FanDuel - WFBC

May 30, 2009

Orlando Magic Reach NBA Finals: The Orlando Magic defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game 6 rout, 103-90, to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995. Dwight Howard was unstoppable inside, scoring 40 points, while league MVP LeBron James scored 25.

posted by rcade to basketball at 11:32 PM - 20 comments

Due credit, Gina Marie Incandela did her part. Again. See also.

posted by geekyguy at 12:06 AM on May 31

As much credit as a 7-year-old deserves, the Magic were, by far, the much better TEAM in this series. The Cavs had absolutely no answer for Dwight Howard, which isn't really unheard of for any opponent of the Magic, but points out one of the major weaknesses in Cleveland's game.

I'm sure the league is a bit disappointed it won't have the much-anticipated Kobe-LeBron matchup in the finals, and I will definitely miss watching James come down the court in the second half and heave up a shot every time. Seriously, though, Dwight Howard takes a backseat to no player, and hopefully they play well against the Lakers.

posted by dyams at 08:08 AM on May 31

Disney World vs. Disneyland.

Anyone who views this as a Cleveland choke job is wrong. Orlando's just a strong team the Cavs don't match up well against. If Dwight Howard gets 40 touches in the paint and is making his free throws, there could be two LeBron James on the Cavaliers and it would still be a tough game for them to win.

Stan Van Gundy has done an unbelievable coaching job in Orlando. It's ironic he's only coaching the team because Billy Donovan backed out and made Orlando look foolish a few years ago.

He might want to consider lozenges, however. Fisherman's Friend, Luden's, something.

posted by rcade at 09:51 AM on May 31

Does this mean I don't have to watch those dumb puppet commercials any more?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:19 AM on May 31

Wow, yeah, Stan VG is going to have to join a Rod Stewart tribute band if this hoops thing doesn't work out - that post-game voice of his is too much.

Dwight Howard needs to show up big time for every game for the Magic to prevail. In the past, there have been key paint men who played very well in just some of their playoff games, and their teams went down, usually in six. People's exhibits A-C: Darryl Dawkins, Kevin Duckworth, Artis Gilmore. Those guys were usually good for two terrific games out of the six.

I just want to see Gasol try to match up physically with Howard. I've been ragging about Gasol, but he has been playing well - credit where credit is due.

Gasol's game is still too moppy floppy to go up against Super Shoulders though.

Is it too early to talk about an Auerbach curse? As in, no coach will ever win more than 9 titles. Something for Zen Phil to think about. He has gotten hurt bad trying to get his tenth for sure.

posted by beaverboard at 12:14 PM on May 31

I just want to see Gasol try to match up physically with Howard. I've been ragging about Gasol, but he has been playing well - credit where credit is due.

Don't you think they'll match Bynum up against Howard...until he fouls out anyway.

I don't think Gasol can match up with Howard one on one. But then again, who can? I still think the Lakers will win in 6 (I'd say five, but for this ridiculous 2-3-2 schedule in the finals).

posted by cjets at 01:25 PM on May 31

Sounds like everyone is pretty much in agreement that Orlando was the better team, despite LeBron being the best player on the floor. I think Lakers will have the same match-up problems that Cleveland suffered. Neither Bynum nor Gasol will be able to handle Howard one-on-one. If Orlando can continue to hit open 3-pointers whenever Howard is doubled, LA could be in trouble. In both the Boston and the Cleveland series, Van Gundy showed that he was able to put together a defensive game plan that worked, and I expect the same against LA. Danny Ainge is packing up a couple of Leprechauns to be turned loose on the Lakers just so Phil Jackson does not beat Red Auerbach's record. Of course, it's a bit disrespectful of me to mention that Auerbach's record was accomplished with one team.

posted by Howard_T at 10:27 PM on May 31

I'm probably wrong, but I think that the lakers will match up a lot better than the Cavs because, unlike the Cavs, the Lakers have a couple of big men that will be able to help in the paint. You won't be able to stop Howard, but maybe it will help that the Lakers have big men that will be able to a produce some offense. Thats something that the Cavs lacked, a big guy that can score.

posted by sgtcookzane at 12:02 AM on June 01

Is it too early to talk about an Auerbach curse? As in, no coach will ever win more than 9 titles. Something for Zen Phil to think about

Considering that Phil is the only coach to match Red Auerbach's 9 rings, I think Phil has the pedigree and team to win a few more if he decides to keep coaching.

posted by BornIcon at 08:34 AM on June 01

The other difference with the Lakers is they have guys who play closer to the basket to put Howard in foul trouble. The magic had the most problems when he was in foul trouble...If Kobe/Gasol/Bynum play hard to the net like LBJ, the Lakers could force Howard to sit on the bench too much.

posted by jmd82 at 10:55 AM on June 01

there could be two LeBron James on the Cavaliers

Woah, that just blew my mind. No, I believe a team with two LBJs would not have a problem with the Magic.

Well I'm still a little shocked that the Magic dominated this series. Cleveland looked, to me, like the best team in the league one week and then they can't score or defend the next. Orlando does match up well but where did Lebron's help go? Other than game 5 that whole squad, sans James, just looked inept. I have to imagine that this series made it more likely that James could go elsewhere(The Bucks, maybe?) when his contract is up.

posted by tron7 at 11:34 AM on June 01

Woah, that just blew my mind. No, I believe a team with two LBJs would not have a problem with the Magic.

LeBron would eat into LeBron's touches.

posted by rcade at 02:44 PM on June 01

Yeah, they would probably have to trade one of them.

posted by tron7 at 03:45 PM on June 01

Considering that Phil is the only coach to match Red Auerbach's 9 rings, I think Phil has the pedigree and team to win a few more if he decides to keep coaching.

Right!...of course Phil will!...especially as long as he aligns himself with teams that have superior talent! Okay...he did win nine titles (with three Trays at that!),,,but, with two of the most talent laden teams there has ever been! Hell, BornIcon....I think you or I could have won a couple of titles with those teams! (Okay....Red had a few HOF'ers on his teams as well but, it was a different era!)

posted by R_A_Mason at 10:49 PM on June 01

I got curious about R_A_M's closing comment that Red had a few HOF'ers. The 58-59 Celtics that started the dynasty had 7 of 11 players enter the HOF. The 68-69 Celtics that ended the dynasty had 4 of 11 players enter the HOF (2 of those played through the whole dynasty from the 58-59 team).

So, yeah, just a few HOF'ers :)

posted by kokaku at 06:58 AM on June 02

I admire Phil for winning three titles with Cartwright and three with Longley, and if he wins one with Gasol, that will almost be right up there with those other two.

posted by beaverboard at 07:38 AM on June 02

Right!...of course Phil will!...especially as long as he aligns himself with teams that have superior talent!....(Okay....Red had a few HOF'ers on his teams as well but, it was a different era!)

Riiiiiiiiight! So if Red has a "few HOF'ers" on his team to have helped him win those 9 titles, it's because it was a "different era", well Phil won 9 titles in a "different era" than Red's. What's your point?

If your only argument is that Red coached in a "different era" than Phil's or that Phil "aligns himself with teams that have superior talent", well so did Red. Do you recall a guy by the name of Bill Russell that played for the Celtics during Red's championship years?

posted by BornIcon at 07:50 AM on June 02

Yeah Red coached in a different era. That is why Jackson's accomplishment is even more astounding. He is coaching in the era of free agency. Much more difficult to keep a championship team on top as most players jump ship for bigger contracts once a title is under their belt.

But then again when his teams begin their decline, Jackson is a free agent coach that can pick and choose where he goes also. I doubt after his Chicago experience he could have been lured to a team that did not have immediate championship potential.

posted by Atheist at 03:50 PM on June 03

Whoops!...Started a bit of debate..didn't I? I really don't want to diminish Phil's accomplishment but, forget the free agency stuff! Because of the "Larry Bird" rule, the NBA salary cap was an utter and complete joke as a team can pay whatever it wants for a top player so, the jumping ship argument doesn't really hold water. The point I was trying to make (poorly I might add!), was voiced by Atheist in that Jackson didn't exactly go from the Bulls to the Clippers and make them champions, did he? Now Kokaku and BornIcon, well...You two slayed my ass a bit and I must humble myself at your wisdom but Born....I don't think the Celtics would have won all those titles with Just Russell (See kokaku), he had some pretty talented team mates around him, didn't he? If individual talent or domination really meant something, than why did Camberlain win year after year?....I seem to reacall he had some pretty good years as well.

posted by R_A_Mason at 11:10 PM on June 03

Should have been....Why DIDN'T Chamberlain win year after year?....My bad

posted by R_A_Mason at 10:47 PM on June 04

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