Magic-Hawks, Game 2 - Frank Hughes - SI.com
The Magic's second-half performance in their 112-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 reminded Sports Illustrated's Frank Hughes of an Orlando team of a different vintage.
But in the second half, the Magic looked like the mid-90s Magic, when Shaquille O'Neal dominated the middle and Nick Anderson, Dennis Scott and Penny Hardaway were launching from the perimeter.
He adds that, based on the Hawks' body language during Orlando's second-half surge, Atlanta is "going to need more than a change of venue" in order to get back into this series.
PBN | No charity
Tony Mejia of Pro Basketball News makes this bold declaration:
If [Dwight] Howard knocks down free throws at anywhere near the rate he drained them at on Thursday (13-for-18), they're going to open up Orlando's new Amway Center by hanging a championship banner come late October.
Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic has stepped up to arguably become the MVP of NBA playoffs - OrlandoSentinel.com
After yet another spectacular performance by Jameer Nelson, George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel asks, "[H]as there been a point guard more important than Nelson in these playoffs?"
Magic Overwhelm Hawks Again -- NBA FanHouse
Tim Povtak's recap at AOL FanHouse includes several glowing appraisals of the Magic from Hawks coach Mike Woodson and several of his players. "You need to be almost perfect to beat that team,'' Woodson said.
Where’s Waldo? Here’s Vince – Orlando Magic BasketBlog
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel gives Vince Carter his due for his strong showing in the second half, and poses this intriguing question:
The real question that can’t be answered yet: Will Carter be there when the Magic trail in a series? Will he be there if they reach the conference finals and then the Finals?
Daily Dime - ESPN
ESPN's Daily Dime contains must-read pieces from Chris Sheridan on Carter and Eddy on Carter's use of the pick-and-roll.
Finals Countdown: Orlando Takes Over Late to Down Atlanta - Eric Freeman
The only drama left in this series, writes Eric Freeman of The Sporting News, is "how long the Hawks can postpone their demise."
Recap: Orlando Magic 112, Atlanta Hawks 98 | Magic Basketball
Eddy recaps Game 2, which he describes as "a battle of stars" because "the best players for each team stepped up"
Post-Game: Magic Beat Hawks, Stay Perfect
Here's an interesting bit from Alex Kennedy's game notes at HOOPSWORLD:
At one point in the second half, Atlanta lead by eight points, the most the Magic have trailed in this postseason.
The Hawks were better in Game 2, but still not good enough | Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution says this game demonstrates the Hawks are overmatched, considering they "gave it something approximating their best shot — or at least as a good a shot as they’re apt to muster in a playoff road game — and still couldn’t extend the Magic to the wire."
Atlanta Hawks/Orlando Magic Game Review: Four Quarters - Peachtree Hoops
The Human Highlight Blog has a thorough, thoughtful recap over at Peachtree Hoops.
Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 2: Magic 112, Hawks 98 | Atlanta Hawks
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Consitution wonders about the Hawks' attitude.
I understand the Hawks have to maintain that positive state of mind but it’s little solace if they are actually trying to win this series. Is this the really the best they can do at Orlando? Take a lead at halftime, spit the bit in the fourth quarter and lose by double digits?