Jun 10, 2009

Game 3

After a defeat, there are usually a number of places to point the blame: effort, shooting, turnovers, free throws. While the Lakers did commit some crucial turnovers and miss a lot of free throws, those factors seem to not be cause for concern.

Overall the team played well. Kobe was hot early, Pau was nearly unstoppable, players hit some outside shots. Its just hard to win when the other team has such a great shooting night - NBA finals record 62.5%. Still, the Lakers were down by two with the ball, ready to tie or take the lead with The Closer leading the way. Kobe made another poor attempt to split the pick and roll defense, as he's done several times in the playoffs in crunch time (I can remember Denver), and lost the ball. Gasol was on the floor to grab it, but didn't call a time out and tried to pass it out to Kobe, leading to a Pietrus steal. Even after a scorching shootfest by the Magic, we had a chance at the end. I can live with that.

The other side of the argument then becomes: was it the Lakers defense, or the Magic offense? Players always say its a combination of both, which is such a simple answer because it obviously HAS to be a combination of both. Personally, I don't think Rafer goes 8-12 again. Give him the open three, he's much better when a defender runs to challenge his shot so he can move to the basket. Box out: if Pietrus didn't get that put back at the end, we're in much better shape.

Overall, I can't find much fault with our performance. If we fix a few little things, we're in good shape.

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