Magic vs. Bobcats (Magic leads series 2-0)
Time/TV: 2 p.m./TNT, Sun Sports
Key Matchup: Matt Barnes (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists in Game Two) vs. Stephen Jackson (22.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 42.1% FG%)
Playoff Series: Game One- Orlando Won 98-89; Game Two- Orlando Won 92-77; Game Three- Today; Game Four- Monday, 8 p.m.
-Stan Van Gundy knows Charlotte will be able to feed off the rabid fans going to the team’s first home playoff game this afternoon. He worries Orlando will not be able to match that intensity and hopes the team unleashes its inner killer instinct.
-Tania Ganguli of The Orlando Sentinel caught up with Bobcats celebrity fan and NASCAR driver Kenny Hamlin, who is somewhat torn about who is hometown team is playing.
-Rashard Lewis tells Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel that a sprained left ankle will not slow him down in Game Three.
-Larry Brown has been good at getting the best from NBA “cast offs.” He seems to be doing it again in turning Charlotte into a playoff team with a lot of players other teams did not want, writes David Scott of the Charlotte Observer.
-Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer wonders why it is always the referees’ fault. He calls both teams griping at the calls fairness.
-Charlotte had the biggest difference between home wins and road wins. The team, then, is expecting a much better effort for the franchise’s first home playoff game, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
-Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer provides some things the Bobcats can do to prevent a Game Three loss… and things they have no power to control. And Brett of Queen City Hoops adds limiting Orlando’s 3-point shooting to the list.
-Tom Sorenson of the Charlotte Observer writes that if Charlotte is going to win Game Three, the team will need a third player to increase his scoring.
-Charlotte is turning orange to support the Bobcats.
-Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball previews today’s game.
-Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a moment to appreciate Gerald Wallace’s effort in this series.
-Whether Orlando is playoff road ready is one thing we will learn from Game Three.
-Some would call the play in this series ugly, Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk calls it what it is: good defense.
-Eddie Rivera of Magic Basketball writes Vince Carter has been most effective this series when involved in the pick and roll and breaks down his pick and roll ability.
-Stan Van Gundy wants his team to be aware of the difficulties teams have had winning Game Three when up 2-0. In the last five years, 47 teams have been up 2-0 and 32 of them lost Game Three.
-John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com points out his three keys to Game Three.
-Gerald Wallace writes that he cannot figure out why Charlotte struggles at the beginning of games on the road. But he expects the team to be ready and focused for a good start to Game Three.
-Michael Jordan is looking to turnaround Charlotte’s franchise and his hand in everything as the team has played its first playoff series.
-Ric Bucher of ESPN the Magazine (Insider only) writes free throws are anything but free in the postseason and Kate Fagan of ESPN the Magazine (also Insider only) critiques the various free throw styles in today’s NBA.
-Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk defends Stan Van Gundy’s assertion that Michael Jordan should not be automatically coronated the greatest player of all time. To prevent backlash, he is defending Van Gundy’s reason not his conclusion.
-David Stern issued a warning to coaches to stop whining about Playoff officiating. And that takes the Magic off their Dwight Howard soapbox.
-Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer writes Raymond Felton should shoulder a lot of blame for the Bobcats 2-0 hole. And Felton would agree.
-Not much changed between Game One and Game Two, attacking the basket and getting to the line is still key.
-George Diaz of The Orlando Sentinel writes nothing has changed with the officiating of Dwight Howard.
-Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes the NBA’s award system needs an overhaul after two voters did not place Dwight Howard first in their Defensive Player of the Year ballots. It sounds like homerism, but something is clearly up with the voting system.
-Marcin Gortat had a down season this year after Orlando matched a five-year, $34 million offer sheet from Dallas this offseason. But that insurance plan has paid its dividends with Dwight Howard in foul trouble so far this postseason, writes Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel.
-Stan Van Gundy and Matt Barnes were fined $35,000 each for publicly criticizing the officials after Game Two. Van Gundy also offers his opinions on Michael Jordan to Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel.