Game 3: Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks

The Orlando Magic will look to take the lead in their first round series with Atlanta Hawks for the first time when they hit the road to take on the Atlanta Hawks Friday night.

Game 1: Hawks 103, Magic 93
Game 2: Magic 88, Hawks 82

The game will be shown nationally on ESPN 2 locally on FS Florida. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

Tip off from Phillips Arena is scheduled for 8:00 pm EST.

The Line: Orlando – 1.5, 181u


Atlanta Hawks

Jason Collins
Al Horford
Josh Smith
Joe Johnson
Kirk Hinrich

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Brandon Bass
Hedo Tukoglu
Jason Richardson
Jameer Nelson

The officials will be Monty McCutchen, Dick Bavetta and Leon Wood. The alternate is Rodney Mott.

Brian Serra offered up what he thought would be the keys to game 3 here.

Stan Van Gundy now appears to be committed to using Quentin Richardson in order for the Magic to successfully defend the Hawks perimeter players. In game 2, Van Gundy decided to use Hedo Turkoglu as Jameer Nelson’s backup at point guard so that J.J. Redick could defend the Atlanta point guard, rather than Joe Johnson, who’s he had a lot of trouble containing. This made Gilbert Arenas the odd man out – he didn’t play in the second half. Van Gundy didn’t commit to any lineup but all indications are the he likes the way things went, especially defensively with Arenas off of the court.

If the Hawks are going to continue to play Howard one-on-one, the Magic not only have to get him the ball as often as possible, other players have to get to the rim. Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson are more than capable of getting the basket and they need to do that. Not only can they get easy buckets, but they can draw defenders and not only get Howard easier looks but get better looks for their ice cold perimeter shooters as well.

The Magic must play at the same intensity level they did in game 2. They made a lot of hustle plays, dominated the boards and outworked the Hawks in game 2. I do believe Orlando’s shots will begin to fall but if they don’t, an effort level like that will keep them in any game.

Complete Series Schedule

Magic Resources:

Expect Orlando’s Shooting To Improve
Are we underestimating the Hedo Turkoglu effect on Josh Smith?
Limiting the impact of Jason Collins on Dwight is the key to advancement. Seriously.
Q&A With Soaring Down South
Series Preview
Magic Basketball Online
Orlando Magic Daily
Orlando Pinstriped Post
Orlando Magic Basketblog (Orlando Sentinel)

Hawks Resources:

Peach Tree Hoops
Soaring Down South
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hawks Blog

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).

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Tags: Al Horford Atlanta Hawks Brandon Bass Chris Duhon Dwight Howard Earl Clark Gilbert Arenas Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Joe Johnson Josh Smith Kirk Hinrich Larry Drew Marvin Williams Orlando Magic Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy

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