Coach is the Goat: This time, Van Gundy used Turkoglu and Pietrus to double Kobe in the backcourt, forcing someone else to receive the inbounds pass.
Nelson, who was activated for the NBA Finals after a shoulder injury sidelined him for four months, was not the best option for such a crucial situation.
Nelson was tired after playing the entire fourth quarter. He’s also the Magic’s shortest player and with better defensive options like Courtney Lee and Rafer Alston, Van Gundy made a big mistake.
Alston was the hero in the Magic’s only Finals win and scored 20 points while playing the entire game.
More Like Scapegoat: Prior to the biggest play of the NBA Finals thus far, Orlando was up 87-84 when Bryant fouled Dwight Howard with 11 seconds left in the game.
Dwight Howard could have iced the game with two free throws and all the Magic needed was one free throw to make it a two-possession game. Howard missed both shots, giving the Lakers all the momentum and a chance to send the game into overtime.
With the Lakers inbounding in the backcourt, Van Gundy used his quickest player, Nelson, who could have frustrated the slower Fisher all the way to the frontcourt, taking precious seconds off the clock.
There’s no way Van Gundy planned on Fisher having nothing but open space in front of him when Fisher received the ball in the backcourt, and Nelson didn’t contest the shot well, lagging behind the three-point line as Fisher nailed the shot.
Rashard Lewis reverted to his Game One form when he scored eight points, shooting 2-of-10 for six points, continuing to puzzle everyone after scoring 34 points in Game 2 and 21 points in Game Three.
Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good Teams: Fisher made a huge shot when everyone was expecting Kobe to decide the game.
Nelson did a good job of catching up to Fisher after misplaying the Lakers’ inbounds play, and he jumped to contest Fisher’s shot without fouling him.