Eastern Conference Playoffs
#4 Orlando Magic vs. #5 Atlanta Hawks
Team sites: Orlando Pinstriped Post (Magic) & Peachtree Hoops (Hawks)
Essential reading: Matt Scribbins of Magic Basketball with some great analysis on Pythagorean wins and win profiles for both squads, plus team tendencies. Sebastian Pruti of NBA Playbook wrote a five part breakdown on this series (offense, defense, X-factors, key matchup, key sets). Here is the SB Nation official storystream.
Prediction: Orlando in 6. The Magic are going to have their slog their way through this series, particularly because of the trouble Dwight Howard has with Jason Collins. The Hawks have slumped their way to the playoffs, but Orlando hasn't really played that great this year either and is inconsistent outside of Howard. Expect some long-slogging, and some routs. Just don't be prepared for interesting basketball.
Game 1: Sat., April 16 in Orlando, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 2: Tue., April 19 in Orlando, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3: Fri., April 22 in Atlanta, TBD, ESPN2
Game 4: Sun., April 24 in Atlanta, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 5: Tue., April 26 in Orlando, TBD
Game 6: Thu., April 28 in Atlanta, TBD
Game 7: Sat., April 30 in Orlando, TBD, TNT