NBA: Orlando vs. Atlanta Series Betting Preview

NBA: Orlando vs. Atlanta Series Betting Preview

NBA: Orlando vs. Atlanta Series Betting Preview


2010-05-05

The Magic and Hawks took opposite paths to their second round series matchup, Orlando using only four games, while Atlanta was pushed to the full seven. However, this is what the Hawks wanted, they are out to prove they are an elite club deserving of being in the final four of East tournament, pitted against the defending conference champions. What is set to occur?...Read on, then check the latest series price on the Sportsbook.com LIVE ODDS page.
(2)Orlando vs (3) Atlanta
If the Orlando Magic are a little tight to start Eastern Conference semi-final series with Atlanta donít be shocked. Not tight like in nervous, more in the muscles being strained, as they havenít played a NBA game since Mar. 26 in being the only NBA team to sweep their first opponent.
Though Orlando needed only four contests to send the Bobcats packing, a similar performance could send them home before Memorial Day. Dwight "Foul-On-U" Howard played roughly 54 percent of the time against Charlotte and it had nothing to do with being tired or the Magic being far ahead. Howard was continually in foul trouble and was WAY to easily frustrated by the antics of Bobcats big men and let his ego matter more than the team.
Though Atlanta coach Mike Woodson will not be mentioned in the same sentence with Larry Brown as astute NBA coaching legends, he will learn from what the Charlotte was able to do and work to have Howard take himself out of the game instead of being a dominant force.
Vince Carter shot 35.7 percent in his first playoff series with Orlando, that wonít cut it against Atlanta. Carter was too tentative and fell back into comfort zone of hoisting jumps shots. He has to be willing to put the ball on the deck, drive to the rim, get fouled and make free throws to create more wide open chances for jumpers.
If those two players perform up to capabilities, Orlando could have another short series, since Jameer Nelson, Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus were burying threeís like ďFitoĒ with his bone in the backyard. In many ways Nelson is the key performer among this trio, as he can force Atlanta to sit Mike Bibby, since he is not a good defender any longer and make the Hawks use Jamal Crawford as more two-way player.
Orlando won three of four meetings with Southeast Division partner, with average margin of victory 22.1 points per game. The Magic come into this series 40-19 ATS having won 12 or more of their last 15 games.
Coach Woodson wants to believe his club learned something about itself and it will carry over into this next series. Realistically, except for fourth quarter collapse in Game 5, the Hawks have played very good defense for three games and started sharing the ball in the last six quarters.
Atlanta players donít have to run isolations time after time to score, they get much better offensive flow by passing, cutting and finding open shooters. Though Milwaukee lacked the height to compete with the Hawks inside, the increased offensive movement made them a much better offensive rebounding team which will be a requirement in this series, especially if it leads to fouls on Howard.
On defense, Atlanta was able to pressure the Bucks guards with greater persistence and they will have to have that same gumption with all the Orlando shooters.
To start the series, the better strategy for the Hawks is to man-up the Magic and keep in contact with their sharp-shooters and hope Al Horford can force Howard out to around 10 feet and keep him away from the rim. What hurts Atlanta is when they allow dribble penetration, setting up Howard for easy dunks because of help defense and three-point marksmen are left alone to hit the bulls-eye.
Joe Johnson and Crawford have to be the offensive catalysts as scorers and facilitators. Horford, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams are much better players when they receive passes in their comfort zone.
"We're confident," Hawks center Horford said. "I think we've figured out if we play hard defensively we always give ourselves a chance to win games. And we just have to come out and match their intensity. They have a lot of good shooters, they have Dwight inside. It's going to be a challenge... but we're excited." Atlanta is 5-18 ATS on the road in all playoff games.
Atlanta will have no better chance to grab the upper hand feeding off the momentum of series win and Orlando being rusty for first contest. The Hawks players, at least outwardly believe they can win two series for the first time in franchise history since moving to Atlanta in 1968. That means playing at a level they are not accustomed to and doing whatever it takes. From talent perspective, they could pull the upset, but Orlando is a bad matchup for them with their style (4-8 SU & ATS) and ultimately prevails.
Pick- Orlando (-800) in six over Atlanta (+500)

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