The Phoenix Suns completed their unlikely sweep of the San Antonio Spurs last night. The Sun’s victory could represent the first of 3 dominoes to fall. Tonight, the Orlando Magic and the L.A. Lakers will both play. Both teams are up 3-0 in their conference semifinals series against the Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz respectively. As the Miami Heat showed earlier this season, taking game 4 on the road for the sweep is not an easy task. It seems like even the miserable-looking Hawks could muster enough pride to take one game at home against the dominant Orlando Magic. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz barely lost in a very close contest in game three of their series. However, should the Hawks and Jazz lose tonight, they will be the second and third team to be swept in the 2010 conference semifinals.
This would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in a precarious situation. While their already injured squads slug out what will likely be a seven game series full of physical play, their opponent, the Orlando Magic, will be resting and preparing for the conference finals. The Magic rely heavily on inside-out play making, and the long range shots that result from it. Fresh legs make them an even more dangerous team than they already are.
The Cavs and Celtics already have their hands full. They should consider themselves lucky if the Hawks can get at least one win against the Magic. If it happens, one of the two teams must win the next two games in the series, or face the possibility of running into a well rested Magic team that is already firing on all cylinders.
The Suns, for their part, have already offed one of their Goliaths. The Spurs had tormented the Suns for years. So have the Lakers. If Utah can make the series more competitive, the Suns will surely appreciate the help. They will be able to rest, and prepare as well, for what will undoubtedly be a war in the conference finals (btw, of the 8 teams 7 left at this point, who would’ve picked the Suns as the first, and possibly only team, to sweep their series?).
Whatever happens tonight, the two games being played will have a significant impact on how the rest of the 2010 Playoffs play out.