Orlando as we all know live and die by the 3 and are a jump shooting team. Those two strategies are frowned upon among analysts and experts as teams with those capabilities usually fail to deliver in the playoffs.
We saw how well Orlando shot the 3 ball against Cleveland but still haven't shown signs of stable 3 pointers except a few clutch ones from Rashard Lewis and Turkuglo in this series against the Lakers. It was clear to me that yesterday, Orlando has more weapons than just the perimeter shooting. Easy layups, dunks and chairty stripe was benefitting the Orlando Magic team. Courtney Lee really slammed that one dunk to the hole. Both Pietrus and Battie tried to replicate the same play but got fouled hard by the big men. Hell, even Lakers shot more 3 pointers than Orlando yesterday. Rafaer looked like Mikki Mouse yesterday running through the Lakers defense like Swiss Cheese. I think Magic have found the way to generate offense but need to find a way to stop the MVP.
Obviously, Kobe is undoubtedly lethal even on his off nights. 17 points in 1st quarter and I was like shit... If he does that for 3 more quarters, Orlando will need to shoot close to perfect to put out the Lakers team. But no mas, 2nd half Kobe looked fatigued and turned off the switch. When he does that, the whole team turns off. it doesn't matter as the last 6 minutes of any 4th quarter is Kobe's ball. If Lakers win, it's on Kobe. If they lose, it's still on Kobe. Yesterday, the MVP struggled to put the FTs in and played overly aggressive which led to a costly turnover at the end of the game.
If Orlando can continue to wear down Kobe in the 2nd half, and that's a big IF, then this Superman team will go deep into the finals if not win it. The 3 Lakers BIGs are tough in the paint to match up with but they are human just like Kobe yesterday. The Lakers defense got cut up to no end yesterday but Orlando's wasn't any better. Both teams need to emphasize on defense as I truly believe defense win championships.
Keep in mind, 3 pointers haven't gone Orlando's way and I see them raining 3s in at least 1 of the next 2 games. Stan Van Gundy is my hero. He's more than just a coach. He's a motivator and keeps synergy at the highest level among the Magic players. Then you got Phil Jackson with his grin and calmness and you listen to his "not-so-pep talk". He sounds boring but effective nonetheless. So effective that he has 9 rings and all respect to him. But shit, if my team was down 25, I'd rather have SVG than Phil.
Orlando - You got two more @ home. Please make this a series and win all 3!