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Game 4 News and Notes
Game 4 News and Notes
Game 4, Lakers at Magic
By Chris David
Through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the home team posted a 54-25 straight up record, which included an 8-4 mark in the conference finals. The Lakers captured the first two games of the NBA Finals at Staples Center, proving that homecourt edge is instrumental in winning the championship.
On Tuesday, Orlando kept the hot streak at home going as it dropped Los Angeles 108-104 in Game 3 to pull within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. After scoring a playoff-low 75 in Game 1 and only 96 in Game 2, the Magic prolific offense finally caught fire.
Stan Van Gundy’s club set NBA Finals records for shooting percentage from the floor in both the first half (75%) and the game (63%). Orlando’s specialty is the long ball yet the team was just 5-of-14 (35.7%) from 3-point land on Tuesday. The key to the success was balance and attacking the rim, which is exactly what the Magic received in Game 3 from its role players.
“Lamar Odom was the difference in Game 2, but it was Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus erupting for Orlando in Game 3. I know Alston wasn’t playing well in L.A., but Van Gundy has got to go with who got him there. He played Jameer Nelson way too much in the first two games,” said VegasInsider.com handicapper and host of the VI Power hours Brian Edwards.
Rafer Alston scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting in Game 3 after being held to a combined 10 points in the two games at Los Angeles. Pietrus had 18 points by draining 7-of-11 attempts from the field and had three steals, including a big rip late on the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.
Bryant finished with 31 points but he was just 3-of-10 in the second half and the aforementioned turnover plus costly misses at the free throw line hurt the club. The Black Mamba went 5-of-10 from the charity stripe in Game 3, which was well below his playoff percentage of 87.3.
Orlando’s Dwight Howard was timid in his first two finals appearances but stepped up with 21 points and 14 rebounds on Tuesday, 11 of his points coming from the free-throw line. Defensively, Howard was exposed a bit by Pau Gasol, who finished with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting. It makes you wonder why the Spanish product didn’t get more touches down the stretch.
Another thing people are wondering about in Game 3 is why the refs blew the whistle at the end of the game. With Orlando leading 106-102, the Lakers missed numerous 3-point attempts before Kobe Bryant chipped in a meaningless bucket with 0.5 seconds left to cut the lead to 106-104.
On the ensuing in-bounds play, the Lakers immediately fouled but the horn sounded and the confetti fell from the rafters at Amway Arena. For bettors who had the Lakers as four-point underdogs, this was obviously a crucial clock decision.
After reviewing the play, the officials added 0.2 ticks back on the clock and Rashard Lewis went to the free throw line for two. He nailed both free throws to at least allow some Magic backers to garner a push. What’s even funnier about the second make is it appeared that Van Gundy wanted him to miss.
Fast forwarding to Game 4, the oddsmakers dropped the Magic down to 2 ½-point favorites, while the total jumped from 198 ½ to 202 ½.
Brian Edwards talked about the shift at the books. He said, “I think we’ve got good numbers from the oddsmakers here. I feel the side is a toss-up, so making the Magic the short favorite at home is the right call, and I agree that you take 1 ½-2 points off of the number from Game 3. As for the total, it’s right to increase it, four points in this instance. But before gamblers pounce on the ‘over,’ they should consider that the total only hit 212 with Orlando setting Finals records with its shooting. Surely the Magic won’t shoot that sort of percentage again in Game 4?”
While Orlando’s offense broke all sorts of records in Tuesday’s affair, bettors should also be aware that the Lakers’ attack hasn’t been slowed down at all by Orlando in the first three games.
Prior to the finals, the Magic only gave up 100-plus points in four of their 19 games in the first round of the playoffs. Since then, the Lakers have busted the century mark in all three games of the finale. And, the Lakers’ offense hasn’t brought its “A” game to the finals either, especially from long range. The team is shooting just 34 percent from 3-point land.
The setback for the Lakers dropped their road record to 4-5 both SU and ATS in the playoffs. Fatigue could set in Game 4, since this will be the second battle played on one-day of rest for both teams and the third game in five days.
On just one day off this year, both the Lakers (45-16 SU, 26-34 ATS) and Magic (44-19 SU, 37-25 ATS) have been productive during the season.
The Lakers are still listed as minus-500 favorites (Bet $500 to win $100) to win the best-of-seven series. Magic backers can take a shot at their team at a 7/2 price (Bet $100 to win $350).
Game 5 is slated for Sunday from Amway Arena.
Tip-off for Game 4 is set for 9:05 p.m. EDT, with ABC providing national coverage.
Re: Game 4 News and Notes
Game 4 Breakdown
By Matt Fargo
The Lakers lost Game 3 by four points which fell right on the number for most bettors. It actually closed at -4.5 so for those who waited to bet Los Angeles got a never in doubt win by the hook. All sarcasm aside, it was very much in doubt but a win nonetheless and a tough loss for Orlando backers who played a team put together a solid effort, easily it best of the season, and they were given nothing in return at the window.
Linesmakers are thinking what a lot of the sharp players are thinking and that is the fact that the Lakers will come out and conceivably win Game Four. The line is already down to -2.5 and is actually -2 at some shops so the Magic win is not swaying action toward their side to even up this series. If not for a missed layup at the end of regulation in Game 2, Orlando would have the ball in its court and would really be able to put the pressure on the Lakers.
The first two games of this series stayed way under as Game 1 missed the total by 29.5 points while Game 2 missed the total by 26 points (in regulation). Game Three saw the first posted total of this series be under 200 and it ended up going over by 14 points. Now the linesmakers don’t know what to do and LVSC opened Game Four at 201.5 and that is where it currently sits. Based on the first three games, it is tough to decipher what sort of game will be played out on Thursday.
Shooting Blanks or Shooting Darts
The Magic shot a dismal 29.9 percent in Game 1 and 41.8 percent in Game 2. To no ones surprise, they lost both of those games. Orlando came back on Tuesday and shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the floor and it needed every bit of it to pull out the win. The Magic shoots 45.8 percent at home compared to 45.5 percent on the road so it isn’t like they have a big advantage when playing at Amway Arena.
While Orlando was able to pick things up, it cannot be overlooked what the Lakers have done. They have gone from 46.1 percent to 46.2 percent to 51.3 percent over the three games. If nothing else, they have been more consistent and that is a sure sign that it will continue as Orlando has been all over the place on the offensive end. The fact that Orlando played arguably the best it could play and won by just four points tells us something.
“We didn’t allow being down 0-2 to discourage us,” Orlando center Dwight Howard said. “We’ve come along way and we want to win a championship.” He made two great points in that quote but it will be tough for Orlando to play near perfect basketball for three more games to win the title. “The sad thing is we shot 62.5 percent and nearly lost the game,” said guard Rafer Alston. He is exactly right.
The Kobe Factor
The Lakers could have and should have won Game 3 in Orlando if Kobe Bryant played his normal game. He came far from it. After a hot start, he missed 10 of his final 12 shots while also missing five of his 10 free throw attempts. Not to mention the fact that “Mr. Clutch” became “Mr. Choke” after his lack of production and numerous miscues in the fourth quarter. Have we already seen the best of Kobe or was it just an aberration? I vote for the latter.
“It was disappointing,” Bryant said, his voice barely above a whisper. “I’m used to coming through in these situations, the team trusts me in those situations and it just didn’t happen tonight.” He is hungry for this title and we saw it after Game Two when he was as monotone as ever saying that two wins in two games means nothing and there is no reason to be happy.
Watching him at the end of the Nuggets series showed us how fatigued he really was. The time off in-between the Conference Finals and this series helped no one more than Bryant. He did have a bad game on Tuesday but every player does in these types of games. He will be back and whether it be Game 4 or Game 5, he is going to lead the Lakers to a win and send the series back to Los Angeles or he may just step it up both times and raise the trophy in Orlando. We will wait and see.
Re: Game 4 News and Notes
L.A. Lakers (14-7 SU, 12-9 ATS) at Orlando (13-9 SU, 11-11 ATS)
After climbing back into the series with a victory in Game 3, the Magic aim to tie up the best-of-7 NBA Finals when they host Game 4 against the Lakers at Amway Arena.
Orlando shot an NBA Finals-record 62.5 percent from the field Tuesday night – including a whopping 75 percent in the first half – and hung on for a 108-104 victory, pushing as a four-point home chalk. Five Magic players scored at least 18 points, paced by Dwight Howard (21 points, 14 rebounds) and Rashard Lewis (21 points). Rafer Alston added 20 points, and Mickael Pietrus and Hedo Turkoglu chipped in 18 apiece, with Turkoglu also contributing seven assists.
Kobe Bryant paced Los Angeles with 31 points and eight assists, but he went just 5 of 10 from the free-throw line, and the Lakers finished 16 of 26 from the charity stripe (61.5 percent), well off Orlando’s 23-for-30 foul-line effort (76.7 percent). Pau Gasol added 23 points but had just three rebounds in a battle of two hot-shooting teams – L.A. hit a respectable 51.3 percent from the floor. However, the Lakers lost the rebounding battle for the first time in this series.
Including this series, Orlando is 3-2 SU and 3-1-1 ATS this season against Los Angeles and 5-2-1 ATS (4-4 SU) in the last eight clashes in this rivalry. In addition, the underdog is 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine meetings, with the road team 6-2-1 ATS during this span. The Lakers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five outings at Amway Arena.
Orlando is 40-11 SU (29-21-1 ATS) at home this season, including 8-2 SU (6-3-1 ATS) in the postseason. Los Angeles is 33-17 SU (27-22-1 ATS) on the highway, but just 4-5 SU (4-4-1 ATS) in road playoff games.
The Magic are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five starts against the Western Conference, but they remain on several ATS upswings, including 8-2-1 overall, 4-0-1 at home, 21-8-1 against the Western Conference and 5-1-1 as a playoff chalk.
The Lakers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five and sport additional pointspread streaks of 7-0 following a SU loss, 22-8-3 as road underdog, 16-7-1 catching less than five points and 4-1 after a day off. On the flip side, L.A. still carries negative ATS streaks of 2-11-2 in the Finals and 3-11-1 against the Southeast Division.
The last six meetings between these squads in Orlando have cleared the posted price, with Tuesday’s game soaring over the 198-point total. The over is also on a 5-1 run with the Lakers as a road pup and is also on rolls for Orlando of 4-0 after a day off and 4-1 following a SU win.
On the flip side, Orlando sports “under” trends of 6-1 against the West and 7-3 as a playoff chalk, and the under for Los Angeles is on surges of 10-3 overall, 7-1 against the Eastern Conference, 5-1 against the Southeast Division and 17-4 after a SU loss.
ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. LAKERS
Re: Game 4 News and Notes
what is a chris david? If it's not confidential or cross promoting can you say what media outlet this is from? In a medium that has zero accountability there is a lot of nonsense and BS, but that piece above is ridiculous.
It's not ESPN, is it? (they've reached new lows this week - pop ups with the trick "X" in the upper right hand corner - go to close it so you can read the friggin article unobstructed, and instead of closing it out it brings you to the advertisors site. I guess irritating customers and misleading them and playing them for suckers is the optimal way to increase sales.)
Re: Game 4 News and Notes
Vegas "Insider" - that makes sense.
No blame on the msngr, I read EVERYTHING I can, good or bad, there is useful info in all. Even when someone makes no sense whatsoever you can still get a pick out of it sometimes - knowing for a fact that they don't know what they are talking about you can fade them! If you see someone with incorrect 'facts' or a ridiculous premise, you can chalk it up to an edge and possibe play to go the other way.