Blogs > Pistons' Point

An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The Orlando Magic had every chance to tie the NBA Finals at 2-2 on Thursday night. But ultimately, their inexperience in these situations and their poor free throw shooting did them in. Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard each missed crucial free throws late in regulation. Had they made just one more, Derek Fisher couldn't have tied the game with the first of his two huge 3-pointers.
The Magic had trouble inbounding the ball a few times after timeouts, reinforcing my feeling that the best way to blow up such plays is to hound the inbounder. Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom did a good job of contesting those passes.
I also have to fault Stan Van Gundy for riding rusty Jameer Nelson through the fourth quarter and overtime. Yes, Nelson made some nice decisions but he was no threat to score. He also made a terrible decision to back off Fisher on that tying 3-pointer. At some point, Van Gundy should have gone back to Rafer Alston, who could have created a game-winning shot on one of those late possessions.
Now, with the series 3-1, the Lakers will wrap things up in Game 5 Sunday or Game 6 Tuesday. Orlando knows it won't win twice in L.A., so it might not put forth enough effort to prevent Kobe & Co. from celebrating on the Magic's home floor Sunday.


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