Sunday, April 24, 2011
Quentin Richardson will start for Magic
By Michael Wallace ESPN.com
ATLANTA -- The Orlando Magic will start Quentin Richardson in place of suspended shooting guard Jason Richardson Sunday night in Game 4 of their playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
Jason Richardson and Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia were each suspended one game for their fight in the final minutes of Atlanta's 88-84 win Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round series.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he settled on starting Quentin Richardson because he had effective moments when he was matched up against Hawks guard Joe Johnson. Quentin Richardson, who is listed at 6-foot-6, slowed down the 6-7 Johnson in the second half Friday after Johnson scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half.
Quentin Richardson also gave the Magic a boost off the bench offensively by making all three of his 3-pointers to finish with nine points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of playing time.
Van Gundy considered starting J.J. Redick but opted to go with a bigger defender against Johnson, who is averaging 20 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists in the series.
"It allows us to stay a little bit bigger in the starting lineup," Van Gundy said after his team's shootaround Sunday morning at Philips Arena. "It doesn't put all of our offensive players all on the floor at the same time."
With Jason Richardson out and Quentin in the starting lineup, Van Gundy said he expects to use Gilbert Arenas on Sunday after he was not used in the rotation for Friday's game. Quentin Richardson has averaged just three points and 1.7 rebounds in 11.7 minutes in the series.
But the 10-year veteran said he's ready to take on a larger role as Orlando attempts to even the series and regain homecourt advantage with a Game 4 victory.
"You continue to stay ready regardless of the situation, and that's part of the maturity process," Quentin Richardson said after Sunday's shootaround. "My mindset the last few years is I've always had to guard the toughest guys, so I always go in with a confidence, thinking you can make it tough on guys."
Michael Wallace covers the NBA for ESPN.com.