The Los Angeles Lakers have the Orlando Magic on the brink. They’re a resilient team that will put up a fight but their backs are against the wall. Isn’t it ironic that the Magic shot lights out in game 3 but the Lakers are about to make them disappear?
It has been said numerous times that it isn’t a series until the home team loses; as we all know that happened in game four in dramatic fashion with Derek Fisher adding to his Laker legend by knocking down two huge three point shots. One shot to put the team in overtime and another to win the game.
The Lakers have fought all season to get back into position to play for a championship and that dream is 48 minutes away from being realized. Los Angeles is one inevitable victory away from Coach Phil Jackson earning his 10th ring, Kobe & Derek’s 4th ring and the Lakers franchise winning their 15 championship.
Los Angeles has placed their experience, hunger, desire and will to win on display the entire series.
The Finals have been both exciting and dramatic with big plays being made by Kobe and other Lakers a true team effort. To be honest, if it wasn’t for some missed free throws and a few turnovers down the stretch in game three this series would’ve ended in a Lakers sweep.
The Lakers know exactly what has to be done and what is at stake, they’ve worked toward this for over a year. In my opinion, you’ll see a focused team in Game 5 that will execute down the stretch.
Kobe Bryant a.k.a. the Black Mamba will be on the attack he will set the tone early and the rest of the team will follow. He will play the role of facilitator early and the role of closer late.
The Lakers defense will again play a key role in this game. The Lakers forced the Magic into shooting 33% from behind the arc and 17 turnovers. Dwight Howard helped to seal their own fate by missing 2 huge free throws late and the team a total of 15.
The close out game is always the toughest game to win but the Los Angeles Lakers are ready and committed to do what it takes to win.
The Lakers will achieve their goal of winning this game but in the process a few things have to happen. 1) Pau Gasol needs more touches in scoring position 2) the front line, as a group, needs to be more aggressive and attack the basket 3) the Lakers as a team need to play defense without fouling. Orlando is going to attempt to speed up the action and get out in transition.
Two items stand out in importance the Lakers defending their nemesis the screen and roll play and stopping the dribble penetration. Orlando used the play to get whatever they wanted in the first half of game four until Los Angeles increased their defensive effort and on the ball pressure in the third quarter. The Lakers did a good job of crowding the lane which was good and lost in the game four win was the best defensive effort by Andrew Bynum of the series.
The Lakers appeared to have figured out that they way the team responded to a 12-point defecit in the third quarter of game four is the way that they need to play all of game five. That will take the crowd out of the game, put the Orlando Magic out of their misery and move the Laker Nation to applause.
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: ABC
- Orlando: ABC
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Orlando: Newstalk AM 580 WDBO (Dennis Newman & Richie Adubato)
- None to report.
- None to report.