Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic Eastern Conf Semis Game 1 Preview

Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks

(Source: Yardbarker.com)

Preview

We are now treated the second round match up that many fans said the Hawks needed to look to avoid. Much in part to the domination that the Magic had shown over these Hawks. After the Milwaukee series got extended to seven games I am surprised to report that fan confidence is pretty high. Which is surprising given the reaction following the game five loss to the Bucks. Of course it doesn’t matter what the fans think. What really matters is how the team is feeling. They know that they will have to bring their “A” effort to the table against the Magic. Many times we have seen the Hawks play up to their competition. If that is the case then we should see them as focused as we have during the playoffs.

If the Hawks want to advance then they are going to have to at least win one game in Orlando. The best chance they have might be tonight’s game one due to the long lay off the Magic have had. Many people are going to be watching to see what defensive strategy Mike Woodson employs tonight against Dwight Howard. My guess would be that the Hawks will double him from different angles and try to make things tough for him. Anytime Howard is in position to get an easy hoop, look for the Hawks to foul and put him on the line where Howard has struggled during the playoffs. Because of this the bigs on the bench ZaZa Pachulia, Joe Smith, and probably Jason Collins will see court time that they did not see during the first round.

By doubling the Hawks will risk leaving potential shooters open around the perimeter. In games six and seven the Hawks did a good job of closing out on the Bucks shooters and made things tough for them. Of course in games three through five this facet was nearly non existent and the Bucks made the Hawks pay. The team will need the game six and seven effort in this area tonight.

The Magic will come out tonight in Orlando and try and bury the Hawks. The Hawks need to survive early and not get taken out of the game. They need to have themselves in position for the win at crunch time.

Atlanta Hawks (0-0) Milwaukee Bucks (0-0) Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 1.

Venue: Amway Arena

Time: 8:00pm ET

TV: TNT

Radio: 790TheZoneNBA Audio League Pass

Hawks – Probable Starters

PG – Mike Bibby

SG – Joe Johnson

SF – Marvin Williams

PF – Josh Smith

C – Al Horford

Magic – Probable Starters

PG – Jameer Nelson

SG – Vince Carter

SF – Matt Barnes

PF – Reshard Lewis

C – Dwight Howard

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