Hawks
Magic
103 - 93 Final
  for this game

Magic and Hawks square off in Game 1 of playoff rematch

Apr 16, 2011 - 2:37 PM (Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will take another shot at the Orlando Magic when the two teams meet in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals set at Amway Center.

Mike Woodson lost his job as Atlanta's head coach last season after Orlando destroyed the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. A 53-win team in the regular season, Woodson's Hawks were no match for Dwight Howard and Company. In fact, Orlando's dominance over Atlanta was both breathtaking and history- making.

The Magic recorded the largest victory margin in a four-game sweep in NBA playoff history, winning the series by a total of 101 points. The Hawks lost all four contests in the set by an average of over 25 points per contest and the closest they ever came in the series was a 98-84 setback in Game 4.

Atlanta will now get a chance at revenge in the East quarterfinals this time with new mentor Larry Drew. Both teams have taken a step back in 2010-11, however.

Despite earning the Eastern Conference championship back in '08-09 and making a return trip to the conference championship last season, Orlando felt something was missing and was extremely busy back in mid-December, making two blockbuster trades that remade the team around their superstar center, Howard.

The Magic acquired three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas from Washington in exchange for Rashard Lewis, and moments later, netted Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus and a 2011 first round draft pick.

Orlando finished 36-20 after making the deals en route to its seventh 50-win season in franchise history and fourth straight. However, the team was not close to the 59 games it won last season when it took home the East's second seed. Nonetheless, Stan Van Gundy's club reached the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and for the 13th time in team history.

The Hawks, meanwhile, are back in the postseason dance for a fourth consecutive season but fell back to 44 wins under first year coach Drew, a former Woodson assistant.

The Hawks dropped six straight games to end the season and will have a tall mountain to climb against their Southeast Division rivals.

Atlanta did take three of four games from the Magic in the regular season, something neither side puts much stock in.

"I mean they are better than us right now. That is the bottom line," Van Gundy said after losing to the Hawks back on March 30. "It doesn't mean they will be in the playoffs. I don't think we are afraid to play them."

"The regular season really doesn't matter. It's just about having that momentum going into the playoffs," Atlanta forward Josh Smith added.

The Magic could get a boost with the possible return of sharp-shooter J.J. Redick. The Duke product missed the team's last 17 games with a lower abdominal injury and is a game-time decision.

"If he can go, I'm going to go back to playing him," Van Gundy said. "It's a fairly easy decision based on he struggles we've had on the bench."

The two teams have met twice in the postseason, last year's shellacking by Orlando along with a 4-1 Magic win in the 1995-96 Eastern Conference semifinals. Overall, the Magic are a gaudy 8-1 versus the Hawks in the playoffs, including a 5-0 mark in central Florida.