Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic Game 3 Preview and Pick

L.A. Lakers +4 at Orlando Magic -4 O/U 198 9 PM ET Tuesday June 9, 2009 on ABC
By Jason Green at Predictem.com

The Lakers lead this best of 7 series 2-0

Tonight the Orlando Magic host the L.A. Lakers in game 3 of the NBA Finals. Oh, what could have been if Courtney Lee would have hit the last second alley-oop in game 2. With .6 seconds remaining Hedo Turkoglu made a perfect pass to Lee, but he could not convert the wide-open shot. Sure, it was not an easy shot, but that missed shot may have cost the Magic a shot in this series, as they are no down 0-2. The Magic played much better in game 2, but could not take advantage of a sub-par performance from Kobe Bryant, as they lost in OT when Kobe took over.

Even though the Magic did lose, in a heartbreaker no less, they showed the can stay with the Lakers if they play their game.

History is not on the side of the Magic, as only 3 teams in NBA history have come back to win the NBA Finals after losing the first two games. Dwight Howard had a solid game going for 17 points and 16 boards, but he did not touch the ball much at the end of OT in game 2 and he made some costly turnovers. This is not an elimination game for the Magic, but it almost is, as if they lose tonight the series is, pretty much, over.

Basketball Sportsbooks have the Magic as 4 -point favorites in this game with a total around 198. The moneyline for this game has the Magic as the home favorites at -190 and the Lakers as the road underdog at +160.

The Lakers beat the Magic in OT on Sunday night 101-96. The high scorer for the Lakers in that game was Kobe Bryant going for 29 point on 10/22 shooting. For the game the Lakers shot 36/78 for a FG% of 46.2%. The high scorer for the Magic in game 2 was Rashard Lewis going for 34 points on 12/21 shooting including going 6/12 from behind the 3-point line. For the game the Magic shot 33/79 for a FG% of 41.8%.

This season the Lakers ranked 3rd in scoring (106.7 ppg) and the Magic ranked 10th (101 ppg). On defense the Magic were better in terms of points allowed as they were at 94.4 ppg this season and the Lakers were at 99.1 ppg. This season the Lakers had a rebounding differential of +2.6 rpg and the Magic were at 1.1 rpg.

This season the Magic were an NBA best 49-32-1 ATS and Lakers were 42-39-1. In terms of Over/Under games this season the Magic were 41-40-1 and the Lakers were 41-39-1.

Hedo Turkoglu had a solid game going for 22 points and grabbing 6 boards and he even ran the point for the Magic in the 4th quarter and OT.

Even though Turkoglu was solid he and Howard have to hold onto the rock, as the 2 combined for 12 turnovers, including some key ones down the stretch.

Once again Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom had a good game and they needed to in game 2 with Kobe not scoring a ton of points. Odom and Gasol combined for 43 points and 18 rebounds. Odom had an awesome game going for 19 points on 8/9 shooting, grabbing 8 boards, and had 3 big blocked shots.

In game 1 the Lakers dominated the boards and in game 2 the Magic won the battle of the boards out-rebounding the Lakers 44-35. They will have to control the glass tonight in order to win this game.

Trevor Ariza has been solid in the playoffs, but he played poorly in game 2 with only 8 points on 3/13 shooting. He has to bounce back tonight and give the Lakers another scoring option.

The Magic PG’s of Rafer Alston and Jameer Nelson were both inconsistent in game 2, which is why Turkoglu ran the point at the end of the game. One of these two have to step up and be the floor general for the Magic tonight.

Because there was no real point for much of the game the Magic committed 20 turnovers and only had 22 assists in game 2.

If Kobe is playing his game and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol keep playing like they have been in this series the Magic will have to play a perfect game to win.

Jason’s Pick: I like Orlando to win and cover at home.