Friday, June 12, 2009

Swish! Lakers Go Up 3-1 On Orlando!

Thanks to Derek Fisher (again) the Lakers were able to pull off one hell of a comeback against the Orlando Magic. This game will probably be remembered just as much as an Orlando choke as a Laker comeback thanks to poor free throw shooting and turnovers by the Magic. Add a couple of coaching goofs by Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy and the Lakers came back from a twelve point half time deficit to win in overtime.

In the after-game press conference Van Gundy was a little testy and for good reason. As usual, the sports reporters asked some of the dumbest questions imaginable. I love Van Gundy's candor and intolerance for stupid reporters. He was the first to admit he made a coaching mistake by NOT fouling with eleven seconds to go. Phil Jackson also made a mistake by having the Lakers inbound at full-court rather than half-court on the last Laker possession in regulation. Phil was confused about the Magic foul situation and thought Orlando had a foul to give. In the end it turned out to work to the Lakers advantage.

After the final inbound in regulation for the Lakers, Derek Fisher did what he's been known to do in the past - he hit a clutch three-point shot to tie the game. Orlando had time enough to win it on their last play but couldn't get the job done. This scenario was set up by Dwight Howard missing two critical free throws in regulation that could have sealed the game up for the Magic. In overtime the Lakers were tough and escaped with a 99-91 win in a game they should have lost.

In retrospect Van Gundy said "this one will haunt me forever". All I can say to Van Gundy is welcome to the Ghost House. There are games and plays from Laker playoffs past I will never get over. Now it's on to Sunday's game and we'll see if this broke the back of the Orlando Magic. This was a heart breaker if you root for the Magic.

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