NBA Roundtable

Game Time: Orlando vs Atlanta

In Game Log / Recap on November 26, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Good game here tonight. Arguably the two best teams (form-wise) in the Eastern Conference at the moment. A possible preview to the second round of the playoffs.

Notes

  • Some good matchups
    • Dwight Howard vs Al Horford (offense + defense)
    • Rashard Lewis vs Josh Smith (offense + defense)
    • Mickael Pietrus vs Joe Johnson (defensive for Magic — Joe defending the point with Bibby defending Pietrus)
    • Vince Carter vs Marvin Williams

First Quarter

  • I like the Hawks red jerseys.
  • Dwight Howard wins the tip, Orlando controls the possession. Orlando post up Dwight Howard 14 feet out off the left post, drives baseline, kicks it out, Vince Carter three pointer.
  • Nice move by Joe Johnson as he moves off a down screen on the left side of the paint, curls around, pass, muscles into the paint, layup.
  • Vince Carter drops another three pointer. Quick shot.
  • Bibby loses Jason Williams off the ball, top of the key jumper, miss, Josh Smith tap in … Josh Smith steals the ball at the top of the key, playing the passing lanes, fastbreak, 4-on-1, easy two for Atlanta.
  • Rashard Lewis posts up Smith on the left post, nice shimmy move into the paint, short shot, rolls out. Good look.
  • Lovely ball movement from Atlanta, ball swung all around the perimeter, wide open three pointer out of the left corner, miss.
  • Ugh … Jason Williams three pointer on the fastbreak/slow break after the turnover, missed shot. Wasted possession.
  • Josh Smith posting up Lewis 16 feet out, backs him down easily enough, nice baseline spin move, layup. Miss.
  • Rashard Lewis with the up and under off the dribble on the baseline, layup, good.
  • Howard muscling Horford in the paint but he gets out of control and turns it over … oh my, lovely block, from Howard on the other end to deny Smith’s (vs Pietrus) rolling hook out of the post in the middle of the paint.
  • Josh Smith with a good look into the opposite corner to Joe Johnson for the three pointer.
  • Vince Carter top of the key, drives left, jump stop, 7 feet out, pump fake, goes up, hits it. Vince has 8 of Orlando’s 12 points.
  • Marvin Williams scores on the other end. Atlanta is down one point. Joe Johnson has 7 of Atlanta’s 11 points.
  • Jamal Crawford checks in for Williams (foul trouble, I think).
  • Vince Carter tries to pass over the top as he runs into a crowd off the pick and roll, lob to Howard, deflected pass by Horford, steal.
  • Midway point in the first quarter
  • Bibby bags a three pointer from the right sideline. First lead for Atlanta (14-12) … then throws a bad pass on a fastbreak on the ensuing possession for the Hawks, too low for Smith to handle, turnover.
  • Mike Woodson banned turkey for the holidays … blah! over-obsessing … Triptofan? Huh?
  • Jason Williams takes a quick three after stepping behind the Howard screen after dribbling upcourt, miss. Another bad shot.
  • Oh my, lovely lob pass by Bibby from the perimeter to Josh Smith for the alley-oop reverse dunk.
  • Howard posts up, faces up, left post, drives middle, kicks it out, Lewis misses a triple from the top of the key.
  • Hawks on a 10-0 run as they bag another three pointer — Crawford I think it was.
  • Crawford one-on-one play, dancing with the ball, 20 footer, misses it.
  • Pietrus hits from outside on a two point jump shot from 20 or so feet.
  • Horford goes backdoor as Howard gets got cheating on the pick and roll (slipped the screen), bad pass, bad hands, turnover.
  • Fastbreak Atlanta, Bibby running upcourt, passes to his right wing, jump stop on the catch from Crawford, jumper from 18 feet, hits it.
  • Howard scores in the paint. Posted up Zaza, re-post, turns middle, misses, taps it back up and in. Is that Dwight’s first basket?
  • Mo Evans from the weakside with the putback. Atlanta is very active on the offensive glass.
  • Dwight Howard left post, turns, faces, drives middle, runner in the lane, good.
  • Atlanta lead 23-20 with two minutes to play … turnover, fastbreak, 3-on-1/2, missed layup, Howard follows the miss, putback slam! Six straight points by Howard.
  • Vince Carter defending Joe now. Bad spacing on that possession, results in Pachulia forcing a move in a crowd after a JJ pass, turnover again.
  • Carter crossing over Smith, loses control, Smith jumps on the floor, out of Vince, turnover. Very good defense by Josh Smith. Final minute.
  • SVG picks up a technical. Didn’t he pick up a tech in the first quarter of the Boston game too? Atlanta have Orlando in the penalty … make two out of three FTs. Atlanta back up three. Offensive rebound off the miss, missed shot in the paint, rebound Orlando.
  • Drive and kick to Redick for a triple out on the left wing, misses. Turnover. Magic get it back, now Vince misses a long jump shot. Orlando now 0-9 from downtown after making their first two three pointers.
  • Orlando hold it for the final possession … foul, foul to give … sideline inbounds, Vince will get this at the top of the key. 11 seconds. Vince makes his move, Evans fouls again. That didn’t work out. Vince
  • 7.6 seconds Hawks ball — Atlanta run upcourt, pull up jumper from 18 feet, miss. Crawford with the play there.

Good action in the first quarter. These two teams look evenly matched … Hawks more the aggressors than the Magic though. That will begin to tell as the game stretches on if Orlando don’t up their intensity.

Second Quarter

  • Atlanta lead 25-23 … make that 29-25 after 70 seconds
  • Redick into the lane, scoop shot, hits it.
  • Zaza post up Gortat, goes middle, spins back baseline, very good shot contest from Gortat … Zaza hits it anyway.
  • Next possession, one-on-one play with Zaza again, fallaway jumper from 15 feet on the baseline, Gortat right in his face, miss. Good defense again from Gortat.
  • Jamal Crawford with the circus play, beats his man, into the paint, floater, miss, rebound Gortat.
  • Nice move by Ryan Anderson. He was on the high post, top of the key, looking for a pass, nothing on, his man falls asleep, drives, into the paint, takes the short shot, misses, rebound, Magic score.
  • Anthony Johnson with the fallaway off the dribble drive from 13 feet, misses it. Baseline J.
  • Crawford with a nice pull up jumper on the other end.
  • Pick and roll, Ryan + AJ, Atlanta switch, Anderson posts up Teague, Teague rips it away from him … fastbreak, Teague goes coast-to-coast, layup. Ugly sequence for Anderson + the Magic. Timeout Orlando.
  • Atlanta lead 35-32 after four minutes
  • Nice pass inside by Johnson to Ryan Anderson who is fouled down deep in the paint to avoid giving up a layup.
  • Gortat blocks Zaza at the rim, turnover.
  • Zaza posts up Gortat, very good post defense, spins baseline, forces him below the backboard, pins him against the baseline, turnover.
  • Excellent defense by Gortat on Pachulia
  • Barnes forces the pass after jumping in the air on the drive, turnover. Bad decision(s) from Barnes.
  • Double team on Joe Johnson, pass inside, Gortat jumps back down, swats the shot … turnover.
  • Crawford checks out. He had a good long run in the lineup. 12 consecutive minutes? Marvin Williams back in.
  • Josh Smith posting up on Lewis, he’s too nimble for Lewis, draws a foul. Lewis isn’t mobile when defending with the post with his back to basket, unlike when he’s defending an opponents face up game.
  • Mike Bibby pulls up off the pick, hits it. Atlanta back in the lead (37-36). We’ve passed the midway point in the second quarter. terrible pass by Howard out of the low post looking for his cutter to ignite the Hawks fastbreak.
  • Turnover on the pass to a cutter … Bibby takes and makes a three pointer in transition.
  • Excellent post defense by Joe Johnson to push Lewis wide + off balance at the final moment. Lewis misses the shot.
  • Anthony Johnson misses a pull up J from the left elbow
  • Josh Smith working on Lewis in the post again, loses the ball though, turnover. Lot of turnovers here.
  • Joe Johnson deflects Matt Barnes lazy post entry pass, out of bounds, Magic ball.  Turnover on a bad pass after the inbounds.
  • Al Horford almost loses the ball on a drive into the paint … gets control of it, kicks it out to the right corner, ball swung back to the right wing, Joe Johnson hits the three pointer. Crisp ball movement.
  • Atlanta ahead 43-36 with under four minutes remaining in the first half
  • Howard doubled in the post, back to the double, runs over Josh Smith, charge. Turnover. So many turnovers! Very good double by Josh Smith.
  • Oh my, wow, authoritative slam dunk from Al Horford
  • Second 10-0 run of the game from Atlanta … Orlando not playing well, out of sorts.
  • Rashard Lewis bags a three pointer. I think that was J-Will on the drive and kick. It was a near six minute drought for a field goal for Orlando.
  • Joe Johnson stutter step, beats his man, into the paint, Joe hits it
  • Pietrus misses a three pointer against the shot clock, miss. Good pass by Howard to find him though.
  • Joe Johnson slithers his way into the paint again, hits the runner.
  • Very good defense by Josh Smith again on Vince Carter as he picks him up off the pick and roll, Smith forces him wide off the dribble, forces the contested fadeaway, miss. Magic offensive rebound though.
  • Atlanta lead 51-39 with 42 seconds remaining
  • TNT says there was only 7 turnovers this quarter. Feels like a lot more as Atlanta turn it over there.
  • Vince Carter with the drive, tough one handed runner off the glass from outside the paint, heavily contested, misses.
  • Crawford dribbles down the clock, makes his move, Vince fouls. Vince looked lead-footed there defensively but I suppose he was planning to foul rather than play defense (foul to give).
  • Crawford inbounds to Joe Johnson on the left sideline, dribbles inside, a little of control, has to give it up, 20 footer from Josh Smith, miss.
  • Hawks end the half on a 16-3 run

Halftime

  • Atlanta Hawks leading 51-39 entering the break
  • The Hawks have shot 22-42 from the field (52%), 5-9 from three, and 2-4 from the foul line. They have an eFG% of 58.3% and have assists on 12 out of their 22 baskets.
  • The Magic have shot 15-40 from the field (37%), 4-17 from three, and 5-6 from the foul line. They have an eFG% of 42.5%. They have only 6 assists on 15 baskets.
  • Orlando has struggled to get good shots inside the arc. The Hawks have done a very good job defending Dwight Howard in the post, an excellent job defending Rashard Lewis in the post, and an excellent job defending Vince + the rest of Orlando’s perimeter players off the dribble. Orlando isn’t getting inside the Hawks defense which is leading to a lot of perimeter jump shots, most of which are contested.
  • Atlanta is leading 25-19 on the glass. They’re doing a nice job on both ends of the court (35% off rebounds, 75% of available defensive rebounds).
  • Orlando has 9 turnovers costing them 17 points. Atlanta has 10 turnovers but Orlando has only scored 3 points off turnovers. A +14 point advantage for the Hawks.
  • Atlanta ahead 14-2 in fastbreak points
  • Vince Carter has 13 points on 12 shots + 4 FTs + 2 turnovers. Inefficient play again from Vince against a good defensive team.
  • Howard and Lewis combined for 13 points also. Nobody else scored more than two hoops for Orlando. Except for that 6-0 run by Howard, he hasn’t been a factor as a scorer.
  • All ten Hawks players have scored with Joe Johnson leading the way with 15 points on only 9 shot attempts.

Third Quarter

  • Hawks up 51-39
  • Joe Johnson takes Pietrus off the dribble, dives down left, pump fake, gets Pietrus off balance, then drops the short shot before the help can get there. Using his size well on that move.
  • Howard makes the three point play
  • Orlando needs to get some stops and slow down the Hawks.
  • Jason Williams caught up in a pick off the left elbow, Bibby runs to the corner, pass by Marvin Williams?, pump fake, jumper, good. Nice shot by Bibby. Lousy defense by Williams (lack of effort).
  • Marvin Williams faces up on the right wing, 17 feet out, jump shot over the top, hits it. Only his second basket of the game.
  • Great job by Atlanta getting back to Orlando’s perimeter players after the double team … nobody for Rashard to pass the ball to, he has to force the action one-on-one, hits a shot off the drive.
  • Pietrus takes a quick pull up jumper off the dribble, misses badly.
  • Josh Smith drives left, leaves the ball behind him, goes back and gets it, drives right to the baseline, to the rim, misses the runner. He can beat Lewis whenever he wants either in face up situations or post ups.
  • Orlando get a quick jumper on the break, hit it! Timeout Atlanta. Seven point game.
  • Catch and shoot three pointer from Joe Johnson from the left wing, hits it. Off the high pick and roll. Nice.
  • Orlando score again … Bibby resorts to a contested 22 footer, misses … bah, very good defense by Williams but he gives it right back with that pull up J in transition. Miss.
  • Dwight Howard doubled, Magic get nothing out of it, ball swung all around the perimeter, still nothing on, Lewis forces the drive, shoots, misses, Howard putback dunk!
  • Howard posting up on Horford, draws the double, great rotations again from Atlanta, no movement from Orlando off the ball though … re-post, Howard stripped, turnover.
  • Joe Johnson drives on Pietrus, Howard comes over at the final moment, alters the shot, miss. Rebound Orlando.
  • Vince Carter fallaway off the dribble from the foul line in transition (weird shot), misses.
  • Horford with the turnaround over Howard, beat him well there, misses.
  • Howard faces up, then backs up, re-post, Howard drives middle, runner in the lane, fouled by Horford. Great matchup between those two. Dwight makes one of two at the stripe.
  • Atlanta leading 60-56 with five minutes left in the third quarter
  • Very good defense by Pietrus on Johnson, but Johnson just sticks with it, the jab steps weren’t working but the eventually the crossover dribble does, beats Pietrus, draws the foul. Joe clearout, beats Pietrus to his right, misses in the lane, Horford hustles, rebound, ball swung to the corner, three pointer, miss, kept alive, Orlando gets it in the end … fastbreak, to Pietrus in the left corner, hits it! one point game!
  • 15-3 run by Orlando here
  • Atlanta misses again. Is that eight straight misses?
  • Dwight Howard faces up, drives baseline, layup, misses, offensive rebound, not ready to go back up there, makes it harder on himself, then misses the putback … rebound Atlanta + technical on Howard for his reaction on the no-call (tough to see, but didn’t see much contact).
  • Rashard Lewis swoops in for the defensive rebound. Ninth straight miss for Atlanta.
  • Orlando post up Lewis, backs down Mo Evans (screen and roll switch), turns middle, jump hook, hits it. Tie game.
  • 2:40 to play — Josh Smith faces up Lewis from 15 feet on the right wing, drives left, middle of the paint, draws the foul on Lewis and hits the runner. Misses the FT.
  • Vince Carter gets to the inside, hits the short shot (two footer) off the drive while falling to the side + draws the foul. Vince hits the FT. Orlando lead.
  • Marvin Williams forces a left handed hook shot going away from the rim after the dribble drive from the left sideline + spin move baseline from the low post, misses the shot. Very difficult shot there by Marvin.
  • Dwight Howard draws the double, Atlanta scamper out to the shooters, Lewis doesn’t swing the ball, decides to drive instead, gets into the paint but misses the shot.
  • Turnover Atlanta. Palming the ball (Crawford).
  • Dwight Howard is doing a great job of being patient with the double team and then finding the pass … good movement there from Orlando … Howard finds Redick who moved up from the right sideline to the top of the key and drills the three pointer.
  • Missed shot, rebound Orlando, outlet Vince Carter, Redick ahead of the pack, fouled. Redick splits a pair.
  • 40 seconds — Joe Johnson resorts to one-on-one play, nice crossover dribble to set up the drive, gets into the paint, hits the floater.
  • Redick misses the catch and shoot after running off the screen
  • Full court heave at the buzzer, no good.

Fourth Quarter

  • Orlando lead 67-65 after a 28-14 third quarter from the Magic
  • Orlando (Howard?) miss inside the paint … very hard to see the action when TNT goes to that small screen while showing the coach’s big mug on the other 2/3rds of the picture.
  • Wow, Orlando led 19-7 on the boards, 9-0 in second chance points in the third quarter. Was that 14-2 in fastbreak points? missed the final stat. They were dominant in the third … but Atlanta was also lousy offensively (solid defensively though).
  • Howard rips down another rebound. He has 18 and 14 after the alley oop slam off the pick and roll with AJ on the other end.
  • Very good double team by Dwight Howard, scrambling to recover after the excellent cross court pass, the Hawks just get their shot off in time before Howard can threaten it.
  • Redick running off screens … Joe Johnson goes over screen (right post), Redick runs out to the corner instead of the wing, his teammate finds him, wide open jump shot, hits it!
  • Dwight Howard has excellent position deep in the paint, right under the rim, catch and goes up, foul. Howard misses a pair at the line.
  • Atlanta miss a perimeter shot again. Atlanta is shooting only 28% in the second half.
  • Orlando turnover … Magic only up four here. 71-67 Orlando after three minutes.
  • I greatly dislike seeing Matt Barnes + JJ Redick playing alongside one another. Not enough defense.
  • Excellent ball movement by the Magic to find AJ open in the right corner, he hits a three pointer. Timeout Atlanta.
  • Great job by Orlando to keep the ball out in front off the defense … Bibby has to force a drive after being run off the three point line, missed shot.
  • Orlando’s second unit has done a very good job both in the second + fourth quarters.
  • Anthony Johnson hits some free throws. Orlando up nine with eight minutes remaining.
  • Atlanta has made only 3 of their last 22 shot attempts
  • Joe Johnson with a nice cross court pass to Crawford in the right corner, three pointer, miss.
  • Good defense by Redick, denies the drive, then got right under Joe Johnson on that pull up J, miss, offensive rebound Josh Smith, slam dunk.
  • Howard doubled hard by Bibby, out to AJ, three pointer, good! wow! Two three pointers from AJ.
  • Atlanta don’t get off a shot before the clock expires … hang on … said that too soon, Atlanta get it off at the buzzer + draw the foul. Aggressive take by Smith going to the rim against Howard. Three point play by Smith. Nope, no good frmo the line.
  • Atlanta has only gotten six free throws tonight. The Hawks are 16th in FTs/FGs but only one of their top six scorers are above average at getting to the foul line (Josh Smith). Surprising that they’re not lower league-wide in that category. Must be the supporting role players.
  • Josh Smith has 13 points and 13 rebounds
  • Inside to Dwight Howard, he backs down Horford effectively, spin move to the baseline, goes up strong, fouled. Two FTs.
  • Seven minute mark — Orlando lead 80-71
  • Barnes keeps the offensive rebound alive on the missed FT by Howard, knocked out of bounds by Atlanta. Orlando possession. Great effort by Barnes.
  • Anthony Johnson turns the corner, flies to the rim, layup. Timeout Atlanta. Orlando up 11.
  • What did Daryl Morey say again? When you’re down twice as many points as there are minutes left you have so-and-so percentage of winning the game? 20% was it? Anyway, we’re there now.
  • Atlanta going with Crawford instead of Williams down the stretch
  • Blocked shot at the rim to deny a layup for Atlanta, turnover.
  • Howard chases down an offensive rebound and draws a foul on Howard. He makes one of two at the line.
  • Jamal Crawford hits the back iron on that 16 foot pull up J from the right elbow off the pick and roll
  • Howard throws a bad pass, turnover. Marvin Williams is in the game, sorry, my mistake, that was Josh Smith that checked out there. Surprising to see Smith head out … but Atlanta obviously want to space the floor offensively. Don’t see either way working out for Atlanta.
  • Lewis misses a contested three pointer. Very bad shot. He shot the ball because he wanted to put one up instead of the reason being he had a good look at the rim … fastbreak Atlanta, layup. Ten point game. Three minutes.
  • Anthony Johnson gets a running layup to go at the shot clock buzzer. Timeout Atlanta.
  • Final two minutes — Orlando lead 87-73

This game is over. Very good win for Orlando.

Thoughts

  • Orlando’s offense doesn’t look as fluid without Hedo Turkoglu. A combination of too much one-on-one play from Vince + not enough playmaking from Vince. More of an issue these days than normal with Jameer Nelson out of the lineup.
  • I want to see Vince Carter take on a larger role as a creator for others. He’s an excellent passer + playmaker. Underutilized at moment.
  • Atlanta is a better defensive team than they’ve shown in the first dozen games of the season so far. They’d be even better again if they dumped Bibby for a good defensive point guard.
  • Orlando can’t afford to lose Marcin Gortat. He’s their second most important role player after Pietrus (is Pietrus too important to call a role player?). I can’t see Orlando trading him this season … but they definitely will at some point. It’s just too much money to be paying a 15-18 minute a night backup.
  • Orlando miss their lineup from last season when they could go big on the perimeter with Courtney Lee + Mickael Pietrus + Hedo Turkoglu.
  • I have been very impressed with the Hawks in the open court this season. More intent to get out and get easy baskets than in past seasons — the lack of which always bugged the crap out of me — which has made them a lot more dangerous in transition. They’re doing a better job of playing to their strengths (finally), although, they could still do better.
  • Orlando need better point guard play out of Jason Williams + Anthony Johnson
  • Josh Smith is very effective against Rashard Lewis both in the low post + facing up. Lewis  can’t handle his quickness.
  • Atlanta is still far too reliant on Joe Johnson as a go-to scorer offensively. They badly need someone to step up and be a second go-to option. It makes them too predictable + stagnant offensively when they’re facing a quality defensive opponent in a tight game. This flaw will cost the Hawks in the playoffs.
    • Mike Bibby isn’t going to be that player  at this point in his career so they’ll need of their starting frontcourt players to step up. Unfortunately, Horford and Williams do not seem inclined to be go-to scorers whilst Josh Smith is at his best when he’s allowed to put his energy into multiple areas + allow the offense to come to him … instead of being a guy who you throw the ball to and say go get me some offense.
    • In other words, this is a personnel issue. Atlanta needs to make a change (or get some unexpected improvement from someone).
  • Dwight Howard was a monster in the second half. Excellent performance.
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  1. Big win for the Magic.
    They are still an elite team.

    No way they were going to lose 2 in a row!

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