Monthly Archives: June 2009

Today’s not so “Magic” number: 29.9%

Unfortunately, my irl job has gotten a little hectic but, I didn’t want anyone thinking that I wasn’t going to write anything just because of that shameful loss last night.  So I’ll say a few things…

1. John Barry…I don’t like you.

2. The Lakers bigs did not give Howard as much problems as they suggested during the broadcast.  Yes they gave him some, the 1/6 shooting proves that.  But he aslo got to the line 10 times I believe.  The Magic didn’t look to Howard as much as they have been so far throughout the Playoffs.  Did we already forget what he did in Game 6 of the Cavs series?

3. The Lakers didn’t play great D.  Give me a freaking break.  The Magic had plenty of open looks.  The ball just wasn’t falling.  Worst shooting performance of the season, and we saved it for Game 1 of the Finals.  I’m striking it up to first game jitters.

In conclusion…John Barry, shut your mouth.  Don’t expect Orlando to continue to shoot that poorly.  Hopefully I’ll have time today to do a WhatIf on Game 2.  At least just the score and stats.

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Filed under Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Orlando Magic, Playoffs

WhatIf? Game 1: Magic @ Lakers

Using whatifsports.com, I have decided to simulate the 2009 NBA Finals.  Should be fun.  The only manipulating of the sim that I can do is setting the depth chart and adjusting player minutes.  I wish I could assign specific matchups but, I can’t.  So here goes the 2009 NBA Virtual Finals…

2009 NBA Finals
Game 1 – Orlando Magic @ LA Lakers

Starting Lineups:

Orlando Magic
PG – Rafer Alston
SG – Courtney Lee
SF – Hedo Turkoglu
PF – Rashard Lewis
C – Dwight Howard

LA Lakers
PG – Derek Fisher
SG – Kobe Bryant
SF – Trevor Ariza
PF – Pau Gasol
C – Andrew Bynum

1st Quarter:
Quiet game in the first few minutes.  At the 8:34 mark with the Lakers up 7-5, Pau Gasol does what every Laker fan wanted…he draws a foul on Dwight Howard giving Orlando’s big man an early one.  Much earlier than Magic fans wanted to see.  After Gasol makes the 2nd FT, Magic come back up the court.  With 2 seconds left on the shot clock, Turk misses off the glass.  Shard goes for the tip in but misses and Howard rips it down. Rafer resets the offense and then misses from 16 feet.  Howard rips down another offensive board giving the Magic yet another chance to score only to have Lee miss a little 8 footer.  Kobe finally snatches a board for the Lakers in this miserable 62 seconds of possesion for the Magic.  If the Magic want to win this game, they had better tighten up. Later at the 4:10 mark, Kobe fouls Turk on a made 3 giving him the And 1.  With 3:33 left in the 1st and a 15-11 Lakers lead, Ariza is called for his 2nd personal foul and Walton enters the game.  Only 26 seconds later “Kobe Bryant’s jumper is denied by Dwight Howard” sparking an 11-4 Magic run.  With 0:34 left Jackson calls a timeout and both teams make personnel changes.  Gortat gets 4 quick points with a Brown jumper in between to end the quarter.

Magic: 26
Lakers: 21

2nd Quarter:
Both teams start the 2nd colder than than the beer from the freezer you just cracked open.  3:45 into the quarter with the score board waiting for some excitement to happen and sitting at 26-23, Battie is whistled for a foul on Gasol.  Both SVG and Jackson see the need for personnel adjusments.  The Magic take advantage and go on an 8-0 tear until Kobe finally ends the run with a jumper from the wing bring the Lakers back within single digits at 36-27 with 5:14 left to go.  In the final minutes of the half, the Magic continue their lead to double digits and head to the locker room.

Magic: 47
Lakers: 35

3rd Quarter:
Both teams start off the 2nd half with their starters but there isn’t much excitement.  Kobe tries desperately to bring his Lakers within striking distance but the Magic manage to maintain their double digit lead throughout the whole quarter with it extending as high as 16 points and as low as 10…until the 0:01 mark.  Turkoglu hits a jumper with 1 second left putting the Magic up 72-60. The Lakers call timeout and inbound the ball at half court.  Vujacic shakes Pietrus and hits a 3 at the buzzard from the top of the key.

Magic: 72
Lakers: 63

4th Quarter:
The teams pretty much trade buckets back and forth for the first five minutes of the 4th.  With 7:31 left in the game, Pietrus scores on a driving layup to put the Magic up 88-74.  But don’t count the Lakers out yet…they do have a guy named Kobe Bryant.  The Lakers go on a 7-0 run over the next minute and 38 seconds to come within 7 at 88-81. In that short time, Kobe recorded a steal, a 3 ball and a rebound.  But the Magic respond.  Shard hits a 3 of his own with 2:46 left to go extending the Magic lead to 13 points (102-89).  The Lakers again try to make a run but time is not on their side and the Magic dribble out the clock and take home court from the Lakers with a 108-101 victory.

Magic: 108
Lakers: 101

Stats:

Orlando:
Lewis: 21 pts, 7/19 FGs, 3/10 3s, 4/4 FTs, 10 reb, 4 ast, 1 blk
Howard: 21 pts, 8/17 FGs, 5/9 FTs, 20 reb, 3 ast, 4 blk, 2 TOs
Turkoglu: 20 pts, 7/11 FGs, 2/4 3s, 4/5 FTs, 2 reb, 6 ast, 3 TOs
Alston: 18 pts, 7/15 FGs, 2/4 3s, 2/3 FTs, 4 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 1 TO
Lee: 10 pts, 3/7 FGs, 3/5 3s, 1/1 FTs, 2 reb, 1 blk, 1 stl, 3 TO
Pietrus: 9 pts, 4/8 FGs, 1/2 3s, 6 reb, 1 ast, 2 blk
Johnson: 0 pts, 0/3 FGs, 0/1 3s, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO
Gortat: 4 pts, 2/4 FGs, 3 reb
Battie: 0 pts, 0/1 FG’s, 1 reb, 1 blk, 1 TO
Reddick: 3 pts, 1/1 FGs, 1/1 3s, 1 reb, 1 TO
Nelson: 2 pts, 1/4 FGs, 0/2 3s, 1 ast

Magic: 108 pts, 40/90 (44.4%) FGs, 12/30 (40%) 3s, 16/22 (72.7%) FTs, 52 reb, 20 ast, 9 blk, 4 stl, 12 TO

Lakers:
Bryant: 30 pts, 11/28 FGs, 2/8 3s, 6/7 FTs, 5 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 2 stl, 3 TO
Gasol: 13 pts, 6/12 FGs, 1/2 FTs, 11 reb, 6 ast, 1 blk, 1 stl, 1 TO
Ariza: 13 pts, 4/8 FGs, 0/1 3s, 5/5 FTs, 8 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl, 2 TO
Bynum: 16 pts, 7/13 FGs, 2/2 FTs, 8 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 1 TO
Fisher: 11 pts, 4/8 FGs, 3/6 3s, 2 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 TO
Odom: 6 pts, 3/7 FGs, 0/1 3s, 8 reb, 2 ast, 1 TO
Farmar: 2 pts, 1/7 FGs, 0/4 3s, 2 reb, 1 ast
Vujacic: 6 pts, 2/4 FGs, 2/4 3s, 1 reb, 2 ast
Walton: 0 pts, 0/0 FGs, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO
Brown: 2 pts, 1/2 FGs, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO
Mbenga: 2 pts, 1/1 FGs, 1 reb, 1 TO

Lakers: 40/90 (44.4%) FGs, 7/24 (29.2%) 3s, 14/16 (87.5%) FTs, 50 reb, 22 ast, 3 blk, 10 stl, 13 TO

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Filed under Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Playoffs, WhatIf?

Magic/Lakers a better matchup than Cavs/Lakers

Sorry Cavs fans, but the truth sometimes hurts.  The Cavs would have had similar matchup problems with the Lakers as they did with the Magic.  If the Lakers put Lamar Odom at the 4, you’ve got a similar Rashard Lewis at the 4 with the Magic.  The Lakers don’t have the dominate big man though like the Magic, so that would have been more of an advantage for the Cavs.  Then there’s the matchup that I don’t need to mention…all that you really need to know is one puppet went home.

I want to talk about Howard vs. Gasol and Bynum.  I’ve heard talk about how if Gasol can get Howard in foul trouble then the series is over.  So I ask this…If Howard gets Gasol in foul trouble, then what?  Bynum?  I really mean no offense by this but…sucka please!  I read a very interesting stat today.  In the two matchups this season between the Magic and Lakers, Howard out rebounded Bynum 32-4.  That’s just sick.  Neither Bynum nor Gasol can guard Howard down low consistently.  It’s going to take a huge effort on every play from at least one of them, and I don’t see that happening.  Another question for you is this…Will Gasol and Bynum be more intimidated to come into Howard’s paint?  I think they will.  I think you’ll see Gasol settle on more jumpers when he would normally drive.  Of course the potential is there to draw the foul, but I don’t see that being a risk either is willing to take frequently.

Now lets talk strategy for the Magic.  It’s simple really.  Do what you did against the Cavs.  Let Kobe get his because he’s going to.  Stick Peitrus and Lee on him throughout the whole game with Turk helping when needed.  Focus on shutting down Gasol then Odom and then Fisher.  Bynum won’t beat you and neither will Ariza.  (Personal note…I’m a big Ariza fan.  I wish the Magic had held on to him.)  Sounds simple right?  Actually yes, just as simple as it was against the Cavs.  The Lakers will be tougher opponent obviously, but as long as the Magic continue doing what they’ve been doing, the Magic get the golden basketball.  I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to say in as much of a non-homer was as I can…Magic will win the series.  I hope.

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Filed under Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Orlando Magic, Playoffs

Lebron storms off court…

Not cool.  I understand you’re upset, possibly embarrassed after all the hype and naturally disappointed.  I don’t think it’s as validated as he claims it to be.  He said he doesn’t see the need in congratulating a team that just ended his season.  I’ll tell you why you do Lebron…a little thing most of us in sports call “sportsmanship”.  Storming off the court is one thing, but then to tell the media you don’t see the need in congratulating the other team at that time is completely unsportsmanlike.

I’m with Team Lebron in the whole, Lebron vs. Kobe thing.  His comments took a shot at my respect level for him though.  I expect more from him.  Maybe that’s my problem for having high expectations but, I think someone of his stature should step it up.  Be a man.  Accept defeat.  It’s a natural part of life and certainly a natural part of sports.  You win some, you lose some.  Learn from it and better yourself and your team in preparation for next season.

Refs…

I just read a column Bill Simmons wrote on the refereeing that has plagued our 2009 NBA playoffs.  He makes some very good points.  We’ve all complained about the ref’ing going on at some point or another this year.  Even I have and I try my best not to blame the officials but dude…come on!  Garbage fouls and no-calls I can handle early on in the game but, when it’s crunch time let the boys play!  I once heard somebody say that basketball is not meant to be a physical sport.  Blasphemy!  Basketball is a contact sport, period!  Obviously it’s not the same as hockey or football but, that doesn’t make it a non-contact sport.  It’s time for Mr Stern to tighten the reins on the Refs instead of the players.

Bring it L.A.

If you think this matchup isn’t going to be as good (possibly even better) than the Kobe/Lebron matchup Nike so desperately wanted…you’re insane.  Orlando matches up better with the better teams and poses more problems for those teams when trying to match up against them.  Not to take anything away from L.A. because they are clearly the best team in the West.  As I said before the Cleveland series, the Magic went 2-1 against the Cavs in the regular season with their only defeat being a narrow one in Cleveland.  So I’m going to sate the obvious again…Orlando was 2-0 against L.A. in the regular season.  I don’t care who led Orlando in scoring in those two games (Nelson) because our role players have stepped it up all season and playoffs long.  I don’t think Nelson should come back though.  We’ll need him at 110% next year.  Point is, don’t be surprised to see Orlando make it a fight.  You probably didn’t think they would end Cleveland’s season in 6, did you?  Learn from that series…

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Filed under 2009 Draft, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Playoffs