Following each 2010 Hawks playoff game, SLAM Magazine's Lang Whitaker will chime in will his immediate reactions:
And so it's over. The 2009-2010 Atlanta Hawks won 53 games in the regular season, and then 4 more in the first round of the Playoffs. In the second round, however, the Hawks won zero games, capped tonight by Orlando's 98-84 win.
Orlando not only swept the Hawks, four games to none, by an average of 25 points, the Magic made a statement that they are unquestionably one of the best teams in the NBA, and a team that better be taken seriously by the rest of the NBA. Throughout the second round of the Playoffs, Orlando played flawless team basketball, finding open shooters, rotating defensively and generally just making the Hawks look like a much worse team than they actually are.
I fell like that's worth stressing: These Hawks were a better team this season than they showed in this series. It's easy to forget, with a series loss like this ringing in our ears, but the Hawks won 53 games and were the third-best team in the Eastern Conference. It's disappointing for the Hawks season to end the way it did, but it doesn't change the fact that a lot of good things happened this season. It was only six years ago that the Hawks were a 13 win team. We've come a long way since then.
If nothing else, this series taught us we still have a long way to go.