Pistons-Magic Playoff Preview

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Season Series: Tied, 2-2, with Orlando snapping Detroit's 10-game winning streak with a 104-99 victory at The Palace of Auburn Hills in the first game after the All-Star break. Richard Hamilton averaged 21.7 points and shot 58 percent from the field in three games for the Pistons, who scored 100.5 points per game against the Magic. Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard all averaged at least 17 points for the Magic.
Storyline: Swept by Detroit in the first round last year, here's a chance for the Magic to show how far they've come -- and end the Pistons' quest for a sixth straight conference finals appearance. The Magic got a huge first-round series from Howard, who averaged 22.6 points and 18.2 rebounds, with three 20-20 games. He'll need to be just as good on the boards, because the Pistons outrebounded the Magic by an average of eight per game during the regular season.
Key Matchup I: Tayshaun Prince vs. Turkoglu. Prince, the Pistons' top individual defender, will get a chance to slow the winner of the NBA's most improved player award. Turkoglu averaged 19.5 points against the Pistons but shot only 41 percent. Prince contained Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala in the first round and also had a terrific series offensively, scoring 16.3 points per game on 66 percent shooting.
Key Matchup II: Chauncey Billups vs. Jameer Nelson. Nelson had an excellent first-round series against Toronto's point guard tandem of T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon, averaging 17.2 points on 52 percent shooting. Though Billups wasn't particularly sharp in the first round, he's a big step up in competition, and his strength can give Nelson trouble.
X-Factor: Keith Bogans. Besides having to chase Hamilton around screens, Bogans will try to offer something on the offensive end. He made 15 of 20 shots against Detroit this season, but struggled badly with his shot in the first round.
Prediction: Pistons in 6.


WILX.com is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards.

See full commenting rules...
powered by Disqus
WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 18495564 - wilx.com/a?a=18495564
Gray Television, Inc.