4/13 - Atlanta Hawks Vs Orlando Magic Game Day Preview: Howard Inactive With Back Injury

Who?: Atlanta Hawks (5th in East) vs Orlando Magic (5th in East)

What?: NBA Southeast Divisional Showdown (Game #59, Road Game #32)

Where?: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)

When?: Friday April 13, 2012; 7:00 PM (Eastern Time)

How?: SportSouth HD (TV) & 680 AM/93.7 FM

Other Atlanta Hawks Coverage: Atlanta Hawks Fan SiteAJC BlogPeachtree Hoops (SB Nation), Hoopinion (TrueHoop)


Projected Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Hawks:

PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kirk Hinrich | SF: Joe Johnson | PF: Josh Smith | C: Zaza Pachulia

Orlando Magic:

PG: Jameer Nelson | SG: J.J. Redick | SF: Jason Richardson | PF: Ryan Anderson | C: Glen Davis


Injury/Inactive Players Report:

Atlanta: Al Horford (left pectoral surgery) is out.

Orlando: Dwight Howard (back spasms) is inactive. Hedo Turkoglu (facial fracture) is out.


Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold:

Records: The Atlanta Hawks are (34-24) and the Orlando Magic are (34-24).

Streak: ATLANTA – OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Won 3 / ROAD: Lost 1

ORLANDO – OVERAL: Lost 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 1

Away/Home: The Hawks are (15-16) on the road and the Magic are (19-11) at home.

Against .500+ teams: Atlanta (10-20) —— Orlando (12-19)

Atlanta Hawks - Lukewarm. Atlanta has won six of their last 10 games, the latest game was a 88-86 OT loss to the Celtics who are a scorching 8-2 in their last 10 contests.

Orlando Magic – Cool. Orlando is 4-6 in their last 10 games but have won two of their last three match-ups without Howard in the line-up.


Season/Past Season Series:

This is the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. The Hawks currently lead the season series 2-0.

The Hawks have won the last five regular-season games vs the Magic, spanning to last season.


Game Preview:

The Atlanta Hawks are catching a break tonight as they face off against banged up division rival Orlando Magic who will be without the services of all-star center Dwight Howard because of a sore back.

Howard actually ruled himself out for the Hawks game because he chose to fly to Los Angeles, accompanied by Magic physical therapist Ed Manalo, to seek a second opinion on his ailing back.

Orlando had hoped Howard would play tonight after resting for the previous five days but his continuing back spasms will force him to miss his third straight game, his fifth out of seven match-ups this month.

The last time Howard played he finished with 20 points and 22 rebounds in Saturday’s win over Philadelphia.

Atlanta will look to capitalize on the rare occasion Superman (Howard’s nickname) isn’t healthy and try to win their sixth straight regular-season game over Orlando.

The Hawks and Magic currently share the same record of 34-24 and both hold apiece of the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference Standings. However it’s Atlanta who owns the tie-breaker having defeated Orlando in the first two meetings. This is the final game between ATL and ORL in the regular-season series.

In the last five meetings, Atlanta has limited Orlando to just 80.4 points per game on 39.0 percent shooting.

Josh Smith posted a double-double performance of 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks in the last meeting  over Orlando, an 83-78 home win back on Feb. 23. Two weeks prior on Feb. 10 at the Amway Arena Smith tallied 23 points and 19 boards in an 89-87 overtime victory. Overall, Smith has averaged 23.5 points and 9.6 rebounds in his last 11 contests.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Dwight Howard Josh Smith Orlando Magic

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