Lakers vs. Magics : Shocks ad Upsets

June 12th, 2009 - 4:57 pm ICT by GD  

The Orlando Magic went into their game four of the NBA Playoffs determined to stand against the almighty Lakers, but the result of a very close (99-91) game ended in the loss of a game many feel they should have won. Their star center Dwight ‘Superman’ Howard played a precise game with 16 points, 21 rebounds and nine blocks in Game Four of the NBA finals. But his missing two crucial free-throws at a point when they were holding the lead 87-84, certainly did nothing to increase the chances of the Magics taking this game. But that seemed to be the trend with the Orlando players, with even Hedo Turkoglu, who is an 80 percent free-throw shooter this season, missing four in the final quarter, including three in the final five minutes.

Another bizarre twist in the game was Coach Stan van Gundy’s decision to replace his starting point guard Rafer Alston for the last critical eighteen minutes with Jameer Nelson, who is recovering from a serious shoulder injury. This is even more strange in the light of Van Gundy’s earlier admission that he had made a mistake in using Nelson in the first game. There is speculation that there might be some disagreement between Van Gundy and Alston, but that has been categorically denied by both. It can however be observed that the Magics coach has been fumbling with decisions regarding his point guard throughout this season.

Having ended the game with 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting and 2 assists in 27 minutes, Alston seems baffled by his coach’s decision. “I don’t have an explanation,” said Alston, “I wasn’t hurt. I was ready to go. I tried to stay ready. I sat there with about nine heat packs on me, but they all got cold. I was shocked, but that’s the way the ball bounces.

“We were right there to win it, whether I was on the floor or not. We just didn’t come through.” said Alston regretfully.

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