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First Round Matchups: The Small Forwards

Man you really can get me pumped for this series. I love how everybody thinks we have no chance at all. Everything I read is 4-0 or 4-1 Magic. I just love it. We have nothing to lose. And we're at the best if that's the case.

I too think that Igudoala has to dominate Hedo in order to have a chance to beat the magic. He can't have another bad serie like last year. Still we forced the Pistons to 6 games and that's something that makes me feel comfortable for this series. If Iguodala finally steps on the next level we have a real good chance to beat the Magic. Even 4 times.

For some reason I am more optimistic at the start of the series than I was last season and I figure it's because last season this team was too young and raw with little playoff season and faced up with a veteran Detroit team that was much stronger. As good as Orlando have been this season, they need to show they can do it in the playoffs. They were disappointing last season against the Pistons and I'm not sold that both Turkoglu and Lewis are close to 100%. If we can jump on them by winning one of the first two games, especially Game 1, we could have a small chance of an upset.

Thinking back to the last Bobcats game, Iguodala just couldn't seem to stay in front of Gerald Wallace. He MUST cut off Hedo's dribble drives on those high pick-and-rolls. He is the one defender that possesses enough lateral movement to limit his guy from getting in the paint.

Our guards will obviously struggle with dribble penetration, therefore Iguodala has to minimize the rate of occurence of his guy getting in the lane and breaking down the defense.

I think we're all giving Rafer Alston a little too much credit here. He is not Derrick Rose, he is not Rajon Rondo, he isn't even Raymond Felton. He's a middling point, with a below-average jumper and limited finishing skills. Of all the playoff teams, I think Orlando is probably the worst-equipped to burn us with dribble penetration.

Bryon reply to Brian on Apr 18 at 14:43

Maybe not dribble penetration in a one-on-one situation but the penetration will occur from Rafer off of those high ball screens b/c Sam doesn't trap or cover well when the guard comes off the screen and he doesn't get back to his man rolling to the hoop well either.

Go under the screens. I'm fine with Alston shooting jumpers.

Bryon reply to Brian on Apr 18 at 14:58

Agree, but when Hedo is the one coming off the ball screen it is more of a pick your poison thing. It's a shaky proposition to go under the screen on him and if you try to fight over, that deceptive quickness that you speak of comes into play and he's in the lane before you know it. And once he gets there he makes you pay more often than not, either with that floater bank shot or the kick-out for the three.

I don't have a problem with a double if it's Hedo, the defense is going to scramble, but at least you're doubling a weapon instead of doubling the worst player on the court.

Bryon reply to Brian on Apr 18 at 15:02

But if they don't double Hedo, do you prefer for them to go over/under the screen? My preference would be over.

Yeah, if you double you have to go over and the big has to be really aggressive in closing out on him so he doesn't have a lane to hit the big diving down the lane.

If it isn't howard setting the screen, if it's Lewis, then you just switch. One advantage of having interchangeable three and four guys.

I have a feeling Iguodala's inconsistency from the line is going to cost us a game or two, but IMO this is the biggest mismatch, moreso than Miller/Alston.

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