Magic-Cavaliers: Game Four, the Deciding Factor?

Brandon Ribak@reebokforthreeSenior Writer IMay 26, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 24:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic shoots against Zydrunas Ilgauskas #11 and Mo Williams #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the the Amway Arena on May 24, 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 Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

I have listened to many people talk about how whoever wins Game Four will ultimately advance from this series to the NBA Finals.

While you may have your own opinion, I must certainly disagree.

Taking a look at the series thus far, it is clear that the Orlando Magic have absolutely no fear of playing at "The Q." During the two games in Cleveland, they played Magic basketball and left the arena with one victory.

If, and I am only saying if, the Magic were to lose Game Four tonight in Orlando, this series would still be far from over. 

Game Five would be played in Cleveland, Game Six in Orlando, and if there was a Game Seven, it would be back at the Q.

Now from watching the three games played so far, I can respectably say that the Orlando Magic have played better basketball—not just on offense, but on the defensive end as well.

They are hitting their shots at an excellent 48.6 percent from the field and a stellar 41.3 percent from the beyond the three-point arc.

Many have said that Orlando cannot continue their outstanding shooting percentage throughout the entire series. For those of you who do not know, the Magic have shot progressively worse from the three-point range during each of the three games played. (Game One: 45.0 percent, Game Two: 43.5 percent, Game Three: 35.3 percent.)

With that in mind, there are absolutely no excuses for the Cavaliers, and their fans as well.

Orlando has done something that most teams in the NBA cannot do against Cleveland. They have forced the Cavs' big men to run out to the top of the arc and defend the Magic's extremely versatile players—Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Mickael Pietrus.

When the Cavaliers big men come out to defend, Orlando's players receive the major advantage due to their speed and quickness. They now get the option of either giving a little pump fake (for the easy foul), a quick jab step (to keep the big men off balanced and to hit a better looking shot), or an impetuous burst to the hoop (for the lay-in or the foul).

The Magic have thrived from these type of matchups and have clearly maximized them to their fullest potential.

Now if (and I am saying if once again) Orlando were to win this game, which is still very likely, Cleveland fans on Bleacher Report have already admitted that they would call the season quits for the Cavaliers.

Assuming you all are dedicated Cavaliers fans, how can you possibly say or think something like that?

Without being biased (since I am an Orlando Magic fan), I really do not see Orlando losing tonight at the Amway Arena.


Because this game is just like every other game for Orlando. They have no time to celebrate (like Boston did after Big Baby's buzzer beater—you see how far they got from celebrating too early). They are focused on one thing and one thing only, and that is the championship. Orlando has their eyes on the prize, and will give their blood, sweat, and tears to reach their goal.

Nobody gives the Magic credit for what a phenomenal season they have had this year and what an incredible playoff run they have made thus far. Professional NBA analysts have doubted the Magic's chances of making it to the Finals throughout the entire season, but after a Game Four victory, all of that will change—and you Bleacher Creatures will see that happen.


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