There will be no Dwight Howard in this series. This does not just mean he will not be on the court, but Howard will likely not even attend the games as he will be rehabbing his back injury.
It looks like the beginning of the post-Howard era in Orlando, which does not bode well for the Magic in their series against the third-seeded Pacers.
Pacers-Magic Series Preview
The Pacers are coming into the playoffs extremely hot, as they went 12-3 in the month of April. They lost two of their last three, but this came after they had secured the third seed, which meant rest for Danny Granger, who was nursing an injured knee.
Indiana only beat Orlando once in four meetings this season, but now that Howard is out the results will be much different. Roy Hibbert will be able to dominate Glen Davis in the paint. This will be even easier considering Davis is nursing an injured ankle, but will still play in the series opener today.
Without Dwight Howard in the lineup, the Magic are a completely different team. The only way for them to have a chance in this series is for their perimeter shooting to be near perfect. J.J. Redick and Ryan Anderson will have to be shooting at the level of Steve Novak for the Magic to contend against the tough Pacers team.
Many analysts are picking the Pacers to sweep the Magic due to Howard’s absence, but the Magic should be able to win at least one game with their outside shooting. Maybe Hedo Turkoglu can provide some of his heroics seen in previous years.
Be prepared to hear Dwight Howard’s name at least thirty times per game in this series, as that storyline will be bigger than the series itself. The Pacers should be able to make quick work of the Magic, so this story will not be dragged out for too long.
Pacers-Magic Series Prediction: Pacers in six
Pacers-Magic Series Schedule
- Saturday 4/28: Magic at Pacers
- Monday 4/30: Magic at Pacers
- Wednesday 5/2: Pacers at Magic
- Saturday 5/5: Pacers at Magic
- *Tuesday 5/8: Magic at Pacers
- *Friday 5/11: Pacers at Magic
- *Sunday 5/13: Magic at Pacers