Stan Van Gundy's Lack of Direction, Motivation Prove Costly for Magic

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJune 12, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 09:  Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic reacts in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers Game Three of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 9, 2009 at Amway Arena 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

Stan Van Gundy, just like his brother Jeff, proved tonight why he will never win a championship as a coach and why he was run out of Miami.

The Orlando Magic were the better team tonight, they had no business losing this game.

Yet, they did by the piss poor lack of direction from Van Gundy.

From the beginning of the game it was get the ball into the post to Dwight Howard, who had gotten two fouls on Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum. He may have only scored one point during that time, but he was dominating on the defensive end with four blocks and 14 rebounds. At one point he had more rebounds then the entire Laker team.

At half time, the Magic enjoyed a 12 point lead. It should have been bigger, but the Magic turned the ball over way too much and missed free throws.

In the third quarter it was just a pathetic attempt at basketball. There was absolutely no energy and piss poor shot selection, which enabled the Lakers to come back and gain a six-point lead in the fourth quarter.

So, what was Van Gundy's biggest mistake?

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Not getting Howard involved in the offense and attacking the Lakers defense, which as mentioned was in foul trouble from the start.

The Magic didn't take advantage of it either by missing free throws in the third and fourth quarters.

Even with the Lakers coming back, the Magic did get on a little run and actually had a chance to win it in regulation. But again poor play by the Magic allowed an open three for Derek Fisher to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Yet, the Magic in overtime hit the first big shot on a three by Rashard Lewis, who was nowhere to be seen throughout most of the game. The Lakers came back with, of course, Kobe Bryant, who made two tough shots over Mickael Pietrus.

But the biggest dagger came with just over 31 seconds left.

The ball was in Bryant's hand of course. Nelson went over to help on Bryant who was being guarded by Pietrus. As Bryant turned to make the pass out to Fisher he swung his elbow out and nailed Nelson right in the face.

Not only was there no whistle on the play, Fisher nailed the three to give the Lakers a three point lead. The Magic weren't able to recover from that, Hedo Turkoglu missed a three and the Lakers made their free throws for the final score of 98-91.

As mentioned before, the game should have never gone into overtime. The Lakers made their shots in the third quarter, but it was the Magic being careless with the basketball, lacking any sort of direction.

Their poor performance can be only be blamed on one man—the coach who did not do a good job at getting them focused in the second half.

There was absolutely no reason for the Lakers to even be in this game and yet the Magic handed them a gift.

Lakers players should be sending thank you cards to the Magic because a better-coached team would not have given up that lead.