Atlanta Hawks, Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was asked if this w..."/> Atlanta Hawks, Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was asked if this w..."/>

Magic Discuss Their Win Over Atlanta


After the Magic got a much needed win over the Atlanta Hawks, Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was asked if this was how the Magic are supposed to play.

"“Well I stay away from supposed to, but this is how we’d like to play. I thought we had a pretty good inside-outside balance, we got some good post-up stuff. And then Dwight made some plays outside of the post so I thought had a pretty good balance there. The best thing was I thought it was by far our best game playing in the open floor in transition in a long, long time. I can’t really remember the last time I thought that we got up and down the floor pretty well.”"

When asked if the Magic players felt joy or relief after Saturday’s 32-point, losing-streak ending victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Van Gundy answered “joy.”

The locker room seemed like a happy place. It was very loose.

When asked how hungry the team was, Dwight Howard answered,

"“Very hungry, we didn’t eat last night on the plane or before the game.”"

Howard also discussed his 18-foot jump shot that just missed.

"“He (Magic General Manager Otis Smith) wants me to shoot more. I shoot every day in practice. I hit those shots all the time in practice. It’s going to be on me, I just have to have confidence in that shot. I know I can shoot it, it’s just going out there in the game and shooting it when the lights are on. I can shoot it by myself and I can shoot it in practice. J-Will said that’s why he threw back to me, “You shoot all the time in practice, just shoot it in the game!’”"

When asked about his comments that facing adversity like this at the point will be good for the Magic, Howard thinks this adversity can bring the team even closer together.

"“We understand that we have to fight through these situations and if we don’t, we’ll never be able to overcome them. This team, we’re together. We don’t let nothing separate us, no matter what the situation is. Like I keep telling you guys, we’re like a family. We’re going to have those moments where we really hate each other. Then, we’ll have those moments where we love each other like crazy. It happens. If we can continue to fight through any situation, that’s going to make us a better team.”"

Howard also joked around saying that every player gave an inspirational speech and went on to say inspirational speeches don’t mean anything if you don’t produce on the court. Howard said that even if Obama speaks to the team, it won’t mean anything if they don’t do their jobs.

I got a chance to catch up with Ryan Anderson after the game and ask him a few questions.

Atlanta came in as the second most efficient offense in the entire NBA and you held them to under 40% shooting and 81 points. Can you talk about the way the team defended tonight?

"“We played great team defense. We basically stuck to our defensive schemes. We got the ball out of Joe Johnson’s hands as much as we could. And really, we were great on the boards. We did a great job of defensive rebounding. That’s something that we need to continue to do. Defensively was great tonight, sometimes we rely on our offense too much.”"

How were you able to have so much success? Simply effort and energy?

"“I think so. Everybody was just really focused today and we knew we just didn’t need to get this win. It’s a crucial win.”"

How far do you think you are from consistently being able to play like this?

"“I don’t think we’re too far away. We just need to get in the gym and practice. We haven’t been able to practice much because we’ve had so many road games back-to-back and we’ve had a long stretch of games so we haven’t had a ton of practice time so I think if we keep working at it and keep coming with the effort we had tonight, I think we can do that almost every night.”"

What does it do for not only your individual confidence but your confidence as a team to blowout a team like the Hawks?

"“It just shows how good of a team we really are. I mean, people have put Atlanta ahead of us and some people don’t really believe we’re as good as we really are. Even without Vince, we played great tonight as a unit. We have a ton of guys who can play on this team. We have a lot of weapons and we really utilized them today. We played really well.”"

As happy as the Magic were with this victory, Van Gundy knows that it’s just one win and the Magic will have to keep their level of play up.

"“It feels good, we’ve obviously got a long way to go and based on how we’ve played lately we can’t start feeling like, “OK, it’s over, we’re out of the woods,” we’ve still got to keep pressing ahead and trying to get better but tonight we just needed to get a win so we can all get a goodnights sleep and get the monkey off our back a little bit.”"

You can read more about Orlando’s victory over Atlanta here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)