Denton's Dish: Three Keys for Game 2

OrlandoMagic.com’s John Denton picks the three keys for the Orlando Magic to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of the playoffs Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Amway Center:

1. Defend the Hawks much tougher. Atlanta is different in that it’s not a team looking to get to the rim and would rather shoot jump shots. The Magic have to do a better job of getting up into Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Kirk Hinrich on jumpers and get help to those shooters earlier. Also, the Magic have to be much better on pick-and-pop plays with Al Horford, statistically the NBA’s best shooter outside of 12 feet. The Hawks shot 74 percent in the second and third periods on Saturday and that can’t happen again if the Magic are going to win.

2. Share the wealth offensively. Dwight Howard had 46 points, including a franchise playoff record 31 in the first half, while Jameer Nelson had 20 of his 27 points in the third quarter, another franchise record. But the Magic got little help elsewhere with no other player scoring more than six points. Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson have to come out more aggressive and seeking out shots. Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointers will likely be taken away by the Hawks, so he has to adjust and look to drive the ball some. And the Magic are hoping for more scoring pop from reserves such as J.J. Redick and Gilbert Arenas.

3. Cut down the turnovers. Orlando was a high turnover team during the regular season, and that didn’t change in Game 1 with 18 more turnovers. They had six turnovers in the first quarter, two in the second period, four in the third and six in the fourth quarter. A big part of the problem was Howard’s eight turnovers – four of which came on three-seconds calls. Arenas also had major ball-handling issues, kicking the ball away three times in limited minutes off the bench. The Hawks have a solid defense that holds teams to low shooting percentages and they ranked fifth in the NBA in 3-pointers allowed during the regular season. So the Magic can’t afford to give up possessions against the Hawks without even getting shots off because of careless turnovers. Cut the turnovers in half and the Magic should be able to hang 100 points on the Hawks.