It’s the final stretch of the season, and teams are in different positions as we close the year. Some teams are fighting for their position in the playoffs, while others are fighting for a nice draft pick. On Friday, the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks were taking part in both situations. The Magic were in the eighth seed trying to fight off the Miami Heat for the final playoff spot. They’ll secure a spot if they win the rest of the way. The Hawks on the other hand have the fifth-best odds in the draft, and with the Dallas Mavericks right behind them, it would be best to stay in that position. It was surely a big game for both teams, but for different reasons.
Doomed from the start
The Hawks found themselves in trouble early in the first quarter on both sides of the ball. Jonathan Issac came out the gate with 10 points, and the Hawks were suddenly down 20 points. On the other end, they couldn’t convert on easy shots which is how they dug themselves into such a big hole. Trae Young was the most efficient in the first, but he also had his bad lapses well which doesn’t say much. At the end of the quarter, the Hawks were down 24.
The Hawks had multiple injuries across the board, and that had some effect on the outcome of this game. Kevin Huerter and Kent Bazemore were out, which meant that they were down two players that are effective on both sides of the ball. Justin Anderson started in place of Huerter. Even though he was solid on defense, he only shot 1-of-7 from the field. Coach Lloyd Pierce only had four players available off the bench, which means someone had to play multiple positions.
They have your number
You can tell when a certain team just plays their best against you every time you see them. The Magic have had a lot of success against the Hawks this season, and Friday’s game just proved the theory even more. The Hawks just didn’t have the formula to take down Orlando with all the variety of skill players they have. Nikola Vucevic has been a problem for them all season, and they find a good way of taking advantage of Young on the defensive side.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.