Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Orlando Game 5 thoughts

This one reminded you of Denver Game 5, didn't it? For all of this team's flightiness at various times in this run, once they got a whiff of the title they took care of business in emphatic fashion.

First quarter:
* Orlando blows a 3 on 1 fast break, but they still lead 9-6 early on as they are playing with some desperation.

* Bynum is 0/6, although a couple of those are missed tips and a couple have rimmed out it's still striking; 11-6 Orlando.

* The Earvins are on an 8-0 run to stretch their early lead out to 15-6, and Kobe aggravated his finger to force the Lakers into a timeout. We've seen this before, I think it is just contact pain that will go away pretty quickly.

* Bynum with a putback and-1, 15-8 after he misses the freebie.

* Orlando leads 17-8 and each of their starters has scored and assisted already, that's amazing balance. They are usually such a poor passing team that thier ball movement really stands out so far.

* Kobe walks into a 3 that cuts it to 19-15.

* Deja vu, they are 10/11 on 2 point shots and lead 21-15.

* Pau gets a putback off the Lakers' 6th offensive rebound to cut it to 25-22, and we have officially weathered the early storm.

* Rafer picks up his 2nd foul at 1:40, but was probably about to sit anyway. Kobe makes the pair to make it 25-24.

* They lead 28-26 at the end of 1, but I like our position. If we hang around a run will come and their mettle will be tested, in combination with our reaching for the prize.

LA has a 9-5 FT edge (!!!) for +3 points. And 1-0 made 3 for another +3. Orlando is 12/25 including 0/6 from 3, but in a switch the Lakers are 4-1 turning the ball over. Orlando is up 20-12 in the paint, that needs to change.

Second quarter:
* I did not realize that this was Phil's 300th playoff game. That's more than 25 of the other 29 franchises according to ABC/ESPN.

* Howard with the and-one, he misses the FT but puts them up 34-28.

* Lamar with a spectacular reverse and-one of his own, and he makes his to cut it to 34-31.

* Neither team is playing much defense right now as Orlando leads 40-36.

* Fish hits a 3 to get it back to one at 40-39.

* 5:28 to play and our entire front line has two fouls. And this is an improvement from the last game!

* Trevor hits a triple to give LA their first lead at 42-40.

* Kobe extends the run to 8-0 and 16-6 with a deuce; 44-40.

* Another 3 from Ariza and it's 47-40 on the 11-0 run. If there's a sound of silence, you can hear it in the O-rena right now.

* Fish pump fakes to open a lane to the basket and lays it in, 49-40.

* Trevor with a steal and Hedo fouls him on the break. He splits them and it's 50-40 on a 14-0 run.

* Trevor steals it again, leading to a break that is kind of ugly but Lamar finishes it anyway. 16-0 run, 52-40 lead, and their season is looking close to done.

* Rafer finally ends the run with a layup after getting switched with Lamar guarding him, 52-42.

* Lewis hits Orlando's first 3 pointer of the game, they had been 0/7. Some life at 54-46, we need to finish the quarter here.

* Lamar picks up his 3rd, a charge into Gortat at 56.7.

* Farmar hits a banker late to get it back to 10 at the half, 56-46. I think they will have a very tough time climbing out of this hole, the Lakers look like a team that is ready to claim their destiny after a 30-18 quarter.

LA is still up on FT, 12-8 (+4 points), just incredible given what we have seen in this series and the last. Also a 5-1 edge on made 3's (+12 points), as we have gradually shut down that weapon as this series has progressed, a familiarity thing that illustrates why regular season games are so different from playoff series.

Ariza has 12 on 4/6, 11 of them in the 2nd as he sparked the rally that has us in position.

Third quarter:
* Bynum picks up his 3rd at 11:15.

* And his 4th at 8:49, time to sit.

* Lee has 12 on 5/10 shooting as Orlando cuts it to 58-50.

* The Lakers are sputtering, 2 points on 1/5 shooting with 2 turnovers as we reach 4 minutes into the quarter.

* Rafer hits a 3 to get it to 58-53, closest they've been since early in The Run. But Lamar comes right back at the other end, hitting a left corner 3 to get it right back to 61-53.

* Howard picks up his 3rd, dipping a shoulder into Pau for a pretty obvious charge.

* Lamar hits another 3 from the same spot, and we have separation at 64-53. That has to be demoralizing for Orlando, cutting it to 5 and getting the crowd back into it only to see the air sucked out of the building as it goes back to 11 in the blink of an eye.

This is looking like a championship performance.

* Fish nails a J to give us our biggest lead at 68-55.

* Pau with his 4th block, with Kobe also at 4. Length kills.

* Pau draws Howard's 4th at 4:20, splitting the FT to make it 69-55.

* Kobe weaves through the defense on a drive to earn a trip tot he line, where he hits a pair to make it 71-55.

* Fish picks up his 4th at 2:39, but right now that only concerns he because I want him on the floor as the final horn sounds.

* With Howard back into the game with his 4 fouls, the Lakers smartly run a clearout for Pau to go to work, he takes Howard and draws his 5th with 1:14 left.

* Lamar draws his 4th, a charge over Gortat with 29.4 to play. See the Fisher comment above.

* 76-61 at the end of 3. Orlando went 5/18 in the quarter, as the Laker defense is just swarming since the mid 2nd.

LA is still up in FT, 18-14 (+4 points). And we have totally eliminated their 3 point game, up 7-2 for +15 points. LA is outshooting them by a 48%-39% margin.

Basically the Lakers have figured them out on both ends and have total control at this point. I'm not sure Orlando would win another game if we played an extra week at this point.

Fourth quarter:
* Pau starts the quarter with a deuce, 78-61. But Redick comes right back with a trey, 78-64.

* Now Jameer hits a triple to cut it to 80-67, still plenty of time.

* But Kobe gives it right back with a dagger 3 on the other end, 83-67 with 8:13 to play and that will just about do it.

* An alley oop to Trevor makes it 85-67 with a little over 7 minutes left in the season.

* Mostly garbage time, but Orlando has hit six 3's in the quarter, a testament to them not quitting and an indictment of our backing off on defense, not that I am as intense either at this point...from the Kobe 3 that made it 16 I've just been savoring this.

* 99-86 is the Final, and Phil appropriately got he championship lineup (Fish, Kobe, Trevor, Lamar and Pau) back on court together for the end.

16 titles, and I have popped the cork on my champagne.

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