No. 2 in the league last season, kept the entire MUT 18 Coins roster, turned it into an isolation showcase for Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford with traces of high-post action from Horford, and found it ranked No. 20 by the end of the season.Drew, who is up 3-1 on Van Gundy's Magic right now.
Atlanta's defense during the regular season wasn't anything special; the Hawks ranked No. 13, just as they had under Woodson, while the offense fell off the rails. That's why Atlanta objectively looked like the second-worst team in the playoffs (behind the Pacers) -- they had a bad regular season buoyed only by a series of close wins over bad opponents.
They played like a .500 team during the season, got lucky frequently enough to come out with the No. 5 seed, and looked like surefire roadkill against the team that killed them last postseason.Instead, it's beginning to look like they caught the right opponent, the Magic, at the right time, did some smart things to mitigate Orlando's reliance on the three-pointer, played the whole
"let Dwight Howard kill us; we'll survive" routine that almost never works. It's working! And Drew is a game away from earning a berth in the second round while S.V.G. is potentially in the firing line.Stories like this are everywhere. Remember when Doc Rivers was the worst coach ever, back when the Boston Celtics were bad, pre-Kevin Garnett and pre-Ray Allen? Under Rivers, Boston has two