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Eastern Conference Semifinals: Pistons vs. Magic, Game One

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Eastern Conference Semifinals
Orlando Magic main logo
@
Detroit Pistons main logo
Series Tied, 0-0
The Palace of Auburn Hills
7:30 PM
TNT
Probable starters:
Jameer Nelson PG Chauncey Billups
Maurice Evans SG Richard Hamilton
Hedo Turkoglu SF Tayshaun Prince
Rashard Lewis PF Jason Maxiell
Dwight Howard C Rasheed Wallace
Series Central

The word most often associated with the Magic in this series -- and in the latter half of the season, come to think of it -- is "respect." We can go a long way toward earning some tonight in our first game with the vaunted Detroit Pistons. A victory in the Palace, especially one by a wide margin, would impress even the most unabashed of Magic homers.

The odds are decidedly not in our favor, though. After going down 2-1 to the Philadelphia 76ers in the quarterfinals, the Pistons woke up and won the next 3 games by a combined 49 points. Moreover, Tayshaun Prince shut down Andre Iguodala, the 76ers' best scorer, and made him a non-factor. If Hedo Turkoglu is able to match his normal production, I'll be very pleased.

The Pistons' other plan is to double-team Dwight Howard, says Nothing But Net. Fair enough, but double-teamind Dwight (obviously) will leave somebody open. The starting backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Maurice Evans will have to hit its three-pointers to make the Pistons think twice about that strategy. Keith Bogans will have to come up big off the bench in that respect. Odd as it may sound, we can probably count on KeBo coming up big in this series. He shot 12-of-14 from long-range against Detroit this season. That's not a fluke, and any scoring we can get from our seventh man is a plus.

Let's do it, fellas. Tonight's tip is at 7:30 on TNT. Bookmark 3QC's Series Central for all your Magic/Pistons second-round coverage.