1. Efense- No, not a typo. We figured if the Magic were going to forget the D then so could we. The Lakers are a great team that executed well, but allowing better than 53% from the field and 117 points is unacceptable on your home court. Even if many of the questionable calls weren’t going your way.
Normally we can find many more items that went wrong after a loss than went right, but this wasn’t the case for the Lakers-Magic game Friday night. Orlando played well, but they didn’t get a few bounces of the ball, and Los Angeles made just a few more plays down the stretch. Add in an extremely questionable no-call on a potential game-tying three point shot and the Magic have their second home loss in three games. Overall it was a truly entertaining game and although the Magic have a few things to work on, they played hard for 48 minutes and their effort would’ve been enough to win on most nights.
2. Rebounding- The smaller Lakers outrebounded the Magic 40-35, including 8 offensive boards that led to 11 second chance points.
3. Slow rotation defensively- Orlando was forced to double team Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol for much of the night and were slow defensively on the kick-outs which led to open three point shots. The Lakers hit 10 of 20 three’s for 50%, considerably better than their season average of 37%.
4. Foul trouble for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu- Orlando’s two best players were in foul trouble for much of the game, which kept their minutes down (29 and 33 minutes respectively), and sparked a 24-14 Los Angeles run right before the half to take a one point lead.
5. Hedo had an off night. After playing the best basketball of his career over the last two weeks, Hedo Turkoglu has fizzled during the Magic’s home stand. Turkoglu went 5-13 from the field on Friday night, and has hit just 16 of 40 field goals in Orlando’s last three home games. Turkoglu took some bad shots Friday night, and couldn’t finish plays during crunch time, which has been atypical of his play this year.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of MagicIllustrated.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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