Will Defense Take a Major Role in the NBA Finals?

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Both of these teams have been fighting hard to be crowned with an NBA Finals Championship.

The NBA Playoffs have been very exciting! You got the “One-Man Show” of the Cavaliers facing the Magic, in which everyone thought Cleveland would win that series.

Unfortunately for you Cleveland fans, they didn’t. Not even close.

Then there were the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Denver Nuggets in a match-up than anyone could win in. Some said Nuggets, others said Lakers. The Lakers won the series in the same number as the Orlando Magic: 4-2.

That is how you get it done.

But then came the Lakers in the NBA Finals, going way ahead the Magic after the first quarter. The Magic were leading, 24-22, in Game One of the NBA Finals in the first quarter. The Lakers took care everything right after that, destroying Orlando, 100-75.

So here comes Game Two. Something takes a huge part in this series, and it is defense. But why does it take a big part? You’ll see.

Let’s break it down.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have been doing great on defense, and I swear, it is very strong. It is just unstoppable. Unbelievable. Just impossible to stop.

How is their defense so good?

Well, guess what? Many of you probably know this by now, but Kobe Bryant has 16 two-pointers. So what? Well guess how many two-pointers the whole squad of the Orlando Magic had? 15. One player had more two-pointers than one team!

According to John Hollinger of ESPN, he says that the Lakers’ unstoppable defense started ten quarters ago. Let’s see how their defense has been doing in the last ten quarters.

The research from many resources have said that the Lakers have allowed 205 points in the last ten quarters, which means they have allowed 82 points per game. Dang! Now that is what you call defense.

Hollinger also says that in the seven of the ten quarters, the other team has 20 points or less. The most the Lakers have allowed for the other opponent is 27 points, no more than that.

The opponent has shot 35.2 percent overall: 35.6 percent from two-pointers and 34.5 percent from behind-the-arc. See how impressive their defense is?

Andrew Bynum looks to take control if any Magic player comes near his territory. Deron Williams has tried it, it didn’t work out for him.

And with two seven-footers as starters for the team in the Finals (Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol), the blocked shots have been going very well. The Magic have been struggling to get shots right by the rim with those two guys right up there.

The opponent in the last ten quarters has missed close to 80 percent (78 percent) of their shots right by the rim where Bynum and Gasol stand to control their territory. In Game One of the NBA Playoffs, the Magic have missed 54 shots where the BG’s stand, and only rebounding ten of the missed shots.

If the Lakers keep on doing their defense, the sweep will happen. The Lakers have been doing spectacular lately on offense and defense. They’ll attack the Magic, and badly.

Orlando Magic

Basketball Prospectus says the Magic have a very underrated defense, led by the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard.

They look like a small defense, like BP says. First, you got Rashard Lewis at power forward, but he played small forward in his early years with the Sonics.

The Magic have been pretty good overall on defense. They are second in defensive rebounding, first in effective field goal percentage, and fourth in free throws made per field goal attempts.

Orlando is also number one in the whole league of the National Basketball Association in defending two-point shots and second against the shots from downtown.

But some things hurt the Magic defense, especially the great three-point shooting power forward of Rashard Lewis, who grabs pretty much 14 percent of the opponents’ misses, five percent behind the average for power forwards.

Dwight Howard looks to continue to be aggressive.

Howard is above average with pretty much 30 percent, which is extraordinary. But the Magic are still solid in defensive rebounding, even when Superman is out. Underrated backup, Marcin Gortat, grabs 26.3 of the defensive rebounds when the-kid-who-got-dunked-on-by-Nate-Robinson-in-the-Slam-Dunk-Competition is out.

The Orlando Magic are already good overall on offense, being known for hitting three-pointers during the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Howard is keep doing what he is best at, and that is being aggressive.

The Magic were the club who were bad overall in Game One. What will happen in the upcoming games?

Defense will take a huge role in the NBA Finals, and trust me, that is what it has been during the NBA Playoffs, especially with Orlando and Los Angeles.

Defense: this what it’s all going to go down to get be the NBA Champions!

2 Comments

  1. Well Josh it looks like you were right…. I may have to bite the bullet and congratulate your Lakers…..I JUST WANT to see a GOOD series….After the Boston-Chicago, Houston-LA, and Denver-LA matchups this one seems pathetic…WHY couldn’t Courtney Lee hit that shot at the end of regulation?

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  2. Yeah I know! He should have made that easily…and just to let you know, I am a Laker-Hater, I’m for the Magic, but I guess LA is gonna win this easily

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