Tonight's game looked eerily like the game vs. the Celtics. Play relatively unselfish basketball (coupled with the fact that the Magic couldn't make open buckets) and build a lead. Start playing one-on-one basketball and lose the game.
Pretty much it...no reason to do much more analysis than that, but we can't help ourselves so read on.
Game Recap - Magic 88, Hawks 82
So, let's just talk about how much of a beast Dwight Howard is. We already know what the excuse for this game will be in most people's minds. Bibby and Johnson didn't shoot well, so we lost, but that completely will ignore that we used Josh and Al (who had a double double in the first half) to good effectiveness in the first half or that the Magic didn't shoot well either. It was the Joe and Flip one-on-one, Bibby shoot some threes offense that reared its head and lost the game if you ask us. For all that's good and wholesome, it still befuddles the mind why anyone who accept this as a staple of your second half offense.
While we are befuddled, let's go to the Mike Woodson press conference. First comment "Fatigue set in during the game, but we can't use fatigue as an excuse." Uh, isn't saying that fatigue set in basically the sly way of saying - that's our excuse. Otherwise, why not point out what we didn't do - such as play unselfish basketball, get a spark from the bench, work the post, etc. and leave it at that.
Of course, since befuddlement is a theme for this game, it's also befuddling why certain players are allowed to repeat their failures with immunity and others can only make 1-2 mistakes before being banished to seat cushions for the rest of the game. Sure would have been nice to see more Zaza after committing the unacceptable (fouling twice in the first half...oh, let's steal some of the blogosphere's thunder - yes, Zaza ended the game with 2 fouls). And though I've been a proponent of seeing Solo re-build his confidence - the question remains why now? He's missing against the scrubs of the league, but reappears vs. the Celtics and Magic...Huh?!? Again, befuddles...
Last comment - as much as we are feeling comfortable about being the 4th seed - uh, we are now only 2 games ahead of the Sixers and Heat. The Sixers own the tiebreaker on us and we play the Heat one last time, so while I THOUGHT I purchased Game 1 and Game 2 tickets for the playoffs - it would behoove us to win about 3-4 games down the stretch so we can put this thing to bed. Let's hope the 2008 Hawks show up soon or else it's a first round loss staring us in the face.
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