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NBA Finals Game 4

Los Angeles Lakers @ Orlando Magic

 

Coming into game three many people had counted out the Orlando Magic in this series due to their defensive struggles against the Los Angeles Lakers, but in game four of the NBA Finals the tables turned as the Magic were able to hold off Kobe Bryant and company to get their first win of the series and stay alive.

In the beginning of game three it looked like it was Kobe time again much like in game one, but as the game went on Kobe’s production fell off, especially at the free throw line where is usually a sure thing. As a result of Kobe’s poor shooting night at the charity stripe (5 of 10) the Lakers lost a game that would have almost certainly wrapped up the series and Kobe’s fourth NBA title.

 

NBA Finals Game 4: Los Angeles Lakers @ Orlando Magic

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The Orlando Magic weren’t incredibly impressive in game three, neither were the Los Angeles Lakers for that matter, but the guard play of the Magic was definitely much improved lead by Rafer Alston who hit big shots all night long.

The biggest problem the Lakers have had in the playoffs so far this time around has been their lack of consistently good guard play from Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar. Shannon Brown has been great in his limited time on the floor, but until this series with the Magic D-Fish has basically been non existent.

First it was Deron Williams with the Utah Jazz in the first round that the Lakers had to deal with then it was the up and coming Aaron Brooks of the Houston Rockets, who was the backup of Rafer Alston before the trade. Then in the Western Conference finals against the Denver Nuggets the Lakers were challenged yet again at the point guard position going up against one of the best point guards in the league in Chauncey Billups.

Now that the Lakers have made it to the NBA Finals the guard play hasn’t been a problem, at least not in the first two games of the series, Derek Fisher has stepped it up and the Lakers have been able to keep both Rafer Alston and Jameer Nelson relatively in check. Fisher still had a solid performance in game four with some key shots, but Rafer kind of had his way on offense against the veteran Fisher.

Game four Magic point guard Rafer Alston decided to finally turn it on as he posed same problems for the Lakers that they had in the last few series against the Jazz, Rockets and Nuggets. In a way I believe it is a fluke and Alston won’t be able repeat his performance, but if the Magic finally realized it is the guard play that needs to improve and not Dwight Howard’s dominance in the paint the Lakers could be in trouble.

The Magic may have won game three, but I still think the Lakers will win it all in five or six games. Orlando did put up a better fight in game three, but they were definitely still out matched against Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant. Trevor Ariza also stepped it up with some big threes to keep the Lakers in game.

Game four will go to the Lakers as they will go up 3-1 in the series and be one step closer to winning another NBA title.


 

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