Well, we had a tough start to the playoffs last night against the Hawks in Game 1. I´m really upset that our team, which prides itself so much so on defense couldn´t slow Atlanta down. Even when we scored buckets and made a charge, they scored on the other end and kept up the lead.
I´m frustrated right now, about as frustrated as I have been after a game in a long time. I was so mad to the point that I didn´t even want to get dressed. I was going to go to the press conference with my undershirt on, but I put on a shooting shirt so I didn´t upset anyone.
I had a good game offensively and Jameer played great in the second half, but none of that matters because we still lost the game. I´d rather not score a point and win the game than put up a lot of points in a loss like that.
But repeat after me, Magic fans: It´s just one game. It´s a series for a reason and we´re fully prepared to play a long series against the Hawks. This isn´t the NCAA Tournament where it´s one-and-done (thank goodness!!!) and it´s the first one to four wins. A series isn´t over after one game, four games or six games. Until you lose four times, it´s not over and there will be no panic in our ball club.
The sun is going to come up tomorrow, life will go on and we´ll make the adjustments that we need to make to turn this series back in our favor. We know that when we play Magic basketball that we can beat anybody in the league. Now, it´s just up to us to cut down our turnovers, get some stops on defense and get some more guys involved on the offensive end.
The Hawks have some really good players and we have to do a better job of them breaking us down in one-on-one sets. We´re a defensive team first and foremost, and we just can´t let teams take us apart like the Hawks did last night. We have to get up into those guys better, rotate better and make life miserable for them when they drive into the lane.
Everybody should remember that we lost the first game of the playoffs in 2009, and that year we ended up making it all the way to the Finals. We came back two times in that first series against Philadelphia and again against Boston because we never stopped believing.
I know this loss is going to make the experts out there doubt us even more. I know they already had us as the team that should be most on upset alert because nobody out there wants to give the Magic any love. But we´re used to being in the underdog role, and I´m hoping that we can surprise some people who are just looking at Chicago, Miami and Boston in the East.
Right now, in a time like this it´s just about everybody in our locker room believing. We all have to believe that we´re going to beat Atlanta, beat whoever is in our way and believe that we´re going to win a championship. We can´t have anybody panicking or not believing in what we´re trying to do here.
That´s the only way we´re going to dig out of this – together!!! I´m not panicking and I don´t think the guys on our team will. Hang in there with us Magic fans because we´ll bounce back from this and make you proud.
I´m out of here. Take care everybody. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!