Friday , Jun , 12 , 2009 Oly Sandor

How Orlando lost game four, and likely the NBA Title, to Los Angeles

I’d say game four was a lost opportunity. After all, Orlando successfully turned Los Angeles superstar Kobe Bryant into a volume shooter. And with seconds remaining, the Magic held a three-point advantage and seemed poised to even the NBA Finals at 2-2. Then the Eastern Conference champions came down with a case of the ‘stupids’ and forgot to execute …


How Orlando lost game four, and likely the NBA Title, to Los AngelesNBA news mixed with analysis … 

Their News: "The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a 3-1 lead the NBA finals, rallying to beat the Orlando Magic 99-91 in overtime to move within one win of a 15th championship. Derek Fisher hit the tying three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation Thursday night, then made the go-ahead three with 31 seconds left as the Lakers won their second overtime game of the series." (TSN.ca)

Our Very Quick Analysis:  I’d say game four was a lost opportunity.

After all, Orlando successfully turned Los Angeles superstar Kobe Bryant into a volume shooter. And with seconds remaining, the Magic held a three-point advantage and seemed poised to even the NBA Finals at 2-2.

Then the Eastern Conference champions came down with a case of the ‘stupids’ and forgot to execute.

First, they defended the Lakers’ final possession poorly. With eleven seconds left and up three, the Magic had a choice: foul and make the purple-and-gold reset with less time on the clock or protect the three-point line and force a two-point basket.

Unfortunately, Stan Van Gundy’s crew did neither. They didn’t foul. And they certainly didn’t protect the three-point line. So after denying Bryant the ball, veteran Derek Fisher accepted the space given to him by Jameer Nelson and calmly sank a game-tying three-pointer.  

Second, they still had a chance to win in regulation, but missed a mismatch down low. On the game’s final possession, the Magic had Bryant defending Dwight Howard on a switch. Again, they refused to go inside and had to settle for a Mickael Pietrus missed jumper.

But there were other breakdowns. For instance, Orlando made just 22-of-37 free throw attempts, while co-star Rashard Lewis has to be better than his 2-for-10 shooting. Finally, coach Van Gundy can’t continue playing musical chairs at point guard and must pick between Rafer Alston and Nelson.

Instead of evening the series and making the Finals a best-of-three affair, the Magic must now win three straight. Like I said game four, and their chance at an NBA Title, is likely lost.    

Should Orlando have won game four? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.