Forearms and elbows and head butts, oh my! Zaza Pachulia's noggin-on-noggin shot to Jason Richardson in Game 3, which earned the Atlanta center a one-game suspension, was emblematic of the Hawks' new surly style. (Richardson, who responded with a shove to Pachulia's face, was also banned for a game.) Swept by Orlando a year ago, Atlanta took a commanding 3--1 lead in its first-round series with the Magic as a trio of big men—Pachulia, Jason Collins and Al Horford—have taken turns (and whacks) on Dwight Howard. That has freed the Hawks' perimeter defenders to stick close to Orlando's shooters. Not being double-teamed has been good for Howard (32.3 points per game on 66.7% shooting) but bad for the Magic; perimeter scorers Jason Richardson (8.7 points), Hedo Turkoglu (7.8) and J.J. Redick (5.0) are well below their season averages, and Orlando is connecting on just 21.9% of its three-point shots. "Anytime the play gets physical, you can't back down," says Hawks coach Larry Drew. "I don't ever want my team backing down from rough-and-tough play."
This is an article from the May 2, 2011 issue