Is There Any Kryptonite for Dwight Howard and Company?
The Magic have been able to climb a very tall mountain to get to the Finals by beating the defending champion Boston Celtics and the team with the best record in the league with the league MVP and Coach of the Year, the Cleveland Cavaliers. They seem to have very little flaws and here are some reasons.
Orlando has thrown the ball down to Dwight Howard, hoping his strength will get him to the basket. Most teams double-team him and he throws it out to Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, Michael Pietrus, etc. for the three-pointers. This makes this team very hard to guard because they are 38.1 percent, as a team, from downtown.
There is an old saying that says "Offense wins games but Defense wins titles." This holds true as well. As a team, the Magic average 5.35 blocks and 6.95 steals a game. This helps them get into that quick paced style of play that they like to run in games and helps them get back into many games—like when they were down by almost 20 points three different times against the Cavaliers and won one of those and almost won the other two.
To give a team a chance to win, the team has to make sure the opposition gets a "one and done" offensive possession. The Magic average 43.3 rebounds a game, with 10 offensive rebounds, and they only give up an average of 42.1 rebounds, but the opposition does get 10.5 offensive rebounds. They need to make sure their opponents don't get too many offensive rebounds because this gives them second chance opportunities.
Passing creates team cohesion. With the Magic averaging 19.4 assists, they are getting their teammates more involved and gaining the trust that they will make the right decision.
Free throws are easy points for teams. The Magic are 71.5 percent from the free throw line. If the Magic want to win a title, they must make their free throws.
Out of those things, the Magic only look weak at the free throw line and a little bit at offensive rebounding. Also, the Magic need to keep the personal fouls at a minimum to not give the opposition chances at easy points.
The Magic seem to have it all together now thanks to great coaching by Stan Van Gundy, who was able to shut down LeBron in game six. Now the Lakers have to prepare for how Stan guards their star, Kobe Bryant.
The only way for the Lakers to beat the Magic in the Finals is by exploiting the Magic's weaknesses, which are few.
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