Where art thou, Demetrius Antonio Battie?
Tony! Toni! Tone!
Did you never really make it out of Texas Tech? Did you forget you got drafted fifth overall in 1997? In your defense, Tone, I'm sure a lot of players would like to think they didn't get drafted in 1997—perhaps one of the worst draft classes ever (Magic teammate and fellow bench buddy Adonal Foyle was drafted eighth overall that year).
But TONY, forget the fact you've never managed to average over 10 points or 10 rebounds in a season. Forget the fact you have never lived up to expectations. Forget the fact that you have played less than sparingly in this year's NBA playoffs.
Your team needs you NOW TONY!
With the NBA Finals less than a couple hours away, I hope Tony Battie realizes that the fate of a team, an organization, a fan base, and an entire city rest solely on his shoulders!
I see the matchups in this year's playoffs far differently than others may.
Rafer Alston and Derek Fisher. What a matchup this will be to watch. Essentially it's an even matchup, but I'm telling you now Alston is going to get the best of DFish. Experience shmerience. Skip to My Lou has been so clutch for the Magic in these playoffs and will continue to do so. I can only PRAY that he pulls out just one AND1 move in the Finals. Please Skip, please.
You better believe Kobe Bryant is going to get his. He always does.
Mickael Pietrus, Hedo Turkoglu, and at times Courtney Lee will be faced with the daunting task of guarding No. 24...as best they can. But guarding a superstar should come as nothing new for the Magic guards (refer to LeBron James).
LeBron got his. He did his thing. He filled the stat sheet. He made the highlight reels. But Orlando still came out on top.
And the Magic need to realize the same thing goes for Kobe Bryant. No one can stop Kobe except himself. Kobe is going to get his night in and night out. Let it happen fellas, let it happen. There is nothing you can do.
Think of Kobe Bryant as not even a matchup, because he isn't. He wins every matchup hands down. Notch the Mamba for 35 a night. Boom. Before the tip, the Magic are already down 35-0 in my book.
The guard/forward battle essentially comes down to Turkoglu, Pietrus, Lee, Redick, and Johnson (I grimace while saying the last two names) versus Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown, Luke Walton, and Sasha Vujacic. All these players are kind of like the same position. Big, long guys who can shot, score, drive, dribble, and play any position from two-guard to power forward if need be.
They all basically cancel each other out.
Dwight Howard has been abusing people all season and the abuse has continued throughout the playoffs. He'd be more of a threat if he could develop a little jumpshot, but the Magic are content with his low-post game (offensively and defensively).
Howard is going to give it to Gasol just like he did Anderson Varejao. The only problem is Lamar Odom is going to be down low as well. And so will Andrew Bynum.
Odom, Gasol, and Bynum are FAR more offensively skilled than Dwight is.
Superman is outnumbered.
That is where you come in Tony.
You've sat on the bench most of your career. You've never really made anything of yourself. THIS IS YOUR TIME.
We aren't asking you to put up stellar numbers Tony, and we're not asking you to be a human fouling machine like Travis Knight. We just need you to play the way you used to...you know...way back long, long ago...well yeah, maybe you don't remember...
BUT WE DO! I DO TONY!
This series is going to be about Tony Battie, ladies and gentlemen. He has it in him, yes he certainly does. Somewhere deep in that 6'11" frame of his he has four or five points. Somewhere buried he has stored away four rebounds and two blocks. HE DOES I TELL YOU! (Adonal Foyle might too!)
But I believe in the Magic. I believe in magic. And I most certainly believe in Tony Battie for MVP.