The game was so ugly, it could not even be seen on television.
It was offensive struggle from both sides, as neither side shot more than 38% overall or 20% from beyond the arc. The Hawks had no scorers with more than 15 points and the Magic only had one player in double figures, Glen Davis, with 11 on 13 shots. 13 players played for Orlando and all 13 scored.
With such poor offensive numbers, you might think the game was slow halfcourt grind, but there were 97 possessions, which, translated as a team pace of 97, would rank third the season among all teams. Some, like DeQuan Jones for example, were able to get out in transition and get to the rim but blew some easy layups, with Jones finishing 1-6 in the paint.
Larry Drew assumed he had the game in hand with 7 minutes to go and a 20 point lead and curiously inserted rookies John Jenkins, Mike Scott, and, later, four year veteran Anthony Tolliver. However, due to some bad Hawks shots, the Magic went a 10-2 run to narrow the lead. Coach Larry Drew was forced to put the starters back in to close the game with 3 minutes to go.
With the exception of the third quarter, the Hawks lacked focus and offensive execution. There is not much of a reason to dig too deep into this effort. Chalk it up as a learning tool and move on.
1. Al Horford
He was a consistant option, able to shield second year Nikola Vucevic to get position underneath and put in some easy buckets. He was also automatic as usual from midrange, finishing 6-11 for 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
2. Jeff Teague
Despite missing a few bunnies, he was aggressive in transition and ran the halfcourt offense well, finishing with a game high 7 assists. He has only cracked 30 minutes twice this season, but at some point he has to be given the reigns to the offense in the fourth quarter in a close game, even if it takes a backcourt of Jeff Teague and Lou Williams together.
3. Zaza Pachulia
Zaza lead the team with 11 rebounds to counter Vucevic’s 13 and remains a crowd favorite.