Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic Game 4 Preview and Pick

L.A. Lakers +2.5 at Orlando Magic -2.5 O/U 201.5 9 PM ET Thursday June 11, 2009 on ABC
By Jason Green at Predictem.com

The Lakers lead this best of 7 series 2-1.

Tonight the Orlando Magic host the L.A. Lakers in game 4 of the NBA Finals. Which Magic team will show up tonight? Talk about two different teams, as in game 1 the Magic did not even shoot 30% from the floor and then in game 3 they set an NBA record shooting over 62% from the floor. If the Magic shoot like they did in game 3 it really does not matter how the Lakers play, as the Magic will win.

Kobe is the best closer in the game, but in game 3 he faltered down the stretch and missed some key late free throws.


After getting no guard play in the first 2 games Rafer Alston was called out by Stan Van Gundy, the players of the Magic, and even his friends and Alston responded, big time, going for 20 points on 8/12 shooting. Van Gundy may have realized that bringing in Jameer Nelson may have been a mistake, as Alston played most of the minutes at PG and he came through with a big game. How hot were the Magic in game 3? Every single player shot at least 50% from the field except Marcin Gortat, who only logged 5 minutes and was 0/1 from the floor.

Basketball Bookies have the Magic as 2.5 -point favorites in this game with a total around 201.5. The moneyline for this game has the Magic as the home favorites at -135 and the Lakers as the road underdog at +115.

The Magic beat the Lakers in game 3 on Tuesday night 108-104. The high scorers for the Magic in that game was Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard both going for 21 points. Both players could not miss combining to shoot 13/20 from the floor. For the game the Magic shot 40/64 for a scorching FG% of 62.5%. Of course Kobe was the high scorer for the Lakers in game 3 going for 31 points, but he only was 11/25 from the field. For the game the Lakers shot 40/78 from the field for a FG% of 51.3%.

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.

The Lakers did not play bad in game 3, as they shot over 50% from the field, so the Magic have to play better D, as they cannot count on shooting over 62% again.

If Kobe is struggling again in the 4th quarter like in game 3 he may want to count on Pau Gasol more, as Gasol had another solid game going for 23 points on 9/11 shooting. However, Gasol has to hit the boards harder tonight, as he only had 3 rebounds in game 3.

Even though the Magic out rebounded the Lakers in game 3 (29-27) they allowed the Lakers to pull down 11 offensive rebounds. The Magic can’t allow the Lakers to have 2nd chance opportunities tonight.

The Lakers did shoot over 50% for the game, but that was because their bench was shooting well combining to shoot 9/14 from the floor. Except for Gasol no Lakers starter shot over 50% from the floor.

The Lakers need to use their height tonight and get in the faces of the Magic shooters and use their quickness to disrupt the passing lanes.

The Magic have to move the ball like they did in game 3, as they had 23 assists and the Lakers only had 16.

The Lakers had all the momentum in game 3, but now it is the Magic that have it, as they look to tie this series tonight.

Jason’s Pick: I think this series breaks down into a home and home type of matchup where each team wins on their home courts and the series goes 7. That means I like the Magic to cover the -2 tonight.