We finally, finally, finally played the way we should’ve been playing the whole series last night against the Hawks to get back within 3-2. Thank God we got that victory and kept our season alive. Now, it’s all about coming back on Thursday in Game 6 and doing it again and playing Magic basketball. Our work is a long way from done and we have to jump on the Hawks again and not let them breathe at all!!!
For some reason since I have been here in Orlando, we’ve always put ourselves in situations like this. Whether it’s the regular season or the playoffs, we’ve been down a lot of times and had to fight our way back. We were down twice to Philly two years ago and we won. We were down to Boston and we won a Game 7 up there two years ago. And nobody thought we could beat the Cavs and we ended up in the Finals.
We’re still in a very tough situation, but we still believe that we can win this series. As the captain of this team, I’m just going to continue to motivate and encourage my teammates to stay positive. Really, we haven’t done anything yet but force a Game 6. We get that one on Thursday in Atlanta and then it’s on for a winner-take-all Game 7 back at the Amway Center. I want that so, so, so bad. Now it’s just about pouring every ounce that we have in our bodies into winning this Game 6.
I got in a little foul trouble there in the first quarter and things looked a little bleak for a second. But I trust in my guys and believed that they were going to pick up the slack. With me on the bench, we had a nice little run at the end of the first quarter to take a big lead. J.J. Redick was looking like the guy from those “Better Basketball” videos, pumping in one jumper after another to get us off to a good start.
I just had eight points and eight rebounds and somebody told me after the game it was the first time all season that I was held to a “single-single.’’ Don’t get me wrong, scoring a lot of points and getting a lot of rebounds is a good thing, but for me it’s all about getting the victory. For me, this game was about moving the ball when I was double teamed and my guys taking the open shots that were there.
We know that Atlanta’s crowd is going to be super hyped up when we get up there for Game 5. I had some people yelling at me the other day when we were there. Actually, it’s kind of weird being the marked man in Atlanta, since I’m from the A-T-L. They are up there having a “Dwight Out’’ and having fans hold Kryptonite sticks. And of course they are always going to play that Superman video with Josh and Zaza pounding me into the ground. I actually think it’s a pretty funny clip.
This is the playoffs and teams aren’t supposed to like one another. I think it’s fun going in there getting booed and being the marked man. It just makes it that much sweeter when you win.
And that’s what we have to do again on Thursday – win!!! Last night’s victory shows that we can win this series. I feel like the Hawks let us off the mat, gave us some life and now we have to make them pay for it.
I know we can do it, my teammates know that we can do it and so do the coaches. Thursday night will be one of the biggest games of my career, and I can tell you right now that I’m not going down without leaving everything that I have left in my body out on that court. I just feel like if we go up to Atlanta and hit them first and play Magic basketball that we’ll be back in O-Town Saturday night for a great Game 7.
We can do this Magic fans, believe that!!! I’m outta here. Yuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!