Atlanta Hawks fans know that their inconsistent team is more than capable of getting blown out on any given night. Unfortunately, it happened as the team was on the cusp of clinching a first round upset of the Orlando Magic. Now they'll have to go home and try it again
Jason Richardson netted 17 after missing Game 4 with a suspension and J.J. Redick posted 14 to lead the Magic to a 101-76 demolition of the Hawks in Game Five of their first round series at the Amway Center on Tuesday.
Game 6 will be at Philips Arena on Thursday night. If the Hawks look anything like they did in this one, Game 7 will be in Orlando on Saturday.
Yes, folks, this one was just plain ugly.
It was like the Hawks took all of those tried-and-failed game plans from that 2010 second round sweep by the Magic and said, "let's try that again."
The Hawks defense looked horrendous. They departed from their "cover the guy on the perimeter" plan and over-rotated. That left someone wide open on the perimeter, and unlike in the first five games of the series, Orlando had no problem draining them from beyond the arc.
Orlando, which shot just 22-percent from 3-point range in the first five games of the series, looked rejuvenated from beyond the arc connecting on 42-percent (11-for-26) of their tries.
The end result was that the Magic did not need much from Dwight Howard, who finished seventh in scoring on the team with just eight points.
Yep, it was just one of those night for Atlanta's basketball team.
Josh Smith had 22 points for the Hawks on 7-for-18 shooting from the field. Many of those points came from a range you don't want to see Smith shooting from: long-range jumpers and 3-pointers.
Joe Johnson was a non-factor. He could simply not get anything going from the field, shooting just 2-for-12 for five points.
Jamal Crawford, who became the first player since Kevin McHale in 1991 to get over the 20 mark off the bench in the first four games of a playoff series, looked human, connecting on just 2-of-8 for eight points.
It was just ugly all around for an Atlanta team that looked like the team that was down in the series. The shots were desperate and ill advised at times. The willingness to take it to the hoop wasn't there. The end result was a whooping that was reminiscent of all of those playoff games that the Hawks played against the Magic last year.
You know that series -- the one where the Hawks lost by an NBA average of 25.3 points in a four-game sweep.
Atlanta's going to have to make their adjustments ahead of Game 6, get back to playing good defense and penetrating the paint on offense. It's time to "mature" put up or shut up guys. This performance was unacceptable.
Marvin Williams netted 12 points and Al Horford added nine and 14 boards for Atlanta, which committed 13 turnovers.