Taking Another Look at the NBA Finals From an Orlando Perspective

travis proctorCorrespondent IJune 9, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 28: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic looks on from the sidelines against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 28, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

Tonight is Orlando's last chance to get into this series. They had their chance Sunday night, but could not capitalize. By the way, no one should blame Courtney Lee. That was an extremely tough shot and to hit it would have been incredible.


Real quick I would like to say that I know Kobe says that it's not about winning a title without Shaq, but I mean come on man. As a Lakers fan and a Kobe fan I am so tired of people talking about those other titles being "Shaq's Titles" and if I'm sick of hearing it there is no way Kobe isn't tired of hearing that absurd banter.


So here we are. Game Three of the finals with the Lakers up 2-0 and everyone has pretty much given them the championship already. To be honest, I find this somewhat odd because of what Orlando has already overcome so far in the playoffs to be where they are. Also, so many people were picking them to win the series and now those people have all thrown in the towel.


Stan Van Gundy, why oh why did you decide to destroy your team’s chemistry? I understand Jameer Nelson is a huge key to your team’s success, but why would you ruin something that was working so well.


I really feel for Rafer Alston. The guy does a great job coming in and helping Orlando get to the finals and then is forgotten so quickly.


That brings me to JJ Redick. Wow please someone, anyone tell me why was he playing in the fourth quarter or at all for that matter. This guy didn't see the floor against Cleveland and now he is a fourth quarter go to guy in the finals, wow.


There is a good chance I am off base here, but the lack of championship experience on the Magic and their coaching staff is really standing out. Van Gundy and the Magic have earned the tag of extremely resilient throughout these playoffs. Now they have to dig deeper than they have at any time during these playoffs and find a way to win.


Tonight with Orlando back at home I would expect more of those threes to fall and more of the calls to go their way. The key for Orlando tonight is to get into transition. It is well known that the Lakers are a much better half court team and if Orlando wants to win they need to run the floor and get those open threes in transition.


Once the Magic can find that shooting touch that we started to see in game two it will open things up for Dwight Howard a little more. A lot of people are kind of dogging him for his performance so far and that’s somewhat unfair.


People need to understand he is one great front-court player against an All-Star center in Pau Gasol, an extremely versatile player in Lamar Odom, and a young but talented center in Andrew Bynum. Howard hasn't seen any front court even close to this talented in the playoffs and they have done a good job against him.


Howard is basically in a three on one match-up. With the crowd behind him tonight, I think we might see superman deliver some of the high flying antics we are used to, but he can't do it if the Magic don't run and stretch the floor. If the Lakers are allowed to clog the lane Howard will continue to struggle.


Tonight we will get to see how resilient the Magic really can be after back-to-back really tough losses. Maybe things have just piled up too much for Orlando and it's finally become too much for them to overcome. Either way they have had a season that far exceeded expectations and they should feel good about where they are and where they are going.