From the perspective of a Sixers fan, one would clearly think that the Philadelphia 76ers actually have a chance at getting past the first round of the playoffs this year.
To be honest, your wrong...dead wrong.
Game One in Orlando proved that the Magic obviously "had" what it took to secure their first victory of the playoffs.
With one minute remaining in the third quarter, the Magic lead the Sixers by an 18 point margin (79-61.)
Their biggest problem not only during this game, but in the entire season as well, is that the Magic do not play as hard as they should when they have a big lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In numerous games throughout the season, the Magic led by fifteen or more points at the end of the third quarter, only for the opposing team to make a comeback in the final twelve minutes of the game.
Normally the Magic would end victorious during these close comebacks, but since it is playoff time, the Sixers really brought it in the fourth quarter, especially Andre Iguodala, with his final shot to take the lead 100-98.
So what does this game really mean?
For one thing, it gives the Sixers all the confidence they need to win the entire series.
For the Magic, it gives them an opportunity to realize their weakness and come out stronger then ever in Game Two.
Keys to the game:
The Magic have to cut down on the Sixers offensive rebounds. They were second in the league in offensive rebounds per game and are extremely gifted at grabbing those boards.
They need to get Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu active during the first half of the game. When Shard and Turk combine for 15 or more points during the first half of games, the Magic's record is exponentially higher than when they score less than 15.
The Magic need to keep Dwight Howard active in the fourth game. Throughout the season, Howard scored the majority of his points and grabbed most of his rebounds during the first three quarters of the game. At times, it seems like Howard is completely invisible on the offensive end during the fourth quarter.
The Magic will bring it during Game Two. Expect a blowout. No doubt.
P.S. I will be attending the game!