Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks- 5 ET ESPN
If Atlanta is going to win a game in the series, it’s going to have to come tonight. Facing a 2-0 deficit, they return home where they hope to slow down the Orlando Magic’s winning streak that currently stands at 6 games. In order to make that happen, they’d have to find a solution for slowing down Dwight Howard, something that seems to be very improbable after watching the first two games of the series.
Even with impressive Game 2 performance from Al Horford who went for 24 points and 10 rebounds on 9-13 shooting and was a perfect 6-6 from the line, Horford having offensive outbreaks isn’t a solution. The Hawks would be better off if Horford only scored 12 points and 6 rebounds, if he could contain Dwight Howard. Whether or not Horford is capable of that has yet to be seen and it’s definitely not something I’d count on happening anytime soon.
For the Magic in Game 2, talk about balanced scoring, the starting lineup pretty much defined it with 4 of their 5 starters scoring 20 or more points. To make matters worse for the Hawks is that they all did it on great shooting percentages. Even being the longtime, die-hard Vince Carter fan that I am, I’m a little bit surprised at how well he’s been shooting the basketball so far in the playoffs. The aging Vince Carter of the past couple years has been better known for his up and down play but now it seems as though we’re back to seeing the old Vince outside of 15 feet. I think the time off, he was given between series paid big dividends for him and for the team to maintain fresh legs. Look for the Magic to stay on track and focused on getting through the Hawks as quick as possible. Magic take Game 3 in Atlanta.
Magic- 108 Hawks- 95
With A Head Coach Like This, There’s No Doubt the Magic Will Be Ready For Tip-Off Tonight
Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz- 8 ET ABC
In Game 2, nearly all the Jazz players played well, except for the most important piece to their puzzle in Deron Williams. D-Will struggled mightily from the field shooting 4-16 for 15 points. While it maybe unfair to except nearly 30 a night out of the star point guard, that’s exactly what the need on a consistent basis in order to beat a team like the Lakers.
On the bright side the series heads back to Utah where the Jazz have a great opportunity to get even with their opponents. Not only will Deron Williams benefit from being able to bounce back on his home court but the key role players around him should prosper as well.
For the Lakers, they must take better care of the ball in Game 3. They were fortunate to have come away with a win in Game 2 as they committed twice as many turnovers (20) than the Jazz (10). Any game you commit that many turnovers you don’t give yourself a great chance to win, especially not on the road. Though the Lakers should take much better care of the ball in Game 3, the Jazz will pull out an important Game 3 win to remain close in the series.
Jazz- 106 Lakers-102
This Is What I Call Home Court Advantage!