|Eastern Conference Semifinals|
|Series Tied, 0-0|
|The Palace of Auburn Hills|
|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|
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.