For Hawks and Smith, greed is good in Game 4

Published May 14, 1996|Updated Sept. 16, 2005

His teammates appreciated Steve Smith's generosity, but they preferred he be a little more selfish.

The Hawks thought they got too many passes and not enough shots from Smith in the critical moments of Game 3 Sunday.

Smith is, after all, a shooting guard.

So in Game 4, he shot. And shot. And shot.

The sixth-year pro out of Michigan State lit up the Magic in the first quarter Monday night with 16 points, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. He finished the game with 35 points.

Before Monday night, Smith had been held to 2-of-13 on three-pointers by the Magic.

Smith carried Atlanta in the first-round series against Indiana, averaging 22.8 points and 4.8 rebounds.

But with Orlando's defensive whiz Nick Anderson guarding him, and Dennis Scott and Horace Grant helping out, Smith was limited to 17.3 points going into Game 4.

GETTING A LEG UP: Anfernee Hardaway's sore hamstrings are continuing to respond well to treatment, Magic trainer Lenny Currier said.

"He's been feeling a lot better," Currier said. "If we can get him a few days' rest, keep giving him ice and have him stay in the whirlpool, I think he'll be fine."

HELP WANTED: Trailing by 20 coming out of halftime, Grant caught the eye of Magic radio broadcaster Jeff Turner.

"Hey," Grant grinned, "want your old job back?"

Turner played six seasons for Orlando before retiring with knee injuries this season.

NO-SHOWS: The city of Atlanta did not exactly come out in droves in what was potentially the last game of the season for the Hawks. The upper deck of the Omni was barely half-full and courtside celebrities like Ted Turner and Jane Fonda were nowhere to be found.

The Hawks announced 12,643 tickets had been sold for the 16,400-seat arena. Actual attendance appeared closer to 10,000.

THE MEAN SEASON: Lenny Wilkens may be one of the finest gentlemen and coaches to ever grace pro basketball, but with one NBA title in 23 years, he has not enjoyed tremendous post-season success.

The only NBA coach with more than 1,000 regular-season victories, Wilkens has a career record of 64-69 in the post-season.

THE HACK ATTACK: Hawks fans have not forgotten Jon Koncak. When Orlando's backup center gave one of his patented hacking jobs in Game 3 on Sunday _ 10 minutes, five fouls, zero points _ a fan was reminded of the $13-million contract Koncak signed with Atlanta in 1989.

"Three minutes, three fouls, three million," the fan shouted.

THAT'S THE TICKET: Since so many Magic players have ties to Georgia, tickets have been at a premium in the Magic locker room.

Koncak spent the previous 10 years playing for the Hawks, Scott went to school in Atlanta at Georgia Tech, Brian Hill was a Hawks assistant coach for four years and Grant grew up in Sparta, Ga. Koncak and Scott were both scouring for extra tickets before the game.

Grant was asked if many people were making the trek from Sparta to see him play.

"Yeah, I got tickets for 10 of them," he said. "The whole town is coming."

SLAVE TO FASHION: While it might not be quite as flashy as a Dennis Rodman ensemble, Shaquille O'Neal does have his toenails painted. O'Neal said he has gone the lacquered route ever since he scored 53 points against Minnesota with painted nails in '94.

O'Neal, however, said he will not emulate Rodman's painted fingernails, makeup and fishnet shirt.

"You're not going to see me on TV with all of that other stuff on," O'Neal said. "I'm a man."