Ten Games To Watch – #3
Training camp begins next week! We continue to build towards the beginning of the season by counting down the “Ten Games To Watch” for 2009-10. Single game tickets are on sale now!
#3 vs Orlando Magic, Wed. Mar. 24, 2010
Staying in the Southeast Division for #3, we come to a home game against last year’s NBA runners-up the Orlando Magic. Last season’s series with the Magic was interesting – we surprised them in Orlando to open the season, then watched them take it to us the next three meetings, including the worst loss of the season 121-87 at the Amway Center on Jan. 9.
Just as Cleveland went out and got Shaq to try to help deal with Dwight Howard, I think the Hawks padded the frontcourt this offseason with a similar goal in mind. Hawks fans out there may have different ideas on how new guys Joe Smith and Jason Collins should be used, but I think we can all agree the 6 fouls apiece they bring to the table will be put into play when the Magic are the opposition.
Like Boston, I’m not entirely convinced Orlando made progress towards getting better this offseason. Yes they added Vinsanity, but even with him they’ve become a much more traditional looking team than they were with Hedo Turkoglu creating match-up problems on the perimeter. They’ll still be a handful for any team, and a definite threat to repeat as Eastern Conference champs, but I say the difference in team wins this season gets smaller.
Match-ups to watch: Al Horford/Zaza Pachulia/Joe Smith/Jason Collins/Randolph Morris vs Dwight Howard. Make him earn those points at the charity stripe boys!
What do you think?