Series Recap: The Hawks exorcised their demons beating the Magic and heading to the second round for the second time in two years.
How We Will Remember This Series: As Dwight Howard’s potential last games with the Magic. The trade rumours are growing every day, and GM Otis Smith should realize that if Dwight leaves for nothing the Magic will be in the same place as the Raptors were this year. If Dwight refuses to resign in the summer, which I assume he will, his days in Orlando are probably finished.
Series MVP (Magic): Dwight Howard. For potentially the last time, it is a shock that the Magic couldn’t win this series off of Dwight alone. The Magic are in deep trouble, folks.
Series MVP (Hawks): Jamal Crawford. He may not show an affinity for defense and he may have a questionable shot selection, but when he hits his shots he is something else. This just happened to be one of those weeks where Jamal Crawford was hitting his shots.
Unsung Hero: The Hawks post rotation. Jason Collins, Zaza Pachulia, Etan Thomas, and even Josh Powell did a great job at preventing Dwight Howard from dominating the inside, which was the key in the Hawks winning the series.
They may not have done it on the stat sheet, and they probably aren’t much of a factor in any other series, but those four earned their roster spot and answered the bell when it mattered the most.
What We Learned About the Hawks: We learned that these Hawks are ready to play the right way. Sure they are still the ISO happy playing like a 13 year old on 2K11 Atlanta Hawks, but they have shown a commitment to winning the 50/50 plays and playing more of a team game than they have in recent years.
Sure they are prone to doing Atlanta Hawks things like not getting back in transition and not playing good help defense, but these Hawks have heart, which is scary for the Bulls going into their series next round.
Magic Silver Lining: Those playoff beards looked cool I guess.
Turning Point: When Stan Van Gundy thought it was a good idea to let Hedo Turkoglu take the last shot from three when he has JJ Redick on the bench.
*Takes a minute to laugh hysterically over Hedo Turkoglu screwing yet another team*
Best Game: What was the game where we all got stoked on Gilbert Arenas going off in the fourth quarter and made a million “PICK ONE MOTHERF***ER” tweets? Yeah, that’s probably the one.