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Magic vs Hawks Game 5 – Positives, Negatives and Randomtives

April 26, 2011

J.J. Redick's handsome reverse layup

It was a whole new Orlando Magic team that took the court on Tuesday night as the Magic CRUSHED the Atlanta Hawks 101-76.  There was little that went wrong for Orlando and the season will continue for a Game 6. Positives, negatives, randomtives and keys to surviving Game 6 all below.

You can read the full recap here.

Positives

–          Shooting.  FINALLY!  As great as it looked to see the ball going through the hoop for the Magic, it really wasn’t anything amazing. Rather more of an adjustment back to the mean.  The Magic only shot 41% from the field, but that ignores the excellent 42.3% from three point land. Orlando shot 6-13 from three in the first half and 11-26 for the game.  Those 3 pointers are the big difference between this being a 10 point lead for the most of the game and the actuality of the 20 point majority lead.

–          Gilbert and Dwight Pick and Roll. Hell, anyone and Dwight running the pick and roll. The Magic have killed Atlanta with this play the last 6 quarters of basketball.  It’s been most effective with Gilbert though as the Hawks defenders seem to lack any respect for the Hibachi’s game.  You have to think they will make adjustments to the PnR defense for Game 6.

–          Won without Dwight dominating. Dwight had a very un-Dwight like game tonight but that was mainly because the Magic didn’t need him to.  He finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds and yet the Magic still won by 25 points.  The contributions from the rest of the roster will be key moving not only in Game 6, but also in Game 7 and hopefully in Chicago.

–          Josh Smith.  Looking solely at the box score, it’s hard to find fault with Josh’s game tonight. If you watched the game though, you understand that Josh Smith was making an attempt to have his jersey retired in the Amway Center rafters.  In the first quarter, Josh played 9:23 and shot 1-6 from the field, 1-3 from the free throw line, and had one listed turnover. Honestly though, the stats people should probably start listing Josh Smith jumpers as turnovers.

–          Low turnovers. The Magic finished with only 6 turnovers on the evening and more importantly, had only 3 heading into the 4th quarter.  The previous season low was 3 against the Lakers in March.  When you take care of the ball, you not only give yourself more chances to score but you limit fast break opportunities for the other team, thus significantly increasing efficiency.  Ironically though, the Magic are only 6-7 in games this season when they’ve had 9 or less turnovers. The 6 turnovers tonight was also a franchise playoff record for fewest in a game.

Negatives

–          Hedo Turkoglu didn’t foul out. Turk got into early foul trouble, including 3 total in the first half. However, he was unfortunately able to overcome it and finished out the game with 9 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds in 18:48.

–          The Hawks were not allowed to leave at halftime. Josh Smith and Joe Johnson allegedly were petitioning the NBA to let them switch flights but unfortunately Atlanta did not spring for the extra $20 for the ability to switch flights.

–          Ice Cream Machine. The press room was out of vanilla ice cream at halftime. :/

Randomtives

–          Every player on the Magic roster that was dressed for tonight’s game played and every one of them scored. Even Malik Allen, the human victory cigar.

–          Atlanta didn’t do themselves any favors tonight when it came to easy points. They had only 22 points in the paint, 5 second chance points and 10 fast break points. Boy do the Atlanta Hawks love jump shots!

–          Dating back to 1999, teams down 3-1 that win Game 5 by double digits are 2-13 in Game 6. For whatever that’s worth.  And by “whatever that’s worth”, I mean it’s not worth anything. Fun stat though.

5 Keys to Game 6

–          SCORE

–          MORE

–          POINTS

–          THAN

–          ATLANTA

(Leaving the keys the same as Game 4 for superstitious reasons.)

I’ll leave you with this post game quote from Stan Van Gundy, “We have to play very well, on EVERY possession, for the next two games.”

Game 6 will be Thursday night at 7:30 back in Atlanta.  Once again, it’s ride or die for the Magic. Let’s roll.

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