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NBA / May 24, 2010 / 3:30 pm

What Orlando Must Do To Win Game 4 Tonight

Okay, so Bodog put the Magic at +7 tonight. I wouldn’t take it either with the way the Celts have been playing. Still though, I just can’t see the Magic getting swept. How can a team that won eight straight lose the next four? Truthfully, this would be a bigger collapse than the 2007 Mavericks. Orlando is just too good to lose like this. We keep waiting for Stan Van Gundy to adjust but even if he has tried to, he just has no answer for Rondo and cannot find a way to get Rashard Lewis going. But here are three reasons why Orlando will be returning home for a Game 5.

Key #1: Twin Towers 3.0
First of all, can we get retire the term “the Twin Towers” already? How can any 7-footer combo outlive the World Trade Center? At the very least, how can anyone top Sampson-Olajuwon or Duncan-Robinson? Okay, Sampson-Olajuwon wasn’t that special. Still, Howard-Gortat is a force to be reckoned with and have proven to be successful when given the opportunity to play together. At home against Boston in a late January matchup, the Magic paired Howard with Gortat down the stretch and outscoring the Celtics 35-22 in the fourth quarter, the Magic won 96-94. Boston just couldn’t score against two 7-footers, and besides hitting a go ahead 17-footer with 4:52 remaining, Gortat even threw Howard a nice alley-oop. After the game, Gortat had this to say: “Defensively, I think we are killing them. There’s no way they can stop us defensively with two big men like that.” Why the Magic haven’t played this duo more is mind-boggling. Depending on the rest of the defensive matchups that remain, Rashard, Vince, Matt Barnes, Redick, and Pietrus could fill the 2 and 3 spots. I think that SVG will finally understand that Gortat in the lineup means that Howard is double-teamed less and that Gortat can take Garnett and ‘Sheed off the dribble, and can post Big Baby up with ease.

Key #2: The chance to go home
The Magic have not been able to motivate themselves in any of the games so far, and I wouldn’t hire Vince Carter or Rashard Lewis to give a pep talk to my team on any level. I’d rather have Van Wilder, who motivated Q-Rich and Darius Miles to play their hearts out for Coolidge College with the promise of an amazing party. It’s too bad VC plays right next to Disney World already, because it has become clear that he has zero motivation to win a championship. But with a win tonight, the Magic go home and would have the chance to close the gap to a 3-2 Celtics lead. SVG’s got to be using this as a motivating factor, but tonight his speech will finally resonate.

Key #3: The Celtics will miss a lot of shots tonight
Look for the Magic to play the Celtics defensively like the Suns played the Lakers last night. A zone that will allow one or two players to get hot but force more three pointers than the Celtics want to take. The first step will be to limit Rondo’s offensive productivity as they have shown they could do in Games 1 and 3. Go watch the expletive-laden Jason Williams video telling reporters to back away from his locker and tell me you’re not scared of this guy tonight. Maybe he was upset that Rondo did more than posterize him – he videorized him. Williams will forever be immortalized in Rondo highlight videos, so look out for the return of White Chocolate seeking revenge. Seriously though, stopping the Celtics begins with Rondo. That is why a Howard-Gortat duo plugging the lanes will force the Celtics to win based on perimeter shooting. This is not to say that Pierce and Allen won’t destroy them, but it gives the Magic the best chance to win tonight.

What do you think? Will the Magic win Game 4?

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  • simmabimma

    incredible to even talk about gortat after his performance in the last game… completly overrated! momentum by the celtics will sweep the magic, off to the finals!!

  • Bizz

    #1, Gortat looks lost on the court this postseason, and Rondo has been abusing him consistently…what they should do is give Brandon Bass some minutes, at least he’s playing with a sense of urgency.

    #2, They need to stop playing like bitches and man up. That’s as straightforward as they need to be.

    #3, Jason Williams intimidates reports, and maybe Dime article writers, but that’s about it. Rondo ain’t scared of him, neither is Sheed, Perk, KG, Tony Allen, Pierce, Ray Allen, Glen Davis, Doc Rivers, and everyone on the bench and in the building. Their perimeter players ain’t stepping up and won’t step up. Defining moment of any Magic comeback. VC grabs a loose ball baseline. VC of 2000 goes up and dunks it. Melo of 2010 dunks it, Wade does, Durant does as well. VC of 2010 bitches out when he sees a Boston big man and tries a scoop shot that misses. Sums up both teams in a heartbeat.

  • dk

    Get Hedo back on the floor by 8:30 and they have an outside shot. Actually if they can get anybody on the floor that can penetrate 1 out 3 attempts they may have a shot… Maybe if Lewis learned how to dribble today they may have a shot…

    Orlando made it last year because Boston was without KG, bottom line… Orlando is a one dimensional team after trading their only play maker… Obviously if you have a couple big bodies that can stand with D Ho the game is over… Lakers last year? Boston this year? The team sucks.

  • Bizz

    By the way…why is Mike Brown posting articles on here under the name Adam Flomenbaum? This definitely sounds like Mike Brown’s gameplan on how to get the crap stomped out of you in an elimination game.

  • andres

    Double-team Dwight less? Are you watching the series? The success of the Celtics defensive scheme is not to double team him at all.

    And Doc said they worked on the zone offense in practice before Game 3. Doubt they’ll be surprised like the Lakers were.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/adam/ Adam Flomenbaum

    Bizz – that Mike Brown comment was hilarious – still, a Gortat/Howard pairing has proven successful and it would solve both the defensive woes of the Magic and give them a better overall post game. Yes they’ve been stopping Howard in single coverage, but only outside of the paint. Once he’s inside he’s been playing like like he always has. Gortat would simply allow him to get inside more. I completely agree about getting Bass more minutes and he’s always had the talent. Even Bass and Gortat together has worked out well, but SVG has shown his unwillingness to move away from his game plan.

    Orlando didn’t make it last year because Garnett was out they made it cause Rondo wasn’t as good, Hedo was there, and Rashard was knocking down shots.

    The White Chocolate comment was a joke – Rondo can’t really be stopped, but with a bigger lineup clogging the middle, the Celtics would have to win through perimeter shooting.

  • scottish

    well, watching the game just now and it seems like the magic have remembered how to play some ball. add to the fact bass is getting time and it could be possible.

  • Petition for Bass

    Swagger Jacking Bizz’s comment – Brandon Bass should play or Otis Smith will look like a fool for going over the luxury tax to get him. If anything play Gortat and Bass at the same time. Bass could get buckets in a phone booth and Gortat is a decent enough passer for Bass to dunk on Gooch like Bogut did.

    2) Have Lewis watch the last few game tapes of Channing Fyre and tell him to do the COMPLETE opposite.

    3) Let Vince and Nelson run the pick-n-roll and hope the Celtics switch. It worked against Cleveland earlier in the year.

    4) Stan needs to start punching guys in the face EVERY HUDDLE… keep them on their toes. Work for Jordan, look how that turned out

    5) Let Ryan Anderson only worry about shooting. It works wonders for Matt Bonner.

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