Two games have passed in the NBA Finals and the L.A. Lakers are up 2-0 over the Orlando Magic. The runaway freight train from Central Florida came to a halt in Game 1′s 25-point loss, while gaining a bit of steam in a close OT loss last night. Some have already counted the Magic out and expect a clean sweep by the Lakers.
Well, it certainly looks like it thus far, even with the close game that Orlando lost in overtime. But the question that comes up is the mindset of the Magic. Not mentally but more so their game play, which if you haven’t noticed, is offensive. They’re a shooting team, first and foremost, live and die by the 3, and rely on that to get them either back in games or to win ‘em. They’ve been on fire in their series wins over the Sixers, Celtics, and Cavaliers, but they seem to have lost their swagger since meeting the Lakers in the Finals.
Their field goal percentage is significantly down, not to mention their 3-point shooting. They’re not running and gunning like they have in past series. They just don’t look like the same team that we’ve enjoyed throughout these playoffs. I wonder, are they finally suffering from the latter of the aforementioned phrase:
Live and Die by the 3
Can that type of mindset, though has gotten them deep into the playoffs, win them a title? Many have said that it’s defense that wins championships and the Lakers are trying to make that come true. They’ve tightened up their D from past series and are clamping down on the Magic; not only on their 3-point shooting but on Dwight Howard as well, as he only has ONE dunk in the first two games of the Finals.
What’s your take? Do you think the Magic have just lost steam? Or have they finally met their match, defensively?