Stan Van Gundy, before the game:
"The Hawks have been together six years; we haven’t been together six hours."Not that the above wasn't a factor, but acquiring Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu circa 2010-11 might be a problem larger than assimilation.
Joe Johnson on the new Magic:
"They’ve got new guys who haven’t gotten acclimated. They were a little vulnerable and we took advantage."Jason Collins:
"To be successful against them we’ve obviously got to be physical with Dwight. We’ve got a lot of big guys on this team and we’ve got to use our fouls against him."Larry Drew on Collins:
"He’s not a defensive stopper by any stretch of the imagination but he makes him work, he makes him earn it. He plays him with a physicality. That’s what we need."Josh Smith:
"Hats off to the bigs. Zaza came in, Etan and, number one, Jason Collins came in and played big minutes and just did whatever it took to frustrate Dwight."I don't know that frustrating Dwight is the key to the Hawks beating the Magic twice this season. Dwight Howard hasn't missed 80% of Orlando's three-point attempts over the three games. Dwight Howard didn't take any long two-point jumpers last night. But, hey, whatever works.
Michael Cunningham on Marvin Williams:
That fourth quarter was the textbook for how Marvin can help this team. The Magic used a small lineup for much of the period and Marvin collected five of their nine missed shots. He waited on the wings for the ball to swing to him and made open shots and also earned five free-throw attempts.Al Horford:
"The big key was we were able to play bigger. Jason did a great job, and it freed me up some."Jason Walker provides a concise analysis of the state of the two teams:
I am going to say it right now: The Hawks are a better team than the Magic. They are. This isn't to say that the Hawks have made great strides since last season's debacle in the playoffs, but rather to state that the Magic aren't the matchup nightmare that they've been for the ATL the last two years.Evan Dunlap of the Orlando Pinstriped Post (and recent guest on Sekou Smith and Lang Whitaker's Hang Time Podcast) provides the Orlando perspective:
Fans tuning in to learn something new about their team's remade roster were sorely disappointed, both in Orlando's performance and in the lack of answers tonight provided. Save for some of the folks wearing the uniform, this game is virtually indistinguishable from the Magic's seven losses in their last eight. On offense, the ball tended to die on one side of the floor, Howard struggled with his touch inside, and the three-point shots didn't drop at an acceptable rate. At the other end? The missed defensive assignments and poor performance on the glass--the Hawks grabbed 28.9 percent of their misses--sure looked familiar, didn't they?Stan Van Gundy:
"We're starting from scratch. We would have all liked it to have been better but it wasn't. Look, they're out there trying hard, just none of them played well. Nobody could shoot the ball. ... I'm sure they had a lot of emotions and stuff going on. It was a long night.Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel provides the one-sentence-per-paragraph perspective:
We didn't run much of anything. I struggled rotation-wise and everything else. It was just very, very hard."
Van Gundy has his work cut out for him.
And you have to wonder if he’s reached a kind of coaching crossroads.
He had to be wondering how much time he would need — or be given — to turn around what he saw on Tuesday night.
Coaches are mostly paranoid by nature, living season to season, game to game — or in Stan’s case – possession by possession.
Three seasons after building the Magic into a turn-key playoff team and contender, he suddenly has to put pieces back together, and with new pieces at that.