2009 NBA Finals: Game 3 Lakers @ Magic - crunch time started long ago.

Game 1 was over before the 4th quarter started. To say it was all Lakers gives the Magic too much credit. But you don't find many games closer than game 2. Save one brief point in the 2nd quarter, it was never more than a two-possession game leaving it all knotted up at the end of regulation. Courtney Lee hits that shot and we've got a series.

 

But that's history. Instead of 1-1 with the home court advantage reversed, Orlando is now and NBA worst 0-6 in NBA finals games. It is over? Miami in 06', Portland in '77, and Boston in '69 would suggest "no". They are the only teams to come back from 0-2 finals deficits to win the title.

 

Since no team has ever recovered from a 3-0 deficit in an NBA finals this one is huge. It's not make or break. It's "still more than likely to lose, but you can't rule it out" or break. History says that for the outside shot at the title, the Magic need to pull the rabbit out of the hat quick.

Silver Screen and Roll's Josh Tucker breaks down why Orlando still has a chance:

"In the playoffs, the Lakers have yet to win three straight games against a single opponent. Meanwhile, the Magic have yet to lose three straight games at all. That doesn't seem to bode well for the Lakers."

 

But that said, they're not giving Orlando much of a chance:

"I'll be honest with you: I have serious doubts as to whether the Magic can even win two during the three-game stretch in Orlando. Not because they aren't good enough – mark my words. Not, this is more about the Lakers. I simply don't see them losing two out of three games. Do you?"

 

Meanwhile at Orlando SBNation blog (perhaps overly presciently titled Third Quarter Collapse) they haven't moved on to finger pointing per say, but they're discussing if Gorat and Howard can coexist.

 

Dwight Howard is trying to keep his head up though, predicting a long series:

"This is going to be a long series and we’re a long way from done. Game 3 is all we’re thinking about, so let’s go get one win and really protect our homecourt the way the Lakers did. We still know we can do this. We tweak a few things here and there, we’ll be right back in this series before ya’ll know it."

 

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