Monday, April 25, 2011

Atlanta Hawks 88 Orlando Magic 85


Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR%

ATL 91
0.967 50.7

Either prolonged exposure to this series is creating an illusion of coherence or Game 4 was the most Hawks/Magic game of this Hawks/Magic series. There were the requisite 88 points scored by the winning team, the terrible shot selection (both teams), the terrible shot-making (Orlando only), the improbably great yet perfectly representative, in kind if not frequency, shot-making of Jamal Crawford, a routine 29 and 17 from Dwight Howard, Jason Collins fouling, 19 unproductive minutes from hideously unqualified Hawk frontcourt reserves, the Hawks building a significant lead despite not playing very good offense, the Magic erasing that lead despite not playing very good offense, and the Hawks prevailing through some combination of the aforementioned Crawford and Collins plus an inefficient but impressive Al Horford, Joe Johnson being efficient but unimpressive for long stretches, Kirk Hinrich making Hawks fans so happy Mike Bibby's gone, and Josh Smith being inexplicable but not completely useless.

Oh, and Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points on 18 shots in 22 minutes.

Years from now, when looking back on this series, I contend we may remember this game* for that last fact. The possessions where Dwight Howard scored (or turned the ball over slightly too often) against single coverage, where Jamal Crawford compressed an entire contract year performance into a single series, where the Magic went from shooting a statistically improbably low percentage from the perimeter to an almost physically impossibly low percentage from the perimeter, those will begin, those may have begun, to run together in this oddly competitive playoff series that has featured few (successful) adjustments.

Then again, perhaps I just can't make complete sense of a series that has played out almost exactly inversely to my expectations.

*Game 1 will be the game the Hawks got to the free throw line, Game 2 will be the game Larry Drew...well, we'll have to come up for a name for whatever that was he did, and Game 3 will either be the game Zaza Pachulia sort of headbutted Jason Richardson once or the game Jamal Crawford banked in the game-winning three. All of this pending Game 5 and (if necessary) Games 6 and 7.


Adam Malka said...

Is it possible that the most meaningful effect of this series will be that management decides to go all in on Crawford and, in order to make it happen/balance the roster, trades Josh Smith and Jeff Teague?

Seriously, what are the odds that this happens? And is it terrible that my joy at the Hawks' going up 3 games to 1 is clouded by this looming possibility?

Nice recap, by the way. Made me laugh.

Ryan Murphy said...

The first paragraph is amazing.

jrauch said...

The series has been this odd mish-mash of completely awful, uninteresting basketball, paired with truly surreal, bizarre events you'd think would never happen.

Its almost as if neither team has really wanted to wrest control of the series, yet somehow the Hawks are up 3-1.

lukas said...

Brilliant work, sir. This is the best example of your writing I've seen.

This game was so difficult to watch that I said aloud the following words, "I'd rather the Hawks lose than see this game go into overtime." (I have witnesses.)