Short Memory & No Excuses

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
By Jon Newberry

“No excuses.”

That was Joe Johnson’s response today after practice when asked if players were tired after being pushed to seven games in the first round. It was an answer to a specific question, but it describes the attitude the players are taking as they move forward from last night’s loss.

Twice in his postgame press conference Coach Woodson stated, “We just gotta go back and regroup.”

Atlanta simply had one of those nights where the ball just didn’t seem to want to go into the basket. This was especially true in the second quarter during a run that turned a 27-27 tie into a 44-27 blowout by the home team.

The fact that the Hawks missed some shots that they normally make was not lost on Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “I think when we watch film (Wednesday), we’ll look at the good shots that they had that just didn’t go down so that we understand that we’ve still got to get better defensively in this series.”

If anything, the Hawks can be encouraged by their play in the first quarter.

“It was good to see that the game plan does work,” said Johnson. Now it is just a matter of executing the game plan more consistently and eliminating the extended runs by the Magic.

Atlanta does have experience in bouncing back from lopsided defeats. It’s entire first round match-up with the Heat last season was composed of lopsided scores, and the Hawks bounced back from a 107-78 loss in their first road game in that series to win Game 4 on the road, 81-71. Even this season the Hawks lost 8 games by 15 or more points only to bounce back  for a victory in six of the eight follow up games.

Losses by 15 or more (next game)
Lost 124-104 @ Denver (Won 110-98 @ IND)
Lost 93-76 vs ORL (Won 100-86 @ PHI)
Lost 92-75 @ MIA (Won 119-89 vs NJ)
Lost 113-81 @ ORL (Won 102-96 @ BOS)
Lost 105-90 @ SAS (Won 100-91 vs BOS)
Lost 104-86 @ ORL (Lost 106-99 @ OKC)
Lost 94-76 vs MIA (Won 110-92 @ LAC)
Lost 107-89 @ MIL* (Lost 111-104 @ MIL)
*2010 postseason