Orlando finally casts its magic
against the LakersJune 10, 2009 by Marc Jerbs

Staring on a 0-2 hole is a daunting task in the NBA Finals. But the Orlando Magic refused to back down and they finally found their mojos in Game 3 against the LA Lakers.

It's now a 2-1 series and the Magic have the chance to tie and extend the series on Thursday.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy must still motivate his players to play the same intensity and character they showed in their Game 3 win. They were tested in the final minutes of the fourth quarter but emerged victorious because they were resilient bunch of players.

To beat the Lakers, the Magic must play a team ball concept, share and rotate the ball frequently. Superb perimeter shooting is their main offensive weapon in this series but if the shots aren't falling, their second option is their pick and roll play wherein their guards like Rafer Alston, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis could drive strong to the hoop for a higher percentage shot.

Playing either these two options precisely could soften the pressure on Dwight Howard to carry the team on his back. Implementing these plays could allow Howard to roam freely inside for an offensive rebound and score easily in the paint.

The Lakers still control the series; however one misstep could derail their chance to snatch a win against the Magic. One factor the Lakers must exploit is their inside scoring, putting Lamar Odom against Rashard Lewis is a mismatch.

Odom is a versatile player wherein he can shoot outside, drive to the basket and could pose a threat in the inside lane. I believe he's more adept as a starter rather than have him coming off the bench.

For Kobe, you can't find any flaws for him, he'll score every game and carry his team always but his teammates must step up whenever he is on the bench for a needed rest. He definitely looked tired as he tried to carry his team in the closing minutes of Game 3.

Checkout the Game 4 odds now. But I see the Magic to pull off another gutsy win at home. By the way, they are 8-2 at Amway Arena in the playoffs this season.