The 2009 NBA Finals is nearing the end and the Orlando Magic need a little luck and a whole lot of perseverance to beat the talented Los Angeles Lakers. The Magic were supposed to win all three of their home games to try and stretch this finals series to seven games, but that didn’t happen. Kobe Bryant’s Lakers appear to be too deep and talented to be stopped by any other team in the league.
But wait just a second. Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic can still win this series. But to do so they have to look long and hard at their weaknesses and determine why they lost their games to the Lakers and prevent that from happening again. Come on Magic, we know you can do it.
Game Three of the 2009 NBA Finals
By game three, the Lakers had won the first two games of the series and it was time for the Magic to get into the win column. The Orland Magic did win game three of the Finals. It was a close game, in fact, and Kobe Bryant almost found a win to in it during the very last second when he stopped the game clock with less than a second to spare.
The Magic won for a number of reasons but two statistics stood out: steals and turnovers. In game three the Magic had the same number of turnovers as did the Lakers, thirteen, and had more steals than the Lakers, seven to six. This is how the Magic won, by beating the Lakers in the area of steals and turnovers.
Game Four and Game Two of the 2009 NBA Finals
In game four, the Magic lost to the Lakers. Again we have to look at the reasons why they lost and why the Lakers won. The numbers don’t lie. The Magic had 17 turnovers compared to only seven for the Lakers, and the Magic had only four steals compared to eight steals by the Lakers. Like game four, game two of the 2009 NBA Finals showed the same pattern when the Lakers win. In this game the Lakers showed clear and decisive advantages in the categories of more steals and fewer turnovers.
The Magic Must Control the Ball
The statistics of turnovers and steals are clearly connected because they both indicate a team’s ability or lack of ability to control the ball when they have possession and to gain extra possessions from the opposing team. Each possession and each extra possession are valuable because both lead to scoring opportunities. Although other things like scoring and rebounding are absolutely important in every game, steals and turnovers are what lead to upsets. Come on, Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard, find a way to reduce your turnovers and prevent the Lakers from getting unnecessary steals.
Game 4 Box Score , 2009 NBA Finals, ESPN
Game 3 Box Score , 2009 NBA Finals, ESPN
Game 2 Box Score, 2009 NBA Finals, ESPN