Game 5: Atlanta Hawks @ Orlando Magic

It’s do or die for the Orlando Magic. With their season on the line, they’ll try to stay alive and force a game 6 when they host the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night.

Game 1: Hawks 103, Magic 93
Game 2: Magic 88, Hawks 82
Game 3: Hawks 88, Magic 84
Game 4: Hawks 88, Magic 85

The game will be shown nationally on NBA TV 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 the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST.

The Line: Orlando – 7.5, 178u

Starters:

Atlanta Hawks

Jason Collins
Al Horford
Josh Smith
Joe Johnson
Kirk Hinrich

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Brandon Bass
Hedo Tukoglu
Jason Richardson
Jameer Nelson

 

Zaza Pachulia and Jason Richardson will return from their suspensions.

The officials will be Joe Crawford, Marc Davis and Jason Phillips. The alternate is Sean Wright.

This post has been a broken record. And that record has a simple message; if the Magic are going to win, they have to shoot better. After shooting just under 9% from beyond the arc (2-of-23) Sunday, the Magic are now shooting 21.9% from downtown for the entire series.

Sure, the Magic have had trouble stopping Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford and sure they’ve made some late game mental mistakes, but shooting is all this really comes down to. The Magic defense is holding the Hawks down enough to win games. They’re winning the rebounding battle and there is no problem with effort – the Magic are playing hard.  In fact, the Magic are even cutting down on arguably their biggest regular season problem – turnovers.

It’s literally all about shooting. Maybe the return of Jason Richardson will spark the Magic. Orlando’s doesn’t necessarily have to rely on that though. Gilbert Arenas proved that you can get to the basket against this Hawks team and if the Magic can do that and shoot even just a little bit better, they will win this game.

Of course, the three-point shot isn’t going away – the Magic take and make more than any other team in the league. And don’t give me this spiel about how teams can’t win with the three-pointer. Orlando has won six playoffs series in the previous three years playing their 1-in/4-out set.

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
MagicBasketball.Net
Orlando Magic Daily
Orlando Pinstriped Post
OrlandoMagic.com
Orlando Magic Basketblog (Orlando Sentinel)

Hawks Resources:

Hoopinion
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 (http://espn1080.com). 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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