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2010 NBA Playoff Picks – Hawks vs. Magic

NBA Betting – Series Picks – Atlanta Hawks vs Orlando Magic

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Atlanta vs Orlando Series Betting Odds:
Hawks +600
Magic -800


ATLANTA HAWKS (2) vs. ORLANDO MAGIC (3) Playoff Schedule

Game 1 – Tuesday, May 4 at Orlando, 8:00 PM ET
Game 2 – Thursday, May 6 at Orlando, 8:00 PM ET
Game 3 – Saturday, May 8 at Atlanta, 5:00 PM ET
Game 4 – Monday, May 10 at Atlanta, 8:00 PM ET
Game 5 – Wednesday, May 12 at Orlando, TBA
Game 6 – Friday, May 14 at Atlanta, TBA
Game 7 – Sunday, May 16 at Orlando, TBA

At this point there’s actually not much that Mike Woodson can do. The time for teaching about boxing out, squaring up on defense and playing hard to both ends of the court has long since passed.

Woodson is left with no alternative except to play the cards he’s been dealt, and if his Atlanta Hawks plan to upset the Orlando Magic in their Eastern Conference semifinal series, the coach will have to pull the NBA equivalent of hitting on 16 and pulling a 5.

The Hawks basically are an undersized group that would be tough to beat on any city playground in America. But playing the way they do, one-on-one with whoever touches the ball first when it gets past halfcourt, they have pretty much maxed out their potential.

And did we mention that they suffer from attention deficit disorder? They could have easily put the Milwaukee series in their back pocket, but fell apart at home late in Game 5, lost, then had to go all out in Games 6 and 7 to get rid of the Bucks.

It’s obvious that Orlando will not be anywhere near as compliant as the Bucks were. The Magic have had plenty of rest since swatting away the Charlotte Bobcats, and center Dwight Howard will no doubt want the ball early and often against Atlanta’s defense-challenged bigs.

Howard had 20 blocks in 5 games against the Bobcats but cost himself significant playing time when he got into early foul trouble, then poured gasoline on the fire by complaining about the calls. Putting a choke chain on Howard will be the responsibility of Al Horford, who has small forward size but plays in the middle only because well, there’s no one else.

Orlando’s scoring was upside down in the Charlotte series, with point guard Jameer Nelson carrying much of the load, and Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter playing complementary roles. Expect Stan van Gundy to change things around a bit and force the Hawks to defend the entire floor.

That strategy worked moderately well for the Bucks in the quarterfinals.

And don’t underestimate the money factor. The playoffs are an audition for the big free agent class that includes Atlanta’s Joe Johnson. A decent playoff set against the Magic could be worth a few extra million for Johnson, and as Hubie Brown likes to put it, Johnson “can score the basketball.”

Look for JJ to shoot early and often.

Hawks vs. Magic Prediction: Magic in 5

This series has the look and feel of 5 games, with Orlando grabbing Game 1 or 2 in Atlanta and not opening the door at home against an Atlanta team that despises playing on the road.

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!