The Magic pulled one out in Game Three. As I expected they did so using an onslought of shooting, posting a sizzling 62.5% from the field. Read off of a tweet from @espndb, The Magic were the first team to have five players score 18+ in a Finals game since ’95 when Rockets did it against the Magic. So it was a special offensive night from the Magic. Despite that the Lakers still had shots to tie or win the game at the end and credit the Magic defense for coming up with stops when they needed them. Onto the thoughts.
– Early in the game Dwight was running very hard down the floor routinely beating Bynum down the court and sealing off on Gasol with DEEP position. Thats a big time advantage for Orlando.
– Rafer Alston holding true to the numbers in which I indicated coming into Game Three: 41% at home, 25% on the road. Alston in Game Three? – 66%. He was playing with a ton of confidence as evident by some of his dribble moves in transition. He did have three turnovers compared to just four assists but I think its safe to say he was in “Skip Mode.”
– Speaking of Skip to My Lou..I watched my And 1 mixtape Volume 1 again and that video is just ridicolous. The grittyness, the realness to what was going on it. The streetball seen on TV today is just way too contrived. I think we’re going to have people talk about those original And 1 mixtapes the way ECW is talked about today. In that case does Skip to My Lou = Raven?
– Rashard Lewis is doing the right thing, with guys flying at him when he’s on the perimeter, he’s simply putting the ball on the floor and stepping by those guys. When he does to his pull up jumper though he always seems a little off balance. It seems he’s leaning forward on that shot.
– One of the anchors on ESPN the other day had this to say after Tim Kurkjian spoke..”When Tim Kurkjian speaks about baseball, you listen.” I’m beginning to feel that same way about Jeff Van Gundy. When JVG speaks basketball, do yourself a favor and listen up, it will probably be something you can hang onto.
– We had a DJ Mbenga sighting tonight! By the way, I love the fact that the “M” is silent and its just pronounced DJ Benga. He would need no alias if he ever wants to become a disc jockey after basketball.
– To use a baseball analogy here. They say when hitting you’re supposed to anticipate fastball and then adjust to it if its off speed, rather than vice versa because if you anticipate something off speed and its a fastball you’d never be able to catch up. I get that feel when Kobe has a live ball. He takes one or two hard dribbles then pulls up and as Mickael Pietrus is showing us, its almost impossible to stop and you can only hope Kobe misses. Bringing it back to baseball..as a defender, when a guy puts it on the deck, I believe the defenders natural instinct is to play the drive. I think though when defending Kobe you maybe have to go against the popular belief and play the pull-up. I’m not sure how much sense that makes but I think there is something more to it when guarding Kobe.
– Just like to point out that each time I’ve seen Hedo Turkoglu sitting out of the game in these playoffs, he’s had his towel tucked into his shirt like a hood would be. Somewhere out there someone needs to a piece on how different players use towels in different ways when out of the game. I’d read that.
– One thing I’ve learned about Luke Walton. He is a very skilled Hi/Low passer among other things. I wonder how his game would translate playing in an uptempo system ala Phoenix or GSW.
– With about 5:00 left in the first half the Magic were shooting 76% from the field…and were losing by 1 point.
– After watching Kobe shoot a three pointer and then in mid air change his mind and lob a pass to Gasol who was able to lay it in got me thinking how lucky Lakers fans are that they can watch a talent like Kobe Bryant play night in and night out. Specials plays like that…must be a joy to watch.
– Late in the second quarter Rafer Alston took a shot that hit the side of the backboard. It was forced and a little “heat checkish” and had I been live tweeting the game I would have wrote…”Welcome back to earth skip.”
– I never really gave much merit to the whole Bill Russell blocking the ball to his teammate thing. I just felt that how quick and strong the players of today are and how they are finishing up near the rim more, that guys just have to worry about getting their hand on the ball and with a enough strength so that the offensive player isn’t finishing through you. Until…with about one minute left in the second quarter, Dwight blocked Kobe and very easily could have and should have directed it towards Rashard Lewis instead of swatting into the crowd which gave the Lakers back the ball.
– Is there a greater moment than when the home team gets on a little run and the crowd noise and energy is picking up momentum and then there is that one possesssion when a basket will just blow the roof all the building. Is there a greater moment than that possession?
– Love the ABC “Wired” scene of Stan Van Gundy telling Rafer Alston a few what seemed to be “out of control” possessions…”Settle down. Play your game.” When told to a guy with the handle Skip to My Lou isn’t that an oxymoron?
– Gasol’s layup to bring the Lakers to within one with 1:26 left in the game had an AWFUL lot of contact. Very surprising that there was no foul called there.
– Great win for the Magic. Their first finals win in franchise history now bringing their franchise record to 1-6 in the NBA Finals.