Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Turning Point for…the Magic?



In my last article, I wrote of my belief that the Magic must least make Game 2 a close one. Well, they did and if not for a Courtney Lee missed field goal as time expired, the Magic would be entering Game 3 in Orlando tonight with the series tied at one game apiece.

Now all that is left is for the Magic to prove me right and I'm certain that will prove to be a prime motivating factor for Stan Van Gundy and his troops. I'm not predicting a Magic championship, mind you, I'm only saying that the Magic will likely make this series a close one now that they have proven to themselves they can hang with the Lakers. That was the key. And I'd bet that most of the basketball world is hoping for a longer, more exciting series than we saw in 2007 when the Spurs swept LeBron and the Cavs.

After a 25 point Game 1 blowout, it would have been easy for the Magic to lie down and die. That would have been the easy way out. They instead took their game to the next level, or at least the level they had been playing all season prior to Game 1. What we saw was two clutch defensive plays from Hedo Turkoglu late in the 4th quarter and some more clutch, late game three-point shooting from perimeter-shooting phenom Rashard Lewis.

As for these three home games in Orlando, sports history has taught us one thing over time: history doesn't know jack. You can take this as inspiring for the Lakers, or you can look at it as inspiring for the Magic. Much probably depends on which Disney theme park you are likely to attend, but a case can be made for either team.

Bet On The NBA Playoffs Now

It's been played to death already (over two days), that with the 2-3-2 format, the Magic may have a surprising advantage coming back home for three games despite being down 0-2. And by now, we've all heard how Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat used it to their advantage in the 2006 NBA Finals, losing the first two games of the series in Dallas before coming back from way behind in Game 3 and eventually winning four straight under the same series format.

But all this tells us is that it's possible. The middle three games are not sure things for Orlando. The experts have all but told us that the Magic will win their three home games and make this thing a series going back to Los Angeles. Magic fans have only this to hold onto as they have been relegated to looking on as their beloved Magic fight to keep hope alive tonight.

The more likely scenario is that the Lakers grab at least one of these three games and take the series back to Los Angeles where they win the franchise's 15th NBA championship. Who wouldn't want a 2-0 series lead no matter the circumstances or the series format? Maybe the Magic will make me eat my words, but I doubt it.

Putting all that series format nonsense aside, the Magic have a steep hill to climb. I mentioned in my last entry that with a close Game 2, the Magic would likely regain some momentum and restore confidence in their ability to nab the next three games. Let's see. I'll take anything but a sweep.

Written By Danny Hobrock

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