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Running Blog for Game 3 of the NBA Finals

Game 3, blog 3. I am not at tonight’s game. I figure I will go to Game 4 if the Lakers win tonight or Game 5 if the Magic win. Either way, follow along as I blog out another finals game, won’t you?!

8:56 p.m. – Gina Marie Incandela just sang the Star-Spangled Banner. She has turned into the Orlando Magic’s good luck charm. When she sings the anthem, they always seem to do well.

Oh, it also helps that she has a voice of an angel and she is, what, a 7-year-0ld?

8:58 p.m. – I do like the Magic’s pregame opening, especially when Dwight Howard says “BOOM!” But a part of me looks at all this and feels dirty. If you are real fans, you shouldn’t need mascots and PA announcers in the rafters to get you fired up for any game, much less an NBA Finals game.

9:03 p.m. – They also hand out these glow-in-the-dark thundersticks to fans at Magic games. I hate those things with a passion. I was in California when the Anaheim Angels brought that fad back. Worst Asian export ever.

9:04 p.m. – As far as a prediction, I’ll say Magic by 8. They HAVE to win. And this is a classic situation for the Lakers to not show up.

9:06 p.m. – I just turned on Game 6 of the Red Wings and Penguins. I just wanted to see what’s going on, plus I felt bad for the NHL going up against the NBA Finals, so I thought I would give them a spike in ratings.

9:08 p.m. – Oh boy, Joey Crawford is reffing this one. This should be interesting.

9:10 p.m. – Nice pass by Rafer Alston. It’s not like he needs to play better than he already has or anything.

9:12 p.m. – Tough start for Orlando, missing a couple of threes and making defensive mistakes. Not what they need on their home floor.

I told a friend who is at the game that the Magic need to be up at least seven at the end of the first quarter to restore some confidence in themselves.

9:14 p.m. – Well, at least this looks to be a more entertaining first quarter than Game 2.

9:17 p.m. – In Game 2, the teams combined for 10 field goals in the first half. At the 5-minute mark of this first quarter, the teams have already combined for 14 field goals.

This is what we all should have expected out of this series all along. Lots of fast-paced offense. It’s finally showing up for both teams.

9:18 p.m. – And every starter on each team has already scored. That’s pretty.

9:20 p.m. – By the way, if you care, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a 1-0 lead over the Detroit Red Wings with12 minutes left in the second period. I’m here to satisfy everyone.

9:22 p.m. – It looks like Jeff Van Gundy got his dad’s hair and Stan got his dad’s voice.

9:24 p.m. – Who’s in Rafer Alston’s jersey? It can’t possibly be him. He already has seven points on 3 for 3 from the field.

9:28 p.m. – So, in case you haven’t seen it, this video is the talk of the day. Is that a more impressive feat than this? I can do both. I just don’t want to.

9:30 p.m. – Kobe Bryant is crushing the Magic right now, and there’s really nothing better that they can do on defense. Now if only the Lakers could stop RAFER ALSTON!

9:32 p.m. – Mark Jackson just beat me to a Skip To My Lou reference! Blast! He is playing very well though.

9:34 p.m. – I am pretty sure that Kobe Bryant is shooting into a barrel right now.

9:36 p.m. – Kobe Bryant does his best impression of himself with 17 points in the first quarter. He has made 7-of-10 field goals. 31-27, Lakers lead at the end of the first quarter. That really doesn’t favor one team in particular. It just means we should be settling in for a fun match!

9:38 p.m. – The Magic shoot 69 percent in the first quarter and are still trailing at home by four. That’s a little depressing for Orlando.

9:40 p.m. – “That may be the best quarter that I remember watching from someone playing in the finals.” Nice hyperbole there, Jeff.

9:44 p.m. – Nice play by Odom to throw it off of a Magic player. The Lakers offense looks a little panicked right now.

9:47 p.m. – That list of Dwight Howard’s favorite movies is the best moment of the finals so far.

“What’s Friday by the way.” Jeff Van Gundy with the typical white-man question.

9:48 p.m. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Magic are trailing despite hitting 76 percent of their shots. The Lakers are hitting 57 percent of their shots! Both teams will have to cool down soon. Whichever team sustains its slump the most will win.

9:50 p.m. – I turned the hockey game back on because the commenter told me to. I’m basically a monkey over here, people. I take orders. But the hockey is on commercial … back to basketball!

9:53 p.m. – Considering how Kobe Bryant seems to get better as the game goes along, how many points will he score tonight?

45?

50?

And nice defense by Jordan Farmar on Pietrus right there. He really olayed him there well.

9:56 p.m. – Is Green Day the really appropriate music for the NBA Finals. I know that they had to have paid ESPN a ton to get all of this airtime on their family of networks, but is that a good investment. Green Day doesn’t translate as good sports hype music to me.

9:59 p.m. – This half is absolutely flying by. Still, if you are the Magic, you can’t play any better on offense and YOU ARE STILL TRAILING.

10:00 p.m. – I really hope that this hot streak by Alston doesn’t turn him into a streetball shooter. He better understand who he still is and what  his role is on this team.

10:02 p.m. – Whew! What a pace right now! I need a breath. This is tremendous stuff we’re watching here.

10:04 p.m. – I am bit surprised that Dwight Howard took that Vitamin Water commercial. If I was him, I would have felt snubbed after being ignored during the Kobe-LeBron love fest. But, maybe they gave him a good price. Either way, I’m glad he ended up doing it. That’s one of the funnier athlete commercials on TV. It has surpassed the Nike puppets.

10:06 p.m. – Jeff Van Gundy has his stupid statements meter set at high tonight. He is in rare form.

10:07 p.m. – Shooting 75 percent for an NBA Finals first half has to be nearing a record. I’m just too preoccupied/lazy to look up those stats.

10:10 p.m. – How do the Lakers leave Lewis wide open on two consecutive possessions?

10:12 p.m. – It’s a bit of a shame for the Magic that their run is coming as the half is coming to a close. You want these things to happen in the middle of the quarter, not when you’re about to take a 20-minute break.

10:13 p.m. –The Red Wings just scored to make it a 2-1 Penguins lead with 11 minutes left to play.

See, I care.

10:15 p.m. – “Continue to play defense.” Really, Rafer? The Lakers just shot 55 percent. What about that do you want to continue?

10:17 p.m. – Magic fans, how are you feeling right now? You just shot 75 percent in a half at home and are only ahead by five. Your team’s assists are up, turnovers are down and the Magic are hitting a good percentage of their 3s.

Are you wary of having such a small lead despite those big numbers, or are you just happy to be ahead at the end of the first half?

10:18 p.m. – Thank you, Stuart Scott. 75 percent is the highest field-goal percentage in any NBA Finals half.

10:20 p.m. – Some non-basketball notes: Manny Ramirez says: “I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t rape anyone.” Well, at least he’s telling the truth about that.

Maaaybe.

10:23 p.m. – “No one knows the impact (of basketball in China) than one of the game’s biggest stars.”

Goofy?

Oh, no, it’s Kobe Bryant.

10:25 p.m. – As everyone expected, Steven Strasburg was taken with the No. 1 pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft today by the Washington Nationals.

I am going through the first round of each draft since 1990 through 2006 to spotlight some of the best and worst picks in those drafts. I am almost done with it. It should be up about an hour or so after the basketball game is over, so come back and check it out. It’s not much, but I just had to show how stupid some teams look in hindsight.

10:29 p.m. – Wow, great story!!! What a gesture by the Magic. Great stuff, all around.

10:31 p.m. – The Penguins are still ahead of the Red Wings, 2-1, with less than 3 minutes to play. Detroit’s going to have to pull its goalie soon.

10:32 p.m. – Wow, what a save by Fleury. Yes, I’m going to watch this hockey game until it’s over.

10:35 p.m. – The second half is about to start. I’ll have to flip back and forth. I know this is a running blog on basketball, but I am still a sports fan at heart.

10:38 p.m. – Wow, Brian Shaw is wearing a tremendous suit!

The Penguins hang on to win, 2-1. It’s a shame that they don’t have a chance in hell to win a Game 7 in Detroit.

OK, back to basketball (again)!

10:41 p.m. – Both teams come out a little sloppy. That’s too be expected after such a hectic first half.

10:42 p.m. –Courtney Lee! OUCH!

10:43 p.m. – Kobe Bryant looks like he needs someone in his face on the free-throw line.

10:45 p.m. – Nice look to Ariza. He needs to be a bigger offensive force in this series.

10:45 p.m. – That is a pathetic call on Bryant, especially since he is a star and those players do get perferential treatment.

10:48 p.m. – Notice how J.J. Redick hasn’t played tonight. I guess Stan Van Gundy thinks his team is better off shooting a high percentage as opposed to no percentage.

10:51 p.m. – Rafer Alston is playing the game of his life. Somewhere, Hot Sauce is smiling.

10:52 p.m. – THERE’S the Alston I think we were all waiting on.

10:55 p.m. – I’m starting the Hack-a-Kobe campaign for every team that plays the Lakers.

10:56 p.m. – Here’s a critical 3 minutes for the Lakers’ defense. They need to keep this within a five-point game.

10:58 p.m. – So, NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for meth? How could have not won every race if he was on meth? He should want to go as fast as possible. His foot would have to be through the floorboard.

11:03 p.m. – With all these fouls, it’s funny that Dwight Howard only has two.

11:05 p.m. – Kobe Bryant finally shows up in the third quarter. One-on-four? No problem.

11:07 p.m. – Lakers down by six entering the fourth. Bryant usually sits to start the fourth, but I don’t think he can right now. This offense is sloppy.

11:09 p.m. – Bruno looks great, but I don’t think it can top Borat, can it?

11:10 p.m. – Hahaha! So, why are you so much better on offense tonight, Stan? ”

I have no idea except the ball is going into the basket.”

They don’t call him the best for nothing, kids.

Oh, that’s right. They don’t.

11:12 p.m. – Bryant is on the bench. He’ll probably be there until about the 9-minute mark.

11:16 p.m. – Lakers can’t really get a break to cut into this lead. The Magic keep hitting shots or the Lakers keep committing fouls.

11:18 p.m. – How can they put Robert Horry in an athletic competition with Terrell Owens? That’s like pairing a face-off between a sloth and a tiger.

11:23 p.m. – Mike Breen said it before I could type it. That’s a HUGE play by Pietrus.

And then Ariza answers back!

11:25 p.m. – Every time they leave it up to Mark Jackson to lead ABC into commercial, he always says something as if he wants to leave a dramatic note. It’s just so over the top.

11:30 p.m. – It’s hard to believe this is just a two-point game. The Lakers seem like they have played worse. They are 7 of 7. That just doesn’t seem right.

11:32 p.m. – But as it has been all night, the Lakers can’t get a stop.

11:34 p.m. – The Magic need to keep their composure right here. Pietrus looks frustrated.

11:35 p.m. – Lots of time left. The Lakers are lucky right now, considering the Magic are still shooting 63 percent.

11:38 p.m. – Thanks to all of you in the comments section. I just realized what has been posted in the past 20 minutes.

Good points, Padrick.

But Robert Horry has no chance.

11:40 p.m. – Here comes Kobe time for Los Angeles. I hate this part of the game. Who does Orlando turn to here?

11:42 p.m. – CAN THE LAKERS GET A STOP?!

11:43 p.m. – Talking about bad closeout on shots, that was a bad closeout by Ariza. But also a huge shot by Lewis. He has 20 points tonight.

11:45 p.m. – We’ll see if that extra point makes a difference. The Lakers need to get this ball into Gasol and let him pass out in the offense or drive.

11:46 p.m. – That’s a dreadful call on Howard. But Bryant still can’t make them pay at the line. The Lakers are 16 of 26 from the free-throw line tonight. Bryant is 5 of 10.

Who takes this critical shot for Orlando?

11:49 p.m. – Kobe Bryant will some very unclutch, uncharacteristic plays in the fourth quarter of this game. Very, very surprising. He can’t yell at anyone else right now.

11:51 p.m. – Nice job by Pietrus. The Lakers have to get a quick two and no matter what, you have to think that’s it’s on Kobe’s hands. But don’t forget that play near the end of regulation in Game 2. Kobe had three open shooters and didn’t use them. He has to survey the floor better.

And since the first quarter, he hasn’t done anything.

11:53 p.m. – That is a shot that Bryant just can’t take.

11:55 p.m. – Jesus Christ, Magic! Get a rebound. And awesome premature celebration by the confetti department.

11:58 p.m. – The Magic are back in this series, at least by the numbers of 2-1.

But look at the stats from tonight’s game. It’s amazing that the Lakers only lost by four, and they were on the road. I expected this to happen. There was no way that the Magic were going to go down 3-0.

So, now it’s 2-1 and I completely expect the Lakers to play a little better (and for the Magic to shoot a little w0rse) in Game 4.

12:01 a.m. – With the Magic winning tonight, I won’t be going to Game 4, so please join me again for another blog on Thursday night. Thanks to everyone who commented … love ya, kids!

12:02 a.m. – The Magic have the best shooting percentage by a team in NBA Finals history, they are at home and they only win by a basket or two?

Yeah, I totally expect a different result in Game 4.

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  1. Will Perry
    June 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    It looked like the Lakers were gettin ready to run away with it there. Magic need to get somethin goin though

    Also make sure you turn in to the hockey game if you already havent. its been a good intense game.

  2. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Re: Dwight’s movies: That was awesome. I am not sure what was better, the question or Marc Jackson’s response. “It’s a great movie with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker.”

    Hahahahahaha.

    And this game is turning into a bucket of fun. Just running up and down the court. I can get behind this.

    • spokes310
      June 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm

      “I can get behind this.”
      The first ever “she said” on this blog. Congratulations!

      • Padrick
        June 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

        hahahaha.

    • will
      June 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

      kobe might get like 80 lol

      • spokes310
        June 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

        Hahahaaa! Nice.

  3. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Re: Kobe’s final point total:

    I think that, if the came continues to be this close, and the Magic stay something close to this hot, he may end up with more than 50. I just think we will get to a point at which he will have to dominate, because I think he wants to close out this series with emphasis.

    Or not.

    /not a basketball expert

  4. Will Perry
    June 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    going back to magic’s comment before the game, “if the magic score 100 points theyll win” but the Lakers are keepin pace right with it. very high scoring this game is.

    • Padrick
      June 9, 2009 at 11:17 pm

      I love it when people say things like that. I can understand something like, “The Magic need to score at least 100 to win,” but it isnt a race.

      Just because you get to a number first, doesn’t mean you win. It’s not 21

  5. will
    June 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    this game has been so action packed. what a save by fleury. that was amazing

  6. Stephanie
    June 9, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Brian, CMON. Bruno looks a million times better than Borat. Go watch more Bruno and you see, ya.

    • spokes310
      June 9, 2009 at 11:21 pm

      I have watched clips on YouTube. It looks great. Borat was great, too. I’m not passing judgment, just raising a question.

      • Stephanie
        June 9, 2009 at 11:33 pm

        I think it will. And I loved Borat!! AND THIS GAME IS FDKJFKLA;DSJFAKLDSFJA I WANT ICE CREAMS.

      • Stephanie
        June 9, 2009 at 11:59 pm

        ICE CREAMS!!!

  7. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    How many times have Orlando guards driven to the basket, gotten to the paint, tried to make a pass to the outside, only to have it go right into the hands of an LA player? I have counted at least three times.

    I get looking for the extra pass and kicking out, but it really only works when it goes to your own players.

  8. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Also, best comment taken out of context right now:

    “Guys, get it clean.” from the Axe commercials.

    LOVES IT.

  9. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    All right.

    ABC’s The Superstars: Robert Horry has to win, right? I don’t care that it i looks like an athletic contest, the dude is just a winner.

  10. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Yeah, how was that close out by Hedo on the Ariza shot? The dude has been killing in the past few games from deep, and you just let him step up and shoot?

    Great effort there.

  11. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Brian, you touched on it. Who has the edge in composure here?

    • spokes310
      June 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm

      The Lakers have the edge in composure because they have been here before. But the Magic are looking more authoritative out of the timeout.

  12. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    You know, and I dont really know how much I believe this, but I think them calling this a two will be interesting. Does it affect the magic, or are they still riding high because of being able to answer? I don’t know.

  13. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Question: If I recall correctly, LeBron was lambasted a little bit for his mediocre free throw shooting in the ECF. Does Kobe get any slack from this game, or does the fact that they will still be up 2-1 nullify it?

    • spokes310
      June 10, 2009 at 12:04 am

      Kobe will definitely get a lot of flack from the media. He did nothing offensively after the first quarter, but those simple free throws win the game if he makes them. He has always been a tremendous free-throw shooter. For him to … choke … with those in the finals is a little stunning.

  14. Padrick
    June 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    The French Experiment coming up strong!

  15. Padrick
    June 10, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Brian,

    This is my last thing.

    You look at the Cleveland series and this victory, against arguably the two best teams in the League, and the Magic’s victories have all been by relatively slim margins, save for Game 6 of the ECF.

    What does it say that when the Magic play their “best,” they barely pull out victories? I know a win is a win, and you’ll take it, but when they play as well as they did, and win by so few, I do not think that is a good omen.

    How long can that last?

    • spokes310
      June 10, 2009 at 12:08 am

      That’s exactly how I ended the blog tonight. They played so well and Kobe didn’t, and they were at home and they win by 4? Just 4?? Get out of here.

      • Padrick
        June 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

        And how the fuck is no one asking that question? Are these not real reporters?

  16. Padrick
    June 10, 2009 at 12:19 am

    FIX YO FORMATTIN’

  17. pinstripes61
    June 10, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Murph, Nice work. Orlando shoots the lights out, Lakers can’t throw a rock and hit water off a boat from the line and Orlando wins by 2 (the last 2 don’t count). This series is done. Toast. Series still going 6 and the Lakers celebrate on their home floor.

    • Padrick
      June 10, 2009 at 12:23 am

      I think this is probably right. We may still see it go seven, but I think that depends more on the Lakers than the Magic.

      • spokes310
        June 10, 2009 at 12:35 am

        For it to go 7, Orlando would have to win in LA at least once. I still don’t see that happening in this series. I have seen no evidence that could happen, including tonight.
        Formatting … done. Not sure how that happened.

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