Magic Meltdown in Orlando: Who's to Blame?

D.Michael LeeSenior Analyst IMay 13, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 08:  Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic shouts at his team against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 8, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Marc Serota/Getty Images)

If you watched the Celtics vs. Magic Game Five last night, you saw over the course of two and a half hours you saw the best and worst of Stan Van Gundy’s Orlando Magic team.

For almost 44 full minutes of game time, Orlando was in control of Game Five, leading by as much as 14 points at one point, and stifling the Celtics on the defensive end.

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were not major factors in the game, and Orlando was able to control tempo. However, early in the fourth quarter, when the Magic had Boston on the ropes, they couldn’t knock them out.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers inserted Stephon Marbury into the game, and he sparked his team hitting key jumpers to keep Boston within range. Boston kicked it up a notch in crunch time, and doubled their offensive output (33 points) in the last quarter compared to the first, on route to an improbable 92-88 win.

There is honestly no reason why Boston should have won last night. The post game conference from Stan Van Gundy was typical Van Gundy, in which he indirectly blamed his team more than taking into account the coaching decisions down the stretch may have had more of an impact.

Orlando, for as good as they are, still does not have a player they can go to in the clutch, and rely on him hitting a big shot in the big spots. I don’t wanna hear about Hedo Turkoglu being Mr. Fourth Quarter, because when the game was on the line, he was missing in action too.

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The Magic have to realize taking down the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round after letting them hang around was one thing, but when you are trying to dethrone the defending NBA champs, you gotta be able to knock them out. We will see if they can force a Game Seven, or if Boston can end it on the road.

Watch Van Gundy's Press Conference Here.