Denton: Magic-Pacers Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
April 13, 2011


WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • The Magic used two big runs in the first half to take the suspense out of this one early on. Once trailing 9-5, the Magic scored the next 15 points to take a 20-12 lead.

    Then, after Indiana had climbed to within 33-26 in the second quarter, the Magic used another 20-3 spurt to blow out to a commanding 53-29 advantage at halftime.

    It was hard to tell if it was Orlando’s defense or Indiana’s ineptitude, but the Pacers were a mess offensively in the first half. Indy made just 11 of 44 shots, got outrebounded 27-18 and turned the ball over 10 times.

    Said Van Gundy: ``I thought our energy was very, very good, especially in the first half. We executed some things well and really tried to defend. We had a big lead and then we sort of lost interest a little bit.’’

  • Anderson, the hottest player on the Magic’s roster these days, had about as perfect a first quarter as possible Wednesday night. Anderson made all four of his shots – three of them 3-pointers and a fourth one on a layup off an offensive rebound.

    Anderson had 11 points and three rebounds in the first quarter despite playing just the final 5:31 of the period off the bench.

  • WHAT WENT WRONG

  • Indiana center Roy Hibbert had a good game against the Magic once upon a time, and Howard has never forgotten it, repeatedly taking it to the Pacers.

    Howard attacked early on Wednesday night, drawing three quick fouls on the Indiana big man in the first seven minutes of the game. He blocked Hibbert out for the first foul and then went at him on the low block, forcing Hibbert to foul two more times in the first quarter.

    Hibbert, who missed all four of his shots in the first half, then proceeded to hack Howard again for a fourth foul in the second period. And after he ran over Jameer Nelson on the fastbreak to pick up his fifth foul in 10 minutes on the court, Indiana coach Frank Vogel mercifully pulled Hibbert from the game.

  • FINAL OBSERVATIONS

  • Games 1 and 2 of the Magic-Hawks series will be Saturday and Tuesday at Amway Center, starting at 7 and 7:30 respectively. Games 3 and 4 will be Friday, April 22 and Sunday, April 24 in Atlanta. Game 5, if necessary, will be Tuesday, April 26 at the Amway Center. Game 6 would be Thursday, April 28, while a potential Game 7 would be Saturday, April 30 in Orlando.

    The Magic swept the Hawks out of the second round in historic fashion last spring, winning the four games by a combined 101 points. It was the most lopsided four-game sweep in playoff history.

  • The Pacers, who are headed for a first-round series against the Chicago Bulls, were a dysfunctional mess most of the night. Their frustration was evident as they were twice whistled for flagrant one fouls on layup attempts by the Magic.

    And to add insult to injury, the Pacers were whistled for a technical foul late in the fourth quarter for having six players on the floor following a substitution.

  • Jason Richardson’s most impressive 3-pointer of the night didn’t even count Wednesday. Richardson, who boosted his 3-point total to 189 on the season with two more triples, banked in a no-look hook shot from midcourt during the halftime warm-ups.

    Richardson finished the season ranked second in the NBA in both 3-pointers made (189) and 3-pointers attempted (479).


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    John Denton writes for OrlandoMagic.com. E-mail John at jd41898@aol.com. Submit a question to John for his mailbag segment at AskJD@orlandomagic.com.