Just finished watching Atlanta do something they have yet to do in this not-very young season, and if you looked at the header of this story, you probably figured out what it was. Atlanta beat the Orlando Magic a few hours ago, 80-74. Al Horford put the team on his back as he logged over 41 minutes in the victory and socred 16. Josh Smith pumped in 19, Mike Bibby had 13, and Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 16. For the losers, Vince Carter had 18 and Dwight Howard had 14. It’s time for fun with numbers. Orlando shot 18% from three-point range, while the Hawks’ percentage was twice that, however Atlanta only made one more (5-4). Orlando shot eight more attempts, which accounts for the percentage discrepancy. The Magic did brick a couple of them at the end as they tried to close the deficit in the late stages.
I’ve talked at length about the injury bug striking the Hawks. Joe Johnson was the latest to go down. He had surgery on his right elbow last week and will probably be out until the middle of January. Things didn’t look good for them in Atlanta’s first game of the Florida leg. It was an 89-77 loss to Miami. And, in Atlanta’s first trip to Orlando, they held tough but lost by four. This game was almost a month ago. Both Orlando and Miami are due return trips to Atlanta. Give Atlanta credit for staying tough. Like I said at the outset, Al Horford picked up the slack, and gave those Florida fans flashbacks of his days in Gainesville. He’s going to have to step up with Joe Johnson on the bench.
Joe’s injury was a factor against Atlanta. Here is something that was. The flu bug went around and struck the Magic, hard. Jameer Nelson was scratched because of it, while Howard, Mickael Pietrus, and J.J. Redick all were victims earlier. Hawks announcer Bob Rathbun tweeted that the first four fans attending the game will suit up for Orlando. I don’t think he was kidding.
Other things I have been paying attention to. Marvin Williams had only 2 points in 20 minutes. Jeff Teague, whose minutes had plummeted in recent weeks, was inactive due to Larry Drew’s decision. And, guess what, Monday’s game was yet another back-to-back!Atlanta comes home to play the Nets. These two teams tangled two weeks ago and the Nets 107-101 in OT. I’m calling a high school basketball game tomorrow night between Collins Hill (alma mater of Maya Moore) and Norcross (alma mater of Al-Farouk Aminu), but should be back in time to watch the end.
Atlanta has now won 6 of 7, but again, getting back to the headline, it was the first win over a good team. (Sure, one that was flu-riddled, but it counts in the standings.) The next opportunity will be this Friday at San Antonio (on another back-to-back! How crazy is that!). See you then.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.