Every NBA series comes down to one deciding moment. Well this series moment was the Derek Fisher three point shot with five seconds left in regulation. The game tying shot most likely sunk any hopes the underdog Orlando Magic had in upsetting the LA Lakers. Now Orlando is down three to one and the question is will Orlando roll over and hide or come out swinging in game five. Handicapper Craig Trapp of CT SPORTS PICKS looks at game five and the keys for each team.
Orlando's will to win? -No team has come back from a three to one deficit in an NBA finals series. Will Orlando come out and play for pride or are they looking forward to a vacation on Monday. The Lakers are sure to be super confident considering they have not played good in Orlando and still have split the two games. The Magic have not been one to quit or give excuses all year but this is a big test.
Kobe the best finisher in sports? - Not since the likes of Michael Jordan have we seen a player turn it on when it comes to winning time. Kobe is great at putting his foot on the throat of his opponent when he smells blood in the water. Bryant and the Lakers have had a long two years and now with one game left to reach there goal don't look for them to let up.
Foul Shooting - So far in this series the team that shot better at the line have won the game. Game four saw Orlando miss several key FT attempts in the last six minutes of the game which for sure cost them a win. Bad foul shooting by Howard makes the Lakers defense much easier. If he gets in to deep they will wrap him up and make him go to the line to earn his points. The Lakers are the much better FT shooting team and might just be difference in game five.
Double Teams of Kobe - The last two games Orlando has doubled Kobe at almost every opportunity. This has held Kobe in check but also has given Fisher and Arriza wide open easy three point shots. Will Orlando change tactics and make Kobe get 50 to beat them or will they continue to give wide open threes to other Lakers.
Would be very surprised if you see Orlando come out and quit but not sure if it matters. Kobe and the Lakers smell blood in the water and want to end this as soon as possible. The Magic are desperate and would not be surprised if Coach VanGundy does not try something desperate like maybe a zone at times. No matter who wins it has been a great NBA season and the Lakers are a well deserving champion.
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