Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Finals far from done...

Here are excerpts from a column from cbssports.com columnist Gregg Doyel from Monday:

ORLANDO -- Why is everyone in such a hurry to write off the NBA Finals? Game 3 doesn't tip off until Tuesday night, but if we are to believe what we read, Game 3 is a waste of time. A formality. A condescending 48-minute exercise bestowed upon Orlando to let the Magic make some money in ticket and concession sales.

I'm talking to everyone who has decided this series ended with Game 2, which the Lakers won to build their series edge to 2-0.

The point is, nothing about Game 2 would say, or even suggest, that this series is over. Just the opposite. After Game 1 indicated Los Angeles was out of Orlando's league, Game 2 went the other way. Game 2 showed a Magic team more than capable of playing with the Lakers, and even of beating the Lakers. Yes, Courtney Lee, we're all looking at you.

For some reason, the Lakers lucked out a win in Game 2 ... and people line up to crown them. Like this series is over or something.

Isn't a 2-0 series edge what the Lakers are supposed to have right now?

I would like to point out -- but the Magic showed enough moxie Sunday night in Los Angeles to make it clear that they can win two or even three games in Orlando. And if this series goes back to Los Angeles for Games 6 and 7, even if the Lakers are ahead 3-2, all the pressure would be on Los Angeles. Winning one lousy game out of two, at home, would become a referendum on the genius of Phil Jackson and the leadership of Kobe Bryant and the manhood, such as it is, of Pau Gasol. That's pressure.

Only Orlando has the wherewithal to get better from here. Jameer Nelson could play better as he works off the rust, or he could go back to the inactive list in an effort by coach Stan Van Gundy to recapture the chemistry that helped Orlando manhandle Cleveland. Rafer Alston can't play any worse. Mickael Pietrus can't be called for more phantom fouls than in Los Angeles. Dwight Howard won't be held in check offensively throughout this series.

The Magic have more moving parts, is my point. Los Angeles is steady. Kobe has been Kobe. Gasol has played (surprisingly) well. Same with Lamar Odom. Andrew Bynum hasn't done squat, but he hasn't done squat in months. No reason to believe he'll start doing squat now.

Am I predicting a 2009 NBA title for Orlando? I am not.

But is this series as "over" as people are saying?

It is not.

Click here for the complete column.

Here is the complete preview of Game 3 from Yahoo! Sports

The Magic are 4 point favorites

Coverage begins at 9 PM Eastern on ABC.

19 Comments:

  • At 5:46 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I agree with a lot of stuff that Doyel wrote in that column, but it's not fair to point the finger at Courtney Lee as the reason why the Magic lost Game 2; too many players for the Magic had sub-par games for anyone to blame Lee's missed layup at the end of regulation.

    I'm sure the home crowd in Orlando will be a huge emotional boost for the Magic, and hopefully they'll play as well as we know they can play.

    The Magic almost beat the Lakers in Game 2 despite the fact the Magic played less than their best.

     
  • At 8:54 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I ma not a fan of Doyel although he is not as bad ad Freeman on CBSsportsline. But his piece has a common sense approach to it that a lot of self-proclaimed experts and armchair coaches lack. LA is a steady team with a renowned coach that has been built in a 3-year span. Are they better than when Shaq was there? I doubt it. Are they that much better than the Magic? Hell no! Magic guards were atrocious in game 2 and yet we came too close to come home 1-1. Magic is way too far from being written off. People doubted Magic against BOS and CLE, and they were wrong. If they do it once more against LA, they may be proven wrong once again.

    I am in Orlando and will be watching the game from a coutside seat. If you observe a truely pale white guy - due to not being in the sun much - that would be me!

    GO MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 10:10 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    WeR:

    Please kill these guys out of the blog. We are not in the garbage collection business.

    Thanks,
    Matt

     
  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger Mr. Thell said…

    Another article I wrote here about why these Finals aren't over just yet...

    http://www.emptythebench.com/2009/06/09/magic-still-have-a-chance-2009-nba-finals/

    Thanks for taking the time to check it out, please leave a comment, and here's hoping for a competitive series going forward.

    Andrew
    www.EmptyTheBench.com

     
  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Andrew:

    I checked your latest article out. I disagree, and naturally so, with your 4-1 prediction, but we seek and appreciate any intelligent comments on this blog.

    All the best,
    Matt

     
  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Samuel said…

    I feel the series is over, the Lakers played a bad game on Sunday and still eeked out a win. there is always one game in each series that could have gone either way. I feel this is the game that will be the deciding factor in the series. Orlando has to win all 3 at home and has to steal 1 in LA. Both teams are good home teams, but if LA wins one in Orlando it will force Orlando to win games 6 and 7 in Hollywood. You guys feel like they can take all 3 at home?

     
  • At 11:02 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    LOL. Wow! We have a lack of basketball IQ because we remain optimistic about the team we root for??? Whatever. The finals are far from done because of one reason,the lakers havent proven they can win in orlando yet. The magic on the other hand have proven they can not only compete but win in LA as they should have in game 2. The lakers and magic have played four times this year,the magic won the only home match-up and should have won two out of the three road games,the magic could easily be up 3 games to one in the four match-ups this season (reg season games and play-off games combined).

     
  • At 11:31 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I have to speak on dwight's performance in game 2. Dwight not hustling,complaing about non fouls called and turning over the ball really contributed to the lakers staying competitive in that game. The lakers were asking for us to win that game,maturity and doing the little things like making freethrows and not turning the ball over a whole bunch won the game for them,but they didnt make the plays to win in regulation like we almost did. If we are going to win all three in orlando,dwight must forget about the refs and be the first one down the floor when he's not rebounding the ball. Stop complaing it never changes a call,dwight gave up on way to many plays because a foul wasnt called and it lead to way to many cheap fouls on other players and fast break easy buckets for the lakers. We cant continue to give them things because they are a sound team and they dont make very many mistakes. If the magic can limit turnovers and make freethrows (which is something they can control),while everybody has their head in the game for a complete 48 minutes,the lakers wont be able to match the scoring output of the magic. The lakers only have one guy in the starting line-up that can shoot a good percentage from three(Fisher),kobe and ariza cant hit some but wont shoot a good percentage. The magic have four guys in the starting line-up who can shoot a good percentage from three,if the magic defend and hit some outside shots they can out-score the lakers.

     
  • At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Samuel said…

    why do keep referring to game 2 as you should have, could have...etc you know the rest. bottomline the Lakers played a bad game and won, the magic played a bad game and lost. Competitive game, but the lakers prevailed off of the 20 turnovers magic committed. My only thought on how you can comeback in this series is if Howard can absolutly dominate the paint. He needs to be putting up at least 25 and 15, probly more to keep up with the Mamba.

    Still have trouble seeing Magic beating LA 3 times ina row at home, its possible but will be tough.

     
  • At 12:51 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I'm not much of a cop, keep letting work get in the way of my enforcement duties...

    It's the same pissant over and over posting under different names still not getting over the last series.

    Anyway, I am impressed by the Lakers. They are clearly well coached, have maintained their spacing on defense, and have plenty of offensive options on the floor. No one who is unbiased takes Brown or Rivers over Phil Jackson and his staff.

    While I can't stand Kobe as a person, it hasn't been close who the best team basketball player the Magic have played against. Pierce and James are both too one-dimensional to the detriment of their teams. That said, Bryant let Lee get to the hoop on the last attempt of regulation.

    If the Magic play as hard as they did Sunday they will be fine. Cut back on a turnover or two, don't miss five free throws in a row -- and they win by four or five.

    Can they win three at home? Of course they can. Will they? Only if they want it more than the Lakers -- which will be hard. We have learned throughout these playoffs that they do have it in them, and it can be brought out. You just have to look at Game 6, Game 7 and Game 6 of the last series.

     
  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    It was reported that Rashard Lewis sent Courtney Lee a text message that said "don't let game 2 f*ck you up. Play hard in Game 3" or something close to that effect.

    I wonder if Nick Anderson thought about sending him one that says "Don't let game 3 make you become the next Nick Anderson."

    I like that these guys are not acting like they are about to give up.

     
  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Update: It was Ric Bucher of ESPN who tweeted:

    Rashard Lewis to Courtney Lee in the Orlando locker room after Game 2: "Don't let tonight fuck your head up for the rest of the series."

    Again, I like that. And what do I know from a text or a tweet.

     
  • At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Yes I can see your point of how Lebron James is one dimensional. He did avg 28.4 7.6 and 7.2 this season. I also wish he was as good of a passer as he is a scorer. I suppose his rebounds per game is weak as well for a small forward.

    Are you just plain stupid? Calling the leagues MVP One dimensional???????????????????????????????????????????? Please explain yourself, would love to hear it.

     
  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous smittygreens said…

    Give me Doc over Phil anyday of the weak, anyone can get rings with the caliber players he had over the years. Doc gets it done with different players in his lineup, evidence of this year injuries to our team.

     
  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    We had Doc, you can keep him. His COY award for a ninth place finish when he was here was a travesty.

    The Celts will really miss Tom Thibodeau (however it's spelled.) if anyone is smart enough to hire him this off-season. When Doc was here the Magic defenses were awful. He even cut Horace Grant when he complained about how poor the defensive rotations were. Besides, two years ago the Boston fans were begging to throw him under the bus.

    I also think everyone is short-changing some of the Boston players. Perkins numbers were about as good as KG's. Rondo keeps getting better. But couldn't have Rivers figured out a way to get Ray Allen open? JJ Redick was on him. JJ Redick???

    I love Red and hope to hell the Magic can keep Jackson from passing him this year, but I'd take Jackson anytime over Doc.

     
  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    One-Dimensional. Modeling your game after Dominique Wilkins instead of Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Even though your capable.

    Standing at the top of the key in the EC finals, not involving your teammate. Then spinning or bull rushing into a triple team.

    Definition of stupid: posing for team pictures at the start of games when you haven't won anything. Confusing good sportsmanship with not shaking the victors hand.

    I could go on, but what's the point. The MVP of the playoffs so far is Bryant. It's not even close even though I'm rooting for Superman.

     
  • At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Your right avg 38 8 8 in the playoffs is one dimensional. Good point, Lebron actually had a better season in the playoffs than he did in the reg. season. Scary I know. You have no idea what you are talking about if you think Lebron is "one dimensional".

     
  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Who cares about James. He took his chalk, piss poor team play and poor sportsmanship and went home. You should too.

    We are here to talk about Magic-Lakers and why the good guys are going to win at home tonight.

     
  • At 6:05 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Just some thoughts and comments...

    Matt... that's awesome you have a courtside seat for the game tonight! We'll look for the pale white guy... haha.

    Andrew Thell... nice article; it had a lot of common sense thoughts in it; I thought you were a little too hard on Courtney Lee though; too many Magic players had sub-par games for anyone to really dwell on Lee's missed layup (which had a degree of difficulty to it).

    Samuel... you're absolutely right about Dwight Howard; he has to start playing as well offensively like he did in the Cleveland series; 14 ppg, like he's averaged the first two games against the Lakers, is not going to cut it.

    If D12 can average 20+ points, the Magic have a much better chance of sweeping the three games in Orlando.

    Steve... LeBron James had a fantastic regular season and playoffs statistically, as you pointed out, but he needed more help from his teammates to advance to the Finals.

    Kobe Bryant does have a better supporting cast on the Lakers though than LBJ has on the Cavs, and it's showed in the first two games of the Finals.

    Regarding Doc Rivers... I actually like Doc and think he's a good coach; I thought he did a nice job on the Celtics last season getting the right chemistry to form on the team with all the new players and winning a championship the very first year with all the changes.

    It should be a great atmosphere at the Amway Arena tonight... Go Magic!

     

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