Fast Breaks: Magic-Hawks, Game 1 - Paul Forrester - SI.com
Paul Forrester of Sports Illustrated breaks down how the Orlando Magic dismantled the Atlanta Hawks last night, and makes some excellent points. What really caught my eye was his conclusion:
But let's be honest -- Orlando is built to win a title and is playing like it. The Magic may be technically the No. 2 seed, but in watching them easily handle the first five games of these playoffs, the Eastern title goes through Orlando.
Recap: Orlando Magic 114, Atlanta Hawks 71 | Magic Basketball
Eddy details just how jumper-happy the Hawks' offense got in the second quarter, in contrast to the Magic's crisper offense.
NBA Playoffs, Magic Hawks Game 1: Orlando beats Atlanta so bad that Cleveland gets the message - ProBasketballTalk
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk calls last night's Magic victory "THE statement game of the playoffs." Their blowout win is a message to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he writes.
The Hawks lose Game 1 by 43 points, and it seemed worse | Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution says the Hawks really shouldn't be so surprised that they lost in such a lopsided way.
"This was uncharacteristic of us," [Joe] Johnson said afterward, but it was perfectly in character. This is a team that has played 13 road games the past three postseasons and has lost 11 of them, nine by at least 19 points. Even if this was the most egregious, it was simply the continuation of a regrettable pattern.
Here’s the clueless Atlanta side… – Orlando Magic BasketBlog
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel is incredulous at some of the comments the Hawks made after the game. He zings Josh Smith, who complained about the officiating yet later conceded that the officials weren't the sole reason Atlanta lost, pretty good right here:
Yeah, a few more calls here and there, and you’d have lost by 37.
PBN | Magic by 43
Tony Mejia of Pro Basketball News recaps the game. I feel bad for only recently stumbling upon his work. He's fantastic, and I urge you to read his Magic coverage whenever possible.
Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 1: Magic 114, Hawks 71 | Atlanta Hawks
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution published some game notes that are well worth a look.
Annihilation at Amway: Magic win by 43 - ESPN
Tuesday's game reminded Chris Sheridan how great Howard is "when he's not watching from the bench in foul trouble."
Hoopinion: Orlando Magic 114 Atlanta Hawks 71
Bret LaGree of Hoopinion says Hawks coach Mike Woodson's handling of Al Horford--benching him early in order to bring him in once Marcin Gortat checked in for Dwight Howard, only to watch as Howard played the game's first 21 minutes--may have been " a mis-calculation so severe as to kill off the misguided attempt at maintaining control for good."
Orlando Magic 114, Atlanta Hawks 71 or sweet mother Marry - Peachtree Hoops
hawksdawgs of Peachtree Hoops also questions Woodson's use of Jason Collins, saying it "is not a move that wins game, it is a move of survival, and the Hawks are not winning a game of survival."
Magic Destroy the Hawks, Take Game One 114-71 | Soaring Down South | An Atlanta Hawks blog
Kris Willis of Soaring Down South wonders "whether or not the Hawks have the mental capacity to get over a loss like this."
Finals Countdown: Orlando Mauls Atlanta, L.A.'s Frontcourt Dominates Utah
Eric Freeman expresses a similar sentiment when he writes, "This was somehow even uglier than the score, and it's difficult to imagine how the Hawks can come back from such a wretched performance."
Magic Dominate Hawks 114-71, Take 1-0 Series Lead | Howard the Dunk | An Orlando Magic Blog
Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk had a pretty funny line about Orlando's dominance. "How bad did it get?," he writes, "Anthony Johnson and Brandon Bass combined to play 11 minutes and scored eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.
Nelson Over Bibby Big Factor in Rout -- NBA FanHouse
Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse writes that the advantage Jameer Nelson holds over Mike Bibby, his Hawks counterpart, keyed Orlando's big win. More interestingly, I thought, was this quote from Nelson, who's ever the team captain:
"This isn't about 'my time' or 'my turn.' It's just recognizing what the teams needs at this point and time,'' Nelson said. "I don't put pressure on myself, but each series is different. Like the last one, I want to do whatever it is we need.''
MAGIC: Denton: Magic-Hawks Game 1 Postgame Analysis (Full)
Orlando's offense didn't need a jump-start despite its 7-day layoff. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy elaborates on that topic, and John Denton transcribes:
``I was a little surprised with that,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said of the Magic’s lack of rust offensively after the long layoff. ``I was a little surprised that we played the way that we did, especially early in the game. But it was good to see.’’