No More “Stupidness” in Game 5

There are so many questions the Magic and their fans have been asking since the conclusion of game 4. Why was Jameer Nelson in? Where was Rafer Alston? Why, after showing some much improvement was Howard so awful from the line? How does Turk miss 4 of 7 free throws? How do you let Fisher get that open for the two biggest shots of the game? I think the biggest question to ask Magic coach Stan Van Gundy today is why he didn’t foul before Fisher had a chance to attempt the first three? Sure, the Magic would have been fouled and had to attempt two free throws, but they could have made sure the ball was inbounded to Lewis, Pietrus, or Nelson. Hedo Tukoglu coined the game 4 tactics as “stupidness.”

A foul here assures the Lakers that they would have to wait at least one possession to attempt to tie the game and would have much less time to get off a shot. The Magic could have even found a man to dribble around and run a few more seconds off before they were even fouled, making a Laker comeback practically impossible. Even Lakers coach Phil Jackson agrees that fouling is the right idea. On the other hand, when asked about fouling, Van Gundy claimed that he would do the exact same thing again.
The Magic are one missed layup and one free throw away from a 3-1 series lead and would be attempting to close out the Lakers tonight. Instead they are down 3-1 and on the brink of elimination and must win three straight games (two in LA) to win the championship. If the Magic are going to stage a historic comeback, it must start tonight.
There are several things that Magic must do.
–Play defense like they did in the first half on Thursday. They were awesome, holding LA to just 37 points.
–Feed the beast. Dwight Howard must get the ball early and often. He needs to turn out much higher point totals. We know he is capable – he dropped 40 on Cleveland in game 6.
–Play Skip To My Lou! Rafer Alston was awesome in game 3 and looked good in the first half Thursday before disappearing in the 4th quarter and overtime. If you’re going to start him, play him.
–Ditto for Courtney Lee.
–Pietrus must continue his hot shooting and admiral defense of superstars (Lebron James, Kobe Bryant). No one can stop Kobe, but Pietrus has done a very good job.
–Avoid Turnovers! The Magic had 19 turnovers Thursday. They need to make crisp passes and Dwight can’t put the ball on the floor so much.
–MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS! This one is pretty self-explanatory.