could just never really get into a flow. That was it.”

The Hawks weren’t dominating the Magic at 3-1. But the fact Orlando led for only 42 minutes of the first 192 minutes of this series said something. Stan Van Gundy, the Magic coach, acknowledged he was out of ideas.

“We’ve played 29 different lineups,” he said before the game. “I’m not sure how many more possibilities there are.”

The Hawks didn’t play great at every moment in every game in the first four. But we saw how defensive intensity, effort and the occasional forearm shiver can go a long way in the postseason. It can make up for offensive liabilities. It certainly can prevent things like 41-point losses to New Orleans.

But the “Bad Hawks” returned. Orlando pushed the pace and shot better than at any point in the series. The Magic made 11 of 26 3-pointers (42.3 percent) after making 21 of 96 (21.9 percent) in the first four.

They made three of their first 14 shots, then they made 17 of 30 to close the first half and outscored the Hawks 48-26 to take a 58-35 lead.

The Hawks, conversely, were a mess on offense (36.2 percent). Joe Johnson’s night: 2-for-12 (five points). Crawford’s night: 2-for-8 (eight points). The team’s night from 3-point range: 4-for-16.

Something you never expected also happened: J.J. Redick changed the series. He made his first five shots. He started hitting — scoring 11 consecutive Orlando points at one point — and then everybody started hitting. Jason Richardson. Ryan Anderson. Even Hedo Turkoglu, who had been thrown under the bus during media sessions this series by both his coach and his general manager (Otis Smith).

After the win, Van Gundy was predictably cautious: “We did what we had to do, but all we did was cut the lead. It’s like we cut a 20-point lead to 12.”

But what kind of hangover will this leave in the Hawks’ locker room? They didn’t react well to the onslaught. They didn’t get hands in the faces of shooters. They couldn’t slow the pace and, consequently, were not as physical.

What next?

“I don’t expect any hangover,” Horford said. “We’ll go back to Atlanta, and Philips Arena will be rocking and we’ll try to close this out.”

They’re still in control. But as always, it depends which of the team’s personalities show up.

By Jeff Schultz

Earlier today: Digi-Blog previews Hawks and Magic, game 5

Earlier today: LIVE BLOG: Hawks try to close out Magic (honest)

Earlier today: Cam Newton offered $1 million if he passes lie detector (Update II)

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at

118 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2011
10:52 pm

At least the Braves are winning.

Same Old Hawks

April 26th, 2011
10:56 pm

“I don’t expect any hangover,”

i don’t either .. i expect they’ll lose some other way

Stan Van vs Larry D

April 26th, 2011
10:59 pm

The hawks did what they couldn’t afford to do. Get blown out. This series is over. Orlando wins it 4-3.

N Dub

April 26th, 2011
11:01 pm

Those were the Hawks we know and loathe. About time they showed up.


April 26th, 2011
11:01 pm

Not at all surprised by this performance…..they played as if they knew it wasn’t life or death…they played this game like they played the last 6 games of the regular season. There’s something fundamentally wrong with this team’s approach to games like this. LD has no clue how to motivate these guys and says as much after losing time and time again. When a head coach looks as clueless after an embarrassing performance as he does after a huge win…chances are it’s not the guy you want in charge.


April 26th, 2011
11:02 pm

why is josh always smellin is upper lip?


April 26th, 2011
11:10 pm

I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!

I had a funny feeling the whole day something like this would happen SMH.


April 26th, 2011
11:13 pm

Jeff you should get hazardous duty pay having to watch that debacle live.


April 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

Dont look now but Josh just missed another three

GT Trumpet

April 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

I was going to watch this game on tv, but was unable to due to studying. I’m really glad I missed this blowout. Orlando wins 4-3.

Dr. Warren

April 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

I actually thought this would happen on Sunday, but it got delayed two days. Uh, go Hawks.


April 26th, 2011
11:15 pm

No team that has ever won a championship got blown out like this on their road to the Finals, I’d assume.


April 26th, 2011
11:18 pm

I believe that in NBA playoff history only 8 teams have come from 3-1 down to win a series….could # 9 be two games away….hey they made playoff history last year…why not add to that. Really wish the team would just relocate…Atlanta has enough problems to deal with.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 26th, 2011
11:18 pm

Enter your comments here

#1 hawks fan

April 26th, 2011
11:19 pm

My my my. It’s funny how people change based on one game. When you are winning everyone is in your corner and rooting you own but the minute you lose people jump off the boat. I hate the hawks have to deal with such fairweather fans. Where is the support! What we should be saying is, we will get them in game 6. The magic is a good team and they was due for a good game but the series will end on thursday. Will the real hawks fan stand up and show your true support for the home team at Phillips on Thursday.


April 26th, 2011
11:25 pm

Good luck guys. Its do or die in Atlanta. I hope that our shooting will be hot on Thursday.


April 26th, 2011
11:25 pm

Good Grief – One game!! If you lose by 1 or 31 it’s a loss!!

Quit being so fair weather… & Quit your belly aching!!

Birds rap this baby up in Phillips Thirsty Night!!


April 26th, 2011
11:26 pm

seems like every ATL team prefers being the underdog. Once they get to a point where everyone believes, then they lose. In keeping with this theory, the national media will now go back to their original expectation ( that Orlando will win the series), so now the Hawks become the underdog again, thus winning game 6.

jack bauer

April 26th, 2011
11:28 pm

This series was 2!!!!!!! 3 pointers away from being a 4-1 series win. 2!!!!!! Unless the magic go 3-25 again from 3 point we are done. And did anyone else see Josh Exlax talking trash after knocking down a jumper to cut it to 21? Like Chris Rock said, ain’t nobody above an arse whoopin! – hh

Jeff Schultz

April 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

UGASlobberknocker — Unfortunately salary doesn’t change, good games or bad. Hazard pay would’ve been nice tonight.


April 26th, 2011
11:33 pm

Have no fear, Underdog is here!! Hawks win Thursday night by 5 in a thriller! Should be fun!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 26th, 2011
11:33 pm

(P)utrid, (U)gly, (R)idiculous, (E)gregious,

(I)diotic, (N)onchalant, (S)urrendering, (A)cquiescing, (N)e’er-do-well, (I)neffectual, (T)urrible, (E)ffortless

pure insanity for this type of display from coaches and players.


April 26th, 2011
11:38 pm

come on guys,

i know we just got beat up but did we expect to win in a do or die situation against orlando on their home floor???
the difference was they hit shots and we did not … simple they hit 7 more 3 pointes than us thats enough to put us in a very close game.
hawks will win at home thursday in a tough game bc they know if they lose they will not win in game 7 in orlando.
i think with howard on the floor that slows down their offense, if hes in the game they dont shoot as many 3 pointers we cover them better bc of ono on one coverage of howard.

i said before the series hawks win in 6 and they will close it out in front of a spectacular crowd..
so guys lets show up to phillips arena a cheer on our hawks to win, bc we are the sixth man

GT Alum

April 26th, 2011
11:38 pm

# 1 hawks fan and snoopy -

Actually, lots of people were wondering if the Hawks would play at least one game like this in the playoffs. It’s not like this is the first time this team has gotten blown out this season, and it was generally against worse teams than Orlando. This team occasionally phones it in, and, if they can’t hit jumpers, they tend to be in trouble.

Oh, and yes, snoopy, it counts as a L either way, but if you don’t think Orlando has more confidence after winning like this than they would winning by 1 point, then you are deluding yourself.

GT Alum

April 26th, 2011
11:45 pm

joey1 -

It’s not that they didn’t win. It’s that they didn’t even compete.

Oh, and that stuff about Howard being off the floor letting them run is bull. Howard’s been off the floor with foul trouble before, and they didn’t run like that. The reason Orlando got fast breaks is because the Hawks weren’t hitting shots, so the Magic got the rebounds and were off to the races. That, and the Hawks turned the ball over twice as much as Orlando did. Also, the Magic only had 3 more fast break points than the Hawks, so it’s not like Orlando scored so much more easily because they were beating the defense down the floor. The Hawks just didn’t play defense the same way tonight that they did the first 4 games.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 26th, 2011
11:46 pm

(P)utrid, (U)gly, (R)idiculous, (E)gregious

(I)diotic, (N)onchalant, (S)urrendering, (A)cquiescing, (N)e’re-do-wells, (I)neffectual, (T)urrible (Y)early

pure insanity – on the coaches for not making defensive adjustments and for the players for lacking the killer instinct to close this one out.


April 26th, 2011
11:46 pm

man, all i hear is “hate hate hate”, dang guys! chill out! wheres the support? wheres the love? it was a dam frustrating game, but come on, lets get behind our boys for game 6! and all the rest of you haters, go root for the lakers or celtics or some other rich-azz, pretty boy, bandwagon team! get out of the ATL! ill always pull for the hawks no matter what! i got faith that we will put together a game 6 win…..go hawks!!!!

Whopper Dawg

April 26th, 2011
11:47 pm

I didn’t see a second of the game, but let me guess. Lots of none, one or two pass possessions mainly on the parameter that resulted a a late shot clock long range jumper. Any pass to our guys wearing a headband was never seen again. Josh missed a lot of jumpers and seemed determined to bring the ball up the court at times. About right?

Hawks should have lost the last game as well, Orlando just player worse. This team could easily be sitting at home after this round.

Buddy Grizzard

April 26th, 2011
11:49 pm

First quarter before dh gets in foul trouble:
Josh def reb
Josh miss 22-footer
Josh def reb
Josh miss 8-foot hook
Collins def reb
Josh draws foul on Hedo 1-2
Josh draws foul on dh 1-2
Collins fouls dh
ah def reb
jj misses 18-footer
kh misses 25-footer
kh def reb
ah hits 17- footer kh assist
Josh fouls J-Rich
Josh hits 9-foot hook
Josh def reb
ah misses 14-footer
kh makes 18 footer
ah misses 19-footer
Josh off reb
Josh misses layup
Josh blocked bh dh on 5-footer
ah fouls dwight
Josh draws foul on dh 1-2
5:39 1st qtr, Brandon Bass subs in for DWIGHT HOWARD
Orlando leads 10-8
5:33 1st qtr, JAMAL CRAWFORD subs for kh
ah def reb
Jamal misses 23-footer
ah def reb
ah misses 18-footer
4:35 first qtr Zaza subs for ah
Orlando leads 12-9
jj misses 9-foot hook
jamal misses 20-foot jumper
josh misses layup
josh of reb
marv of reb
marv turnover
josh throws pass away
jamal misses 25-footer
2:36 kh subs for josh
Orlando leads 19-9
ah subs for jj
jamal crawford turnover
bass block on ah
marv turnover
ah def reb
marv def reb
zaza makes 2 ft
bass blocks zaza 5-ft hook
zaza turnover
jamal makes 2 ft
End 1st qtr Orlando 26, Hawks 13

Shame on Orlando Sentinel

April 27th, 2011
12:15 am

Has anyone read this article on the Orlando Sentinel website. Not only is the author arrogant and condescending but he is insulting the Hawks calling them ” Atlanta Birdbrains”, “mentally fragile”, “They are still Team Dummy.”
That is as disrespectful as one can get. Shame on Mike Bianchi!,0,7657264.column


April 27th, 2011
12:26 am

How can a “Coach” who played point guard in this league,not utilize the speed and hustle of Jeff Teague in this series?
Larry Duhh-rew is just killing this kids Confidence!
It just amazes me why Duhh-rew will not put Teague in the game to change the pace. I think that Teague,wilkins and Powell will give us a helluva lot more EFFORT than Josh and Marvin.
Josh Smith is not a jump shooter and Marvin is afraid to play his Size!
Don`t let me get started on the Capt.Me-paid!
But we all knew they were going to tank it tonight.
Duhh-rew needs to look at the other PG`s in the playoffs.
They all have speed and they penetrate and facilitate the Game like PG`s should do….LET JEFF TEAGUE PLAY DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gwinnett Fred

April 27th, 2011
12:33 am

Please people – have a little conviction in your thoughts, huh?

Just like nobody should have thought the Hawks were all of a sudden a sound team after the first 4 games should think they are back to being worthless after game 5.

If you were proud of the team taking a 3-1 lead, you should be just as proud of them still leading the series 3-2. If not, then you are not a true fan and need to go play video games or something to use up your worthless time.


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April 27th, 2011
1:06 am

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April 27th, 2011
1:31 am

I didnt see much of the game, only part of it.. but..

I think the “handwriting on the wall is clear”. If the Hawks are going to win this series, they need to do it in Game Six. Even though the Hawks have won one game in Orlando in this series, I just dont see them taking a Game Seven there.

Hopefully, Atlanta can come through.. but.. with as Jekyll Hyde as this team has played this year, nothing would surprise me.

Mike W

April 27th, 2011
1:34 am

#1 hawks fan

My my my. It’s funny how people change based on one game. When you are winning everyone is in your corner and rooting you own but the minute you lose people jump off the boat. I hate the hawks have to deal with such fairweather fans. Where is the support! What we should be saying is, we will get them in game 6. The magic is a good team and they was due for a good game but the series will end on thursday. Will the real hawks fan stand up and show your true support for the home team at Phillips on Thursday.

Co-sign lets go hawks with them through bad or good


April 27th, 2011
1:41 am

As much as the Hawks have proven they are the better team, as much as they have just outright dominated this series…every aspect of those two things will be erased if they lose the next game.


April 27th, 2011
1:58 am

Mike W @ 1;34am blog I totally agree with you. I know the Magic are a good team too. I just want to see us put teams away when we can. The mistakes are for us to learn from to get to the next level. The Bulls are not a joke. I would like to see the Hawks win the NBA Championship “This Year man”. But we can’t make careless mistakes continually. I am a Hawks, Braves, and Falcons Fan. I am born and raised in Atl. I want to see this team go far. I am not hating on the lost, I am hoping for a better well fought game and a win. If we lose, let it be close pleeese! We had them down 3 to 1. We should win the next one at home for sure.


April 27th, 2011
3:37 am

What a bunch of Pathetic Atlanta Fans we have…..We hit a bump in the road and we are ready to throw in the towel….. The Hawks have gotten this far and we can’t just enjoy being proud of them! I know we got problems, lots of em, we know we follow them on the court and know what’s wrong and what’s right about this team… I cheer for them no matter what!!!! And yeah we can take care of the Magic in game 6, the playoffs are a chess match game-to-game, and we got what it takes to finish THESE magic! IT’S OUR MOVE NOW, IN OUR HOUSE! Let’s make it known in Game 6! ….i’m still angry about the Wilkins trade in the 90’s, i hate Lenny Wilkins’ teams of that era, but you know what? when they take the court, They are my team representing OUR CITY! Go HAWKS! I believe in ALL OF YOU!


April 27th, 2011
4:50 am



JJ Rules

April 27th, 2011
4:56 am

Joe Johnson has been carrying the hawks so far—he’s going to be wanting a big raise in the offseason for all this extra work he’s having to do.

[...] Visit link: Magic wake up and Hawks show their ugly former selves | Jeff Schultz [...]

deja vu

April 27th, 2011
6:29 am

I can’t watch Josh Smith and Marvin Williams play any more. I’m done.


April 27th, 2011
6:38 am

I thought the UGA bulldogs were painful to watch….I thought my daughter’s middle school hoops team was painful to watch….but there’s nothing more painful than watching this Hawks team murder the game of basketball….case in point…watching J-Stooop move Heinrich down to the baseline so that he (J-Stooop) can launch an air ball 3 at the close of the third qtr in game 4-to close out an already disastrous qtr) I give LD credit for TRYING to get this bunch of knuckleheads to play ball. If I’m Heinrich,Horford or Zaza, I’m hoping for a trade at the end of the season to get out of this mess.

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April 27th, 2011
7:28 am

Can we start calling Joe Johnson Joey Smalls now?

2 for 12, 5 points.

All he does is come up small in the big games.


April 27th, 2011
7:31 am

Ah Hah alittle bit different atmosphere in the room this morning after getting schooled by the Magic last night. These are the Hawks we know and love. Orlando has found their MO-JO now and i dont know what the coach said before the game to the players but they came out fired up.
Hawks better find theirselves pretty soon like before game#6 cause im telling ya it seemed to me like the Hawks wanna give this series away now.
Ya’ll better figure a way to keep Orlando’s guards from blowing past your defense and getting easy lay ups and open jump shots. You think last night was desperation night? Just wait til game#6 and if you let the Magic get ahead in game#6 that will only give them more confidence to blow you out at home court.
Hawks the Magic arent here to just get by you guys, their here to show you what a fluke of a team you are and last nights thumping is the true Hawks they pounded in last years playoff.
You better exhibit the need to win because Orlando’s intentions are to get back to Orlando for game#7 and finish you guys off.


April 27th, 2011
7:43 am



April 27th, 2011
7:52 am

i only hope this is not a re-make of the boston series in the mid 80’s. i was in the omni when the hawks had the celtics on their death bed and let them off the hook. can’t do that tomorrow night–can’t afford to fall behind–desperately need to play with the lead.

last night was awful. i knew a blowout was in the works–josh was simply horrible. how is it possible for him to come down and jack up an immediate three on the first possession? why is he not coached to attack the basket on every shot attempt by a teammate? and seriously how tough is it to step up to the free throw and make 2 free throws? josh has got to play smart for this team to have a shot–sad thing is-playing smart is not up is alley.

better bring it thursday–a return trip to orlando doesn’t look to promising!!!


April 27th, 2011
8:02 am

If you live in Atlanta & call yourself a Hawks fan but the you think the Magic will win this series then you need to stop blogging because you know nothing about b-ball. You just need some attention. Please get it from somewhere else & leave the bloging to the Hawks fan & the people who are fans when we are winning.