NBA Finals Lakers-Magic: Magic Is Still Just A Name, Notes on Game Two

Randy GarciaAnalyst IJune 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts alongside Rashard Lewis #9 of the Orlando Magic after the Lakers defeated the Magic 101-96 in overtime in Game Two of the 2009 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Game Two was a great game.  The Lakers played well and the Magic not only showed up but almost won.  Here are just a few observations about game 2.

Courtney Lee did not personally lose the game

Though many Orlando fans will blame this loss on the missed lob attempt at the end of regulation the fact is that they still had overtime.  The Lakers won this game in overtime when Orlando just couldn’t find any scoring in the final minute.

Dwight Howard is still not unstoppable

Even without Bynum for most of the game and Howard in the game for all but a minute he was unable to be a strong factor for the Magic.  Gasol scored 24 points and gathered 10 rebounds to neutralize Howard’s 17 points and 13 rebounds. 

Unlike game one Orlando didn’t make the mistake of trying to force the ball into Howard.  Unfortunately Howard still had seven turnovers in the touches he had.

Orlando can be competitive if they hit their threes

Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu shot 50 percent from three point land which was phenomenal.  The rest of the Magic made one out of 12 three point shots.  The Lakers shot half as many threes and actually had one less shot for the game while shooting exactly one more field goal.

The only real difference was that the Lakers shot a higher percentage from the field and from the line. 

Can Orlando play better defense?

Over the course of the playoffs this year the Magic have held their opponents to an average of 44.8 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from three point land.  The Lakers in the first two games of the Finals have shot just over 46 percent from the field and 33 percent from the three point line.  The Magic may not have any better defensive options.

Predictions for Game Three

As expected the Magic used more high screen rolls and picks to free up Lewis and Turkoglu for perimeter shots.  Unfortunately they got very limited offensive production from anyone else on that team other than Dwight Howard.  Alston and Redick particularly hurt them with a combined 1 of 10 from downtown.

I wouldn’t expect much different from the Magic.  Their defense is working and I think they’ll be able to count on better shooting from some of their role players.  The bad news is that they wasted great shooting nights from Turkoglu and Lewis.  Even at home they won’t be able to keep up 50 percent shooting from the three point line.

Down 2-0 the next three games are all must win games.  The Lakers, being the best road team in the league this season, could well close out the championship in Orlando and will do so if Orlando loses the next game.  Expect real desperation from Orlando.

Game Three will be very tough.  It will turn on whether Orlando can keep themselves from being overly aggressive and committing dumb mistakes.  Late in Game Two Howard committed a frustration foul, literally throwing Gasol out of the way to get a rebound.  That may just be an indicator of how Game Three will go.