Remember the early tip tomorrow on ESPN. Its the Cavs and Wizards at 12:30.
I'll be attending the Magic's first game vs the Raptors 12:30 Sunday April, 20. 3QC has a great thread about the game. I would try to do something that great, but this free blogging site just wont allow me to.
All you really need to know about that game is that its going to be a tough matchup. Winning the first two games at home are a must. We can't let this thing go to where we have to win in Toronto. We have to use the home court to our best advantage. Dragging this thing on will only prove fatal.
Lets look at the matchups:
Howard vs Nesterovic:
This is our best bet of a mismatch. Dwight can easily bull around down low and have his way with the Raptor big men. They really don't have a low-post defender who can cope with Dwight. So that means this series needs to be one where Dwight literally takes over and dominates, if we want to adavance.
Lewis vs Bosh:
This is a tough one because, in contrast, we really don't have anyone to put the clamps on Bosh. Lewis will get most of the time against him and have the task of slowing him. This could easily put Lewis in foul trouble from the beginning, meaning Turk will have to step it up.
Turkoglu vs Moon:
With Lewis sticking Bosh, it has to bet Turk who is the 2nd cog and the main distributer and go-to guy. We can't afford to have Hedo have an off night. It's his responsibility to be the X-factor again, this series, just as he was during the regular season. Moon is a good defender and a very athletic player so it could be an interesting matchup between the two.
Evans vs Parker:
This matchup is almost a wash because they are identical players. Yet, Parker is the 2nd leading scorer on the Raptors and their second go to guy. He can hit the jumper and even the three. But, Evans can counter him in every facet of the game. Evans can slash to the rim and get to the hoop. We will really count on him doing in this series, to get easy baskets.
Nelson vs Ford:
Ouch. Ford and Calderon vs our guys. This could be deadly. Nelson had better focus on keeping himself between Ford and the rim. Forget about scoring and shooting, except the occasional easy basket. He has to keep Ford out of the lane or he will collapse our defense and cause even more problems. A great series by Nelson is a must. We could really be seeing a lot of Keyon Dooling in the first round, to body up on Calderon.
My prediction? The same as many. Magic in 6 tough games. Losing any of the first two games could be deadly. Mark my words.