Atlanta's end-of-the-third-quarter defense: This shot really was the beginning of the end for the Hawks last night:

Granted, it was a tough shot. But Orlando inbounded the ball with less than six seconds left in the quarter. Atlanta only applied token pressure when Jameer Nelson started pushing the ball upcourt. Hell, Joe Johnson was backpedaling sideways before Nelson even got to him. That's not fundamental defense, folks. If the Hawks had pressured the ball handler, they might have avoided a pretty drastic momentum shift. Instead...

...oh, and speaking of Joe Johnson...

Joe Johnson: Schooled:

In addition to his flat-footed defense, Joe Cool shot 5-for-16 and scored only 2 points in the fourth quarter, during which the Hawks were outscored 28-15. What's more, there's decent evidence to suggest that Atlanta's "iso-Joe" offense is killing their offense in the playoffs.

Atlanta's fourth quarter offense: Check it out: jump shots, turnovers and more jump shots. Of course, Orlando's offense was also pretty jumper-centric, but the Magic were hitting their shots. Not to go all Hubie Brown on you, but you can't win on the road in the playoffs by shooting nothing nothing but jumpers.

Atlanta's defense: Even though the Hawks kept things close, the reality is this: Teams usually lose games when they give up 112 points on 56 percent shooting. And unlike the Bobcats, they haven't been able to contain Dwight Howard or get him into early foul trouble. Pumaman played 39 minutes and finished with 29 points and 17 rebounds while going 8-for-9 from the field and 13-for-18 from the line.

And he did that with a busted nose.

Pumaman nose

For some historical perspective, Dwight Howard became the fourth player in the last 40 years to have at least 25 points and 17 boards while shooting 85 percent in a playoff game. The other guys were Shaq, Wilt and Wes Unseld.

Man, who looks this stuff up??

Speaking of which, the Magic have compiled the fourth highest scoring differential (+57) in the first two games of an NBA playoff series. Of course, their 43-point win in Game 1 kind of padded that stat, but still.

One last historic fail: Howard, Nelson, Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter all scored 20 or more points...and that was the first time the Magic ever had four players score at least 20 points in a playoff game.

Atlanta's offense: Um...41 percent shooting? Probably not gonna get it done. Also, the Hawks had only 4 fast break points. I thought this team was built to run?

Dwight Howard, quote machine: "I'm human. It's not like I'm built of metal. They did to me like they did the Wolverine. I bleed. I break bones."

By the way, I had to include this video of Dwight mocking LeBron's chalk toss:

Mike Bibby: This guy is done. Finished. Kaput. Mike Woodson played him only 14 minutes, and Bibby finished with 3 points and an assist. Dude looks like he's ready for the 50 and over league.

The Bizarro Logic for All-NBA Teams: Okay, so...the starting guards on the All-NBA First Team are Mamba and Pookie, and the starting backcourt for the Second Team includes Deron Williams and Steve Nash. Look, what NBA team starts two shooting guards? Or, for that matter, two point guards? How about designing the All-NBA Teams the way actual NBA teams are assembled? I know this isn't a new thing...but it still bugs me.

Oh, and Amar''''''e isn't a center!

Lacktion report: And now chris presents his "Is anyone even watching this series??" lacktion report:

Hawks-Magic: You get the feeling that Mike Woodson would love to just declare the series over after two games, and apparently so does Zaza Pachulia - four fouls in 7:04 earned a +4 suck differential and a 4:0 Voskuhl! Randolph Morris also meowed into the Voskuhl section tonight by garnering a 3:1 ratio in 5:59 by countering a board with a brick and three fouls.

For the alchemists, Ryan Anderson celebrated another clinical victory by fouling and bricking once each in 2:05 for a +2 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl. Also sucking it up tonight was Brandon Bass, whose low note of the game came in just 62 seconds with a brick.

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Anonymous AK Dave said...
Sorry, but after seeing the Dwight picture, I immediately thought of this.

Two bowls of split-plea soup!!

Blogger Siddarth Sharma said...
Unintentionally Dirty Quote: from no less..Magic ride Superman to 2-0 series lead over Hawks..

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Ugh. TGIF for Suns game.

Blogger Will said...
I fell asleep at halftime of last night's game, but I wasn't worried about Orlando because I didn't think ATL could hold it up in the second half. Lo and behold I was right.

Anonymous Axe Head said...
If anyone could make Iso work, it would have been the Jordan (call it Iso-GOAT). However, when he learned the mystical ways of The Triangle and Ball Movement, he started racking up championships, typically saving the Iso-GOAT for crunch time.

Iso-Joe doesn't even work in the first round of the playoffs. Yet Johnson is staring at a Max Deal. Maybe Chicago??? I can hear Matt McHale screaming from here.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I just became a bigger fan of Dwight Howard. He needs to do his Lebron impression in Cleveland. Well, if Cleveland makes it out of Round 2 anyway.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I feel this deserves a link here: LeBron’s elbow speaks!

Blogger Brandon said...
I can only assume you know this already, but Detlef Schrempf appeared (guest starred?) on an episode of Parks and Rec on NBC last night.

Considering the last time I saw him (in 2000?) he was sporting his classic blond, spiky hair and looking vaguely like Ivan Drago, I was shocked at his appearance. The German is now indistinguishable from your average 40-something American guy... bad haircut, polo shirt and all.

Kind of depressing, really.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I followed your link to basketball-reference to look at the all nba teams and the 03-04 second team was probably selected just for basketbawful to make fun of years later: F: Tracy "Knee-mac" McGrady F: Jermaine "the drain" O'Neal F: Peja Stojakovic C: Ben Wallace G: Sam Cassell. Thats quite the collection of fail.