Home > Uncategorized > One Fish, Two Fish: Thoughts from Game 4 of the NBA Finals

One Fish, Two Fish: Thoughts from Game 4 of the NBA Finals

Anybody but Derek Fisher.

He’s old, he’s slow, he can’t jump, he can’t guard he hasn’t hit a basket all series. Anybody but him.

And in the span of 10 minutes, who else but Derek Fisher? Even though he left for a few years, he was always a Laker and when it counted, the Lakers knew they could count on him. No longer is 0.4 what you will think about when you remember Derek Fisher’s career — which may very well end on Sunday.

You’ll think of him driving a couple of ice-cold steaks into the hearts of the Orlando Magic. This game was a finals game to remember. I am not sure where it ranks, but nonetheless, classic game and some classic shots by a classy player.

Me

So yes, I did go to Game 4 of the NBA Finals. How could I not? It’s not often when the team of your childhood plays your current hometown team in a championship series.

Before yesterday, I wanted to go to Game 5, but in hindsight, I am mighty glad that I went to Amway Arena on Thursday night. Here are some bullet thoughts on Game 4:

  • More than any game in this series, the Lakers started out this game with that sluggish look. They were getting crushed on the boards. They were committing some stupid fouls and allowing some easy baskets. I was a little surprised with the way they responded in the third quarter.
  • But in that third quarter, the Magic did everything they could to lose this game with six turnovers. I don’t understand how you can come out of a halftime so flat in an NBA Finals game on your home floor that you MUST win.
  • Jameer Nelson came into this game at the 1:28 mark of the third quarter for Rafer Alston. Did Rafer have a dinner date, because he didn’t see the court again. Unless he was hiding an injury, that seems inexplicable, definitely considering the shots that Nelson was taking (and missing) and his defense, which I’ll get to later.
  • Just when the unreal Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior thought they were going to own the night, the real Hulk Hogan just had to show up.
Fake.

Fake.

Real.

Real.

That’s a real shame for those two.

  • It’s truly amazing how different watching a game on TV is from watching it live. And it has nothing to do with the live atmosphere. On TV, you have stats and graphics and analyzing being thrown in your face all night long. At the game, you have the scoreboard to keep track of points and nothing else.

When I got home and watched the second half and overtime of this game again, I didn’t realize that Trevor Ariza played as well as he did in the third quarter. I knew that the Magic had missed a lot of free throws, but 15? Wow!! It’s always great to go to a game, but unless you’re keeping track of the stats yourself, it’s easy to lose certain things that have changed the game.

  • Again, everyone has been all over the officiating in these playoffs, and it’s been well-deserved. But it went to a new level last night. With 1:15 left in the fourth quarter, the Magic hadn’t committed a team foul. The Lakers had committed 10. That seems absolutely impossible and just makes me think that the NBA really wants this series to travel back to Los Angeles.

A lot of the fouls called on the Lakers in that fourth quarter were legit, but my major problem is with the lack of foul calls on the other end. How can one team be so physical while the other team is playing semmingly perfect defense? The Magic took 15 free throws before they had their first foul of the quarter with 1:14 to play. That large type of discrepency is just a horrible job of officiating.

Public enemies No. 1 and 2.

Public enemies No. 1 and 2.

And really, there were calls on the Magic that were bad in that game, too. You won’t hear anyone talk about it, but this was one of the worst offciated games of these playoffs. And that’s saying something.

  • Another reason why the Lakers blew their lead in the second half is Kobe Bryant. I think he had four consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter in which he didn’t move the ball once. He just went one-on-one four consecutive trips, and he missed those shots. He was 11 for 31 on the day. I know it will never change, but Kobe has to use his complementary parts more. This isn’t the old Lakers with Kwame Brown and Caron Butler and Smush Parker. You have Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza and … Derek Fisher.

At least that’s one good pass that Bryant made.

  • Where is Jameer Nelson when he tried to guard Derek Fisher at the end of the fourth quarter?
How not to guard a game-tying 3-point shot.

How not to guard a game-tying 3-point shot.

I heard that Magic coach Stan Van Gundy basically asked that same question after the game. It just gave you another piece evidence to show that Jameer Nelson just isn’t ready right now. Rafer Alston should have been out there. In that situation, you can’t be guarding a guaranteed 3-point shot from inside the line. That just looks lazy.

  • What Mickael Pietrus did to Pau Gasol was pretty nasty and would deserve a suspension, but the real person to blame here is Pau Gasol. There is no reason for him to dunk that ball. If he doesn’t try to dunk it, Pietrus doesn’t think that Pau is running up the score and both teams walk off the floor quietly. The Magic were already beaten. Just dribble around for 3 seconds. Do anythigng, but don’t make it seem like you are trying to rub it in your opponent’s wound.
Let's go to overtime ... let's go home.

Let's go to overtime ... let's go home.

  • I understand that when the the overtime period started, it was midnight in Orlando, but I was shocked at the amount of people who actually left when the fourth quarter ended. IT’S THE NBA FINALS, PEOPLE! You paid a pretty penny for these tickets. Is it really worth it to leave now and miss the rest of the game just to save maybe 20 minutes so that you can beat traffic? If you are guilty of this, you are not a real fan. I’ve never understood the logic of those people and I hope I never do.
  • Where does this game rank among greatest NBA Finals games of all-time? I really don’t know right now, but this was one that will be shown on ESPN Classic often.
  • Quickly: That was not a good time for Rashard Lewis to come  up small (2 for 10) after some very good games in No. 2 and 3. Hedo Turkoglu throws a stunning amount of elbows into his opponent’s side, and it never gets called. The Lakers just shouldn’t play Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic for the rest of the season. The Magic are no longer undefeated with 7-year-0ld Gina Marie Incandela. She a wonder. I fear that show of frustration from Pietrus at the end of Game 4 could spell really bad things for Orlando in Game 5.

That’s it for now. I had a great time and I am exhausted. I hope to hear from you when I am back here on Sunday with another NBA Finals running blog.

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