Orlando Magic (53-29 SU, 48-34 ATS) vs. Atlanta Hawks (53-29 SU, 45-33-4 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, Monday, May 10, 2010, Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga. TV: TNT
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Magic -6/Hawks +6
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The Orlando Magic have dominated the Atlanta Hawks for the past three games. The Hawks haven’t even come close to winning a game. The Magic have a 3-0 series lead and a chance to close out the series Monday night in Atlanta.
After sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round of the playoffs, the Magic are now 7-0 in the playoffs. They won 114-71 in Game 1, 112-98 in Game 2, and 105-75 in Game 3. The Magic have just absolutely dominated in every facet of the game.
In their Game 3 victory over the Hawks on Saturday, the Magic shot 51 percent from the field and 10-for-29 on 3-pointers. The Hawks shot 35 percent from the field and 4-for-15 on 3-pointers. The Magic held a commanding 51-34 rebounding advantage and both teams turned it over just seven times in the game. Rashard Lewis led the Magic in scoring with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Dwight Howard dominated with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer Nelson had a solid effort with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Mickael Pietrus scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, off the bench. Jamal Crawford led the Hawks in scoring off the bench with 22 points. Josh Smith had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Al Horford had 11 points and eight rebounds.
In the playoffs, Joe Johnson is leading the Hawks in scoring with 18.3 points per game, but he is only averaging 12.3 points per game in this series. The Magic have Mickael Pietrus who can virtually shut Johnson down defensively, and when he’s not in the game they can put Rashard Lewis or Vince Carter on him. Crawford has scored at least 22 points in four of his last five games. He has been the best scorer for the Hawks lately. Horford is averaging 14.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs. He has been inconsistent in the playoffs, but the Hawks need him to step up, especially against Howard, for the Hawks to win. Smith is averaging 16.5 points and 10 rebounds per game in the last two games. One of the problems for the Hawks has been their lack of production from the point guard position, where Mike Bibby is only averaging 8.9 points and 2.6 assists per game in the playoffs. He has a total of 12 points and six assists in the three games in this round of the playoffs. He has to have an impact on the game for the Hawks to be successful.
Nelson has led the Magic in scoring in the playoffs with 21.1 points per game. He has had at least 13 points in every game and has had a total of just nine turnovers in the seven games. In this series, Howard is averaging about 24 points and 15 rebounds per game, a huge improvement over the last series when he was stuck in foul trouble every game and he averaged less than 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. His dominance has perhaps been the biggest reason for the easy wins for the Magic against the Hawks. Lewis and Vince Carter have also been solid in the playoffs with over 16 points per game for each of them. When Lewis and Carter are hitting outside shots and Howard is dominating down low, it’s virtually impossible to stop the Magic.
The Magic are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games, 6-0 ATS in their last six games as a favorite, and 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games as a road favorite. The Hawks are 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 playoff games as an underdog. The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these teams in Atlanta and 7-1 in the last eight meetings overall. In the last six meetings between these teams, the favorite is 6-0 ATS and the home team is 5-1 ATS. The Magic are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Hawks and 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Atlanta.
Ryno’s Pick: As noted above, the Magic have absolutely drubbed the Hawks. With that being said, there is good value in tonight’s line of Atlanta +6.5. The Magic may very well win, but I doubt they’ll cover the spread. Take the Hawks plus the points.