Posted on: June 6, 2009 5:11 am

Game 1 Afterglow

That's all, really. The Lakers pounded the Magic in every way conceivable. They played tough inside defense with Howard, and he pretty much disappeared, as he has been known to do. They covered close on the perimeter, and forced bad shots by the Magic shooters.

The only thing I think needs to be improved upon is the allowance of dribble penetration. The point guard (whether it be Alston or Nelson) consistently got into the paint, which forced Lakers big men to collapse down and prevent the easy basket. This took them off their own men, who were wide open inside. Either that, or help defense took men off the perimeter, and Magic shooters were open. This has to change. Whether it be playing Fisher less minutes and putting quicker PGs on the floor to deal with the Magic's speed at PG, or doubling up top and playing help defense, it must change.

I am going to Game 2 at Staples. More to come.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 1, 2009 4:39 am

Lakers going to the finals (My early pick)

I find myself torn between going completely insane with this Lakers team and shamelessly homering them. One minute it seems as though they are entirely disinterested and lackluster, and the next minute they are blowing Denver out at the Pepsi Center in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Insanity!

Anyway, now its Magic v. Lakers. Most people don't really know that the Magic beat the Lakers both times they faced one another in the regular season, one home one away, both pretty close games. I am the kind of guy who likes to look at these things in order to attempt to at least make an educated guess as to how I think the series will turn out. Unfortunately, there are a couple things that were present then that will not be present in this series.

1. Jameer Nelson was really the player for the Magic in both games that beat the Lakers. He shot well from the floor in both, and was their top scorer in both games. He, at least most likely, will not be playing, and even if he is, chances are he will be limited and/or extremely rusty.

2. The Lakers shot extremely poorly in both games, one game just barely over 40%, the other game right at 38%. Watching those games, the Lakers were cold both nights, as Orlando's perimeter defense is just not that great. All the Lakers' players just had bad shooting nights.

3. (The worst one for the Lakers) Gasol and Bynum had terrible games both games. And this was before Bynum got hurt. Bad scoring and rebounding nights. This will have to change or the Lakers are going to be in for a lot of issues down low with Howard.

4. The Lakers did not have Shannon Brown to come in and change the pace at PG. This makes a giant difference, as Nelson was able to slice and dice on old man Fisher all night, and Farmar was doing his disappearing act. Shannon Brown elevates the Lakers' ability at PG to a level that just wasn't there in either game.

Pick - Lakers in 6. The Lakers defend the perimeter way better than anyone the Magic have faced in the playoffs, which will limit the Magic's red hot shooting. Howard will get his touches and his points, but the Lakers will limit the rest of the team enough to make that not matter. Plus, the Lakers stretch the floor more than any team the Magic have faced and, while their inside presence is not dominant, Gasol and Bynum are quicker and stronger than any 5 Howard has seen in the playoffs. Lakers take Game 1 and 2 at home. Lose Game 3 in Orlando. Win Game 4. Lose Game 5. Come home and take it in 6.

Now let's see how long it takes to prove me wrong.
Category: NBA
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