Friday, January 30, 2009

Playoff Basketball

Music Mondays is a perfect 100% when it comes to your Orlando Magic. This weeks selection was "Let's Get Physical", and get physical is just what Orlando did against LeBron James and the rest of the Cavs team. Judging by their loss of composure in the third quarter, I would say they didn't like it very much.

It was a beautiful sight to behold, watching our Magic men get physical, watching them play playoff basketball in a big game, instead of watching it get played against them. Boston came in and played a very physical game, and Orlando's response was to complain. It took the Magic out of their game and got them into a Boston style game that the Celtics easily won. Lesson learned?

A lot of people (who don't watch the Magic play), think of Orlando as nothing more than a 3 point shooting team. "Live by the three, die by the three", and "Jump shooting teams don't win in the playoffs" are the rally calls of opposing fans and talking heads in the media that seek to discredit the Magic. Now that he has witnessed the Magic play first hand, at least one of those talking heads is starting to see what we Magic faithful have known for quite some time. Hollinger has a great article about the real Orlando Magic, and how they really win games. Last night was a beautiful example. It was well into the third quarter before Orlando's three point shooting surpassed the 30% mark. Dwight and company already had a 6 point lead by that time. Once the threes started falling in the fourth, Orlando pulled away easily. How did they do it? Defense. You know, that thing that Cleveland and Boston get credit for, but Orlando doesn't get mentioned. Keeping James out of the paint (after rolling out the red carpet for him in the first), and off the free throw line.

A lot of the defensive assignment in the second half fell upon rookie Courtney Lee. You know, that skinny kid Orlando picked up in the draft. He has to be giving up around 100 pounds to King James. He managed to keep LeBron out of the paint and content to shoot jumpers for most of the second half. It wasn't just CLee though, Pietrus took his turns (getting a steal and an assist to a streaking Hedo in the process), even Lewis guarded him at times.

The Magic played their style of basketball, with playoff intensity, and it paid off. LeBron seems to be getting a little more accustomed to getting the calls than I would like to see, if I were a Cavs fan. Speaking of Cavs fans, I read a lot of complaints this morning about LeBron not getting calls and getting hacked in the paint. I don't think any of them have watched Dwight play very often, or they wouldn't be complaining.

Parting thoughts...

Lots of Cleveland fans in the house last night. Somehow the seats next to mine always seem to be filled with opposing team fans for big games. In the past month, I've had to sit beside fans of the Lakers, Spurs, Celtics, Cavs, and had an obnoxious Wizards fan behind us. Come on Orlando, lets fill this place with Magic fans!

Every month I keep track of the Magic wins and losses on an Orlando Magic calendar. I put a big blue "W" or "L" for the day, depending on the outcome of the game. It's nice when people who don't follow the Magic faithfully see it on the wall and remark on how many wins the Magic have. Orlando has not lost more than three games in any month so far this season.

Watching LeBron argue with a ref after a missed shot and no foul call, I asked the person next to me what he could possibly be saying to the ref. This was her reply:
(said in a horrible imitation of Dave Chappelle) "I'm King James, bitch!"

ESPN's coverage Video
Magic give King James and the Cavs a royal whoopin' - Orlando Sentinel
GM Otis Smith's faith in Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson pays off - Orlando Sentinel
A closer look at Magic vs. Cavs - Orlando Sentinel
Star-crossed Cavaliers get drubbed after snub - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Orlando too much for Cavaliers - Florida Today
Star-Studded Magic Top Cleveland - Lakeland Ledger


  1. earned your ego, Paul.
    The OCTB also does the "W" and "L" on a Magic calendar each season and has so since time began, or at least since the deep fat fryer was invented. I still have the magical calendars from the 94-96 seasons.

  2. I was going to have you last night OCTB, but your line was wwaaaaayyyy too long. I had the OCHD (O-Rena Crappy Hot Dog) instead. Please forgive me.

  3. Ahhh... Man. I can't believe I left that out of the blog!!! I started off the fantastic evening with a hot little OCTB sitting in my lap. Only problem was, I mistakenly ordered Blue Cheese for my friends, instead of Ranch! What a lovely mistress, that OCTB. She never does me wrong.

  4. I love seeing another team crying to the refs!! The more aggressive team get the calls and LBJ decides to settle for jumpers.

    OCTB needs to have a sit down with his servers, they tried to short me with only two small tenders. I had to send it back for more...don't try and short my OCTB.

  5. Jamal Mashburn is the only ESPN "basketball annalists" I despise more than Avery Johnson. Way to just say the same thing everyone else says without even a semblance of opinion behind it.

  6. did Mashburn say that the magic is not Howard, its Hedo or Lewis?


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Credit "Sebi" from the Orlando Magic Message board for the title graphic.

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