Orlando Magic: Give It Away Now?
The Orlando Magic are blowing leads and close to blowing their chances of meeting LeBron and the Cavs in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
Just like magic, Dwight and the boys keep disappearing in the fourth quarter, as was obvious in game five in Boston last night. They can't possibly think that leading by double digits in the third quarter means victory, can they?
What is going on with this team's psyche?
You probably remember when Shaq called Stan Van Gundy the "master of panic" earlier this year. It's not like that was a surprise. If you watch any Magic game, you're going to sense that his heart's health is at risk.
Not only does the team obviously absorb the anxiety, it seems that Van Gundy is losing control of his players as well.
Is it anarchy in Orlando? Sports journalists all over the country debated that after Dwight Howard called out his head coach last night.
"You've got a dominant player," Howard said after the game. "Let him be dominant."
Dwight went on to comment that his coach messed with the floor chemistry toward the end of game five and for not making sure that he got more than the ten shots he took.
Wherever the blame game falls, the image of Howard looking lost in his own offense still remains.
The team as a whole is taking poor shots and letting nerves take over.
It leaves Magic fans asking—where is the fairytale offense we saw all season long?
Through 2009, there was definitely enough evidence to suggest that the Magic could contend with a team like the Celtics—especially a beaten up Celtics squad sans Kevin Garnett.
Magic fans are looking to direct their frustration and anger somewhere, and all evidence suggests that that frustration belongs to a combination of the coaching staff and team members, with their lack of mental composure and lack of control on the court.
It's unfortunate that the Magic aren't taking full advantage of the talent on their team, the lack of squad depth that the Celtics possess at this time, and the giant double digit leads they are quite capable of procuring.
Orlando needs to straighten out—quickly.
They play game six tomorrow night at home and need to win the game to stay alive in the series.
The best recipe for success: Give Howard the ball, play consistently through four quarters, and realize that high anxiety play will be their demise.
In Magic land tonight, fans are skeptical, but the Amway Arena is ready to rock at sold out status. A quick suggestion to fans going to the game Thursday night: demand blood, and receive blood. Stop being the softest fans in the league.
The crowd needs to do their part tomorrow, and the Magic need to play with the strong, effective style that graced us all year. Van Gundy needs to get ahold of his team, get the team prepared, and lead hard tomorrow night.
If the Magic decide to play real ball tomorrow night, ball that they are more than capable of, they can secure a W.
It's either that or the Magic will forever remember how, in 2009, they disappeared.
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