Even Down 2-0, Magic Have No Reason to Panic

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJune 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Two of the 2009 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Even though the Magic will soon be down 0-2 to the Lakers, they have no need to panic and in fact should be happy with the way they played tonight in Los Angeles, especially after their Game 1 effort.

There were several key moments in the game if the ball bounced the Magic's way they would be heading home 1-1 and wouldn't even have had to go into overtime.

One of the things that cost the Magic was their free throws; they missed five in a row at one point. If they had just made one of those free throws, there's no overtime.

Secondly, the fifth foul on Mickael Pietrus is a joke there was absolutely no foul on the play and it was as good of defense you can play on Bryant.

Why did Bryant get the call? Because it was the homecourt. If it is in Orlando, there's no foul call and the Magic could have built on their one-point lead at that time.

That was a crucial call in the game and there should definitely be punishment for this veteran officiating crew because that is a call that should have never been made to begin with.

Third as some people like too say Kobe is the ultimate closer in late game situations. Well, Kobe definitely had his chance when he beat Hedo Turkoglu was able to get back into the play and block Kobe's shot giving the Magic the last chance with .6 seconds left.

To set the sequence for the final play of the game, the Magic acted like they were going to inbound the ball after a timeout and they saw how the Lakers were defending it, so the Magic took another timeout.

The Magic had the perfect play set up, on a perfect screen of Kobe Bryant by Rashard Lewis it opened a path to the basket for Lee who caught the ball and all he needed to do was lay the ballup in the basketball.

Unfortunately the pass was a little long and so he wasn't able to catch it as cleanly as it could have been, and the layup just missed, and the game went into overtime.

Even before that though there was a play involving Lee as well. With just under 10 seconds left in regulation, Lee this time tried to put the Magic ahead by two. With the shot clock running down he got to the basket for a layup, which was missed.

Yet, the problem was after he went up and released the shot as Odom came to defend he clearly fouled Lee, but there was no foul call. This is just another example of the piss-poor officiating in the NBA.

In any other circumstance or player this would have been a foul for any player on either team, but since it was a rookie out of Western Kentucky, he's not going to get he foul call.

So, even with the loss tonight the Magic have plenty to be encouraged about and they know that this series could easily be 1-1, not 2-0.

The only other thing the Magic need to work on is attacking the man in foul trouble. Odom had five fouls; they should have gone straight at him to get him out of the ball game.


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