Mike Woodson, the coach for the Atlanta Hawks, was watching a movie after waking up yesterday; it was a horror film about how a professional basketball team was ripped apart in every single scene before an awful ending. Yes, Dwight Howard and the rest of his teammates at Orlando played outstandingly on game 1, ending the match with 43 points of difference in the final score, in what it was a day to forget for Atlanta.
Today is game two at Amway Arena, and Orlando is going to hit the Hawks with all they can in order to come up with a second home victory in a row that can allow them to fly to Atlanta rested, and trustful about their situation in the semifinals for the Eastern Conference.
If the Hawks wants to have a chance in this second round of the playoffs, they need to find a formula to stop Howard, or they will be quickly heading to the end of another disappointing second round appearance.
On game one, Orlando led for as much as 46 points in the 4th quarter, even with Superman and the rest of the Magic starters benched, in a match which had the biggest losing margin for the Hawks since they moved to Atlanta back in 68’, and it also meant the 2nd largest postseason win in the history of the Orlando franchise, with the largest one being a victory against the Celtics back in 1995 with a margin of 47 points.
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Stan Van Gundy, the coach for the Magic knows that victories with large margins of difference don’t come often, which is why he spoke to his players about remaining with their minds clear, telling them that every day in the postseason is a new one, and that they continue to play as best as possible without any pretentions if they want to make it to the conference finals.
The Hawks are Dwight Howard’s hometown team, and it seems like he always return to great form when he plays against them, and when you add to that the fact that Atlanta does not count with deep big players to guard against Superman, then it turns into a fatal combination that has prevented the Hawks from making it far from the second round of the postseason in previous seasons.
The Magic is on fire, but the Hawks are playing at home, therefore, there is no a clear favorite on game 3, but if I have to chose, I will say that Orlando will come up with their first road victory in their series against Atlanta.
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