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Atlanta Hawks vs Orlando Magic Game 1 NBA Playoffs 2010 Picks & Predictions

by Steve Hastings on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Atlanta Hawks vs Orlando Magic Game 1 NBA Playoffs 2010 Picks & Predictions: After going seven long games with the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round, the (0-0) Atlanta Hawks [+9½] will be rewarded for their efforts by earning a date with the defending Eastern Conference champions, (0-0) Orlando Magic [-9½]. This best-of-seven series gets underway tonight from Amway Arena, beginning at 8 PM ET (7 PM CT/5 PM PT) on TNT Sports.

While the Hawks struggled to get past the short-handed Bucks, the Magic are coming in rested and anxious to get back on the court after sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats in four games. According to NBA Playoffs 2010 Picks & Predictions experts at SPORTSBETTING.com, the OVER/UNDER for Game 1 of the Hawks vs Magic is set at a combined total of 191½ points scored.

“That's the worst part,” first-year Magic guard Vince Carter said of waiting around for an opponent. “You wish there was a clock up there and you could see it tick down. It's not. There's not even a score. It's just go, go, go… We're pretty tired of that. A real game will be a welcome site.”

It’s going to be interesting to see how this long layoff will affect the defending conference champs, who haven’t sat out this long even in training camp. “It felt like we had went fishing for a minute,” Dwight Howard jokingly said. “We was at home chilling. Everybody was at home like, ‘When do we play again?’”

In the playoffs, momentum is probably more important than rest. Despite the fact that the Hawks found themselves going to the wire in the first round, and will likely come in not as rested as their opponents, they might have their best opportunity to steal home-court away in game 1.  

“It can go against you or it can help you,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of the layoff. “If your team is banged up, they had a good week to heal some wounds. Sometimes layoffs can hurt you as well. As a coach I'm going in knowing they're ready to play, without a doubt.”

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