Game 2 belonged to the Lakers except game 2 was a nail-biter. The Magic are now in a must-win situation or fall behind 3-0 to a very determined Lakers squad.
Basketball fans have to wonder now how much Orlando misses a completely healthy Jameer Nelson. They may have to keep Nelson off for good and let Orlando glue together like they have been when Alston was acquired shortly after Nelson went down.
That was some.... interesting officiating in game 2. Orlando fought so hard this year it would be a shame to see them lose it in 4. Their performance in game two tells me that this is no sweep in progress, however. I'm thinking Orlando wins game 3. I'm still not sure if Nelson coming back was a good idea this late in the game. It seems to have disrupted Alston's game, although that's more Alstons fault than Nelson's. Play your game and be happy with whatever minutes you get is what I say. If you want more tick, play better.
I guess you missed that elbow from Kobe. That's okay...so did the officials.
At least with the inane 2-3-2 scheduling, Orlando doesn't have to face a knockout game on the road (THIS game). Unless they completely collapse - which isn't impossible - there's no good reason why they should lose at home AGAIN.
Stan Van Gundy sticking with Nelson for so long in that game will always puzzle the hell out of me.
The Kobe elbow was bad, but Orlando was picking up calls all game long, plus they were bricking free throws at an amazing rate as well as turning the ball over so often you had to wonder if the ball was bad for their health. It was amazing to see a team that has been so ice cold and deadly in crunch time fall apart like that on their home court.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (myspace.com)
The Magic had a chance to make this a more interesting series. It was the lack of playoff experience and "live and die by the 3" that cost the Magic the series.
Don't get me wrong, the Lakers are a good ball club with good role players such as Pau Gasol who is pretty underrated, Lamar Odom who if he gets a double-double usually spells a win for the Lakers and the up and coming Trevor Ariza who can help take some of the scoring load off from Kobe. After last year, Kobe was more determined to win it all.
But going back to the Magic; they choked in the 2 overtime games could have made this a 6 or even 7 game series. I think the Magic can return, but if a healthy KG returns, the Celtics look to the be the favorites in the East while I imagine LeBron is thinking about what could have been and be more determined next year.
The Magic are going to be missing some scoring though when Hedo Turkoglu opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent by the end of this month. They are going to need a relative big man to fill the shoes of the 6'10" forward Turkoglu leaves. Maybe the Magic can capitalize on the free agent market during the off-season.
Now - who'd be dumb enough to take on THAT contract and take in a known "Jail Blazer" (besides Zeke, of course)? EDIT: Ford says Randolph's contract is so bad that the only team that can really afford him is New Jersey.