This series is one of the least exciting and hardest to predict for fantasy basketball as the Pacers are a very balanced team and the Magic are also without Dwight Howard being able to suit up.
MY PREDICTION: Pacers in 5
Pacers Key Players: (Opponent EFF Rating)
Danny Granger (22.1) – Granger started the season as slow as anyone, but really picked up his production and overall play as the year went on. Granger has a solid matchup in this series as Hedu Turkolu returns to his slow footed defense. The Magic really have no one else to switch on to him as playing JJ Redick more would only create a big size mismatch for either Granger or Paul George.
Projections: 26-32 FPPG 35-40 MPG
George Hill (21.2) – Hill came on due to a Darren Collison injury late in the season for the Pacers and the team won his first six starts. This was when the Pacers installed Hill as their permanent starter and shifted Collison back to the bench. Look for Hill to take advantage of an undersized Jameer Nelson who is not known for his defense and lead the Pacers to many more wins this postseason.
Projections: 20-28 FPPG 30-35 MPG
Roy Hibbert (24.8) – The Magic were obviously a much better defensive team with Dwight Howard behind them to clean up mistakes and to cover tough players down low, so Hibbert should be the man to take advantage of this. Hibbert towers over every Magic player that plays significant minutes, so expect solid rebounding numbers out of Hibbert all series.
Projections: 22-26 FPPG 32-37 MPG
David West (22.6) – West faces off with offensive minded Ryan Anderson in the first round. He finished the season as hot as anyone racking up a few games over 25 points down the stretch. West looks to finally be feeling right after tearing his ACL last year requiring knee surgery. He should be able to keep his hot streak going in the first round.
Projections: 20-26 FPPG 31-36 MPG
Magic Key Players: (Opponent EFF Rating)
1. Ryan Anderson (23.6) – Anderson is not really the guy you want leading your team in scoring, but that is what has happened now that Dwight Howard is out of the picture for the Magic. He is not really a first option, but he is so often the second option on plays that it makes him so by default. Expect him to play big minutes in this series and step up on the boards.
Projections: 27-32 FPPG 38-43 MPG
2. Jameer Nelson (19) – Nelson is another player that has really had to step up his scoring since Dwight went down. He finished the season on fire from three and was also doing a good job creating for others as well as rebounding the basketball. Jameer has become the default first option on a lot of plays, but will go back to sharing that load with Hedu Turkoglu as he works himself back into shape. If his shooting stroke is going, he will be a solid option all postseason.
Projections: 22-26 FPPG 34-39 MPG
3. Glen Davis (24.8) – Davis is maybe the only other Magic player I trust at this point and even he is fighting injury after spraining his ankle earlier in the week. Assuming he is healthy, his quick feet and soft jumper should allow Davis to take advantage of Hibbert’s lumbering movements and desire to stay near the paint.
Projections: 20-24 FPPG 33-37 MPG