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    25 DIME - LOS ANGELES LAKERS - One thing about the Lakers, they love statement games.

    And tonight facing the team they met in last years NBA finals, this is as good statement game as you can ask for.

    You throw in a team lacking confidence and playing their 8th road game out of 11 in the new year and this could get ugly.

    Let me start with the Lakers, who since their two sluggish home wins on the 29th over Golden State and new years day over Sacramento, this team at home has been lethal.

    A 35 point win over the Mavs, followed by a 9 point win over the Rockets, then an 18 point win over the Buck,s ending with a 40 point win over the Clippers last game out.

    All systems go with the Lakers tonight as they will send the struggling Magic on their way to yet another road loss.

    Orlando starts off the new year with a nice win on the road over Minnesota. They follow that up with back to back road losses to the Bulls and the Pacers.

    After 3 days off to regroup, they fall at home to the Raptors and with 2 days to rally his team and get them to refocus, they lose at the gun toting Wizards by 7.

    Ok, finally they show up at home to beat the Hawks and then start their road trip with a nice win over the Kings but again, they can't handle success.

    They roll into Denver, and get drilled by 18 and here is where my problem with this Magic team starts.

    With 2 days to get his team turned around, to get their attention, to sit them down and put his foot down and say the inconsistent play stops here and we need to start playing like we care, what do the Magic do?

    They go into Portland and face the Blazers without leading scorer Brandon Roy and get torched 102-87 in a game they were never in.

    Where most coaches are able to get their teams attention with 2 or 3 days after a loss, I feel deep down Stan Van Gundy's act with this Magic team is wearing thin, just as his act wore thin with the Miami Heat.

    For a reference, see Shaq's take on Van Gundy as a coach.

    I dare say it, but I really believe good old Stan has lost his team and the nail in the coffin might be tonight.

    You have 3 days after a road loss to the Bulls to rally your team and you lose by 7 to the 14-26 Pacers.

    You have 2 days after a home loss to the Raptors to rally your team and lose to the 13-26 Wizards by 7.

    You have 2 days after your road loss to the Nuggets to rally your team and lose to the Roy-less Blazers by 15.

    Now you have 3 days at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey and the Hollywood scene to rally your team for the red hot Lakers

    This may sound crazy but maybe in a warped way the Magic are trying to get Van Gundy fired with their poor play because with as much talent as they have, is there any other explanation?

    I mean, it's either that or they really do miss Hedo Turkoglu and I'm sorry but I just can't buy into that.

    Either way, the struggling Magic are going down and down big to LA tonight.

    25 dime - LAKERS

    In the land of the dark, the ship of the sun is drivin' by
    The Grateful Dead..........
    "The Egyptian book of the Dead"

  • #2
    Loved the Magic tonight before seeing this black cat on the other side
    Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends...