Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Detroit Watches As Orlando Eliminates Themselves

For the most part, the Orlando Magic did not look like they really wanted to win Game 5 against the Detroit Pistons last night. Sure, they held a 9 point lead heading into the fourth quarter and had battled back after falling behind several times, but they always countered those positives with bonehead plays. Take these two statistics for example:

21 turnovers. 16-28(57.1%) free throw shooting.

Alone, those are pretty horrendous numbers. When you compare them against Detroit's they look even worse.

3 turnovers. 28-32(87.5%) free throw shooting.

The worst part is that Detroit didn't shoot the ball extremely well, 36.1% field goal percentage(Orlando shot 48.4%), and they were significantly less accurate behind the three point line than Orlando, 21.4% versus 36.4%. Many times the Pistons didn't even have to play tough defense against Orlando because the Magic were content to move the ball across halfcourt then fire it out of bounds. And it seemed only fitting that Hedo Turkoglu, one of the most careless ballhandlers of the night, would get blocked in posterizing fashion as he drove the lane for a dunk in the waning seconds. Yeah, that's a great way to end the season. You're only going to see that replayed about a billion times.

In the end, Coach Van Gundy was right when he told the team at halftime that they were beating themselves. They couldn't make the easiest shot on the court(they're free!), and refused to protect the ball. Honestly, Detroit probably could have missed the entire game, and Orlando still would have found a way to hand them the game and ultimately the series.

No comments: