If Courtney Lee's layup goes in, everyone's talking today about what a genius Stan Van Gundy is, how Orlando has a chance to close this out at home. Instead, the rookie bricks the bunny and the Tragic are down 2-0 and looking shaky and discombobulated. Their morale is horrible. Rafer Alston's scared shitless, Jameer Nelson's wondering if he made a mistake by coming back, Anthony Johnson is seething and Dwight Howard probably won't pass the ball to anyone not named Hedo or Rashard for the rest of the series.
If Lee's layup goes in, there's no second-guessing Van Panic for playing JJ Redick 27 minutes and all of overtime. I mean, seriously, what the fuck was he thinking? Redick. That'd be like if Phil suddenly decided to give 27 minutes to Sasha.
If Lee's layup goes in, Orlando's strategy of going big is a 'key' and a 'solution' to the Lakers D. Pau Gasol is 'soft' again. Seriously, it's that fine a line.
But, as we all know, Lee's two-foot chippy missed by a foot and as a result, Orlando's outlook is pretty bleak. They've now lost six Finals games in a row. They have zero chemistry. They have zero momentum. They also have very little Finals experience (what's up, Tyronn Lue?).
On the positive side, the Tragic can take some solace in the fact that they played the Lakers tough, at least. They competed. They showed up, which certainly wasn't the case in those pitiful last three quarters of Game 1. And LA has been known to let teams back into series after assuming commanding leads, most notably the 3-1 chokejob against Phoenix a few years back when Raja Ball gave Kobe that forearm shiver to the throat. Apologies to die-hard Laker fans for bringing that up.
Orlando ain't done. Howard's got at least one monster game in him. LA's been gambling by playing Lamar and Pau on him at times but that's not a strategy that'll work long-term, especially at Amway Arena where the refs aren't gonna blow the whistle when Superboy throws elbows or barrels over people. The refs also won't call any offensive fouls on Hedo for his patented push-off. And most importantly, they won't give Kobe FTs for that touch foul on Lewis in OT.
If Houston and Denver both crushed LA on their homecourts, I see no reason why Orlando won't do the same. And 2-0 isn't insurmountable, by any means. It just doesn't sound as good as 1-1 with the next three at home. I'm sure Lee would agree.
Van Panic: 'No, JJ, don't make that pass! NOOOOOOOOOOO!'