Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic Game 5 Preview

L.A. Lakers +3 at Orlando Magic -3 O/U 198.5 8 PM ET Sunday June 14, 2009 on ABC

By Jason Green at Predictem.com

The Lakers lead this best of 7 series 3-1

Tonight the Orlando Magic host the L.A. Lakers in game 5 of the NBA finals. In the history of the NBA playoffs the team that is up 3-1 in the series goes on to win the series 95% of the time. Even though the Lakers are up 3-1 in this series they would be down 3-1 if Courtney Lee makes the end of the game alley-oop in game 3 and Dwight Howard hits just one free throw at the end of game 4. Howard was fouled with 11 seconds remaining and only had to hit one free throw to ice the game, but he missed both and then Jameer Nelson made a bonehead play and allowed Derek Fisher to be open from beyond the 3-point line and D-Fish nailed it to send the game to OT. The Lakers dominated the OT out scoring the Magic 12-4 and won the game.

The Magic are lucky that stud reserve Mickael Pietrus was not suspended for tonight’s game after a hard foul pushing Pau Gasol in the back at the very end of OT in game 4 when the games was basically already over. The Magic have had their chances in this series and have not come through and now they have to win tonight in order to stay alive in this series and not watch the Lakers celebrate an NBA title on their home floor.

Basketball bookies have the Magic as 3-point favorites in this game with a total around 198.5. The moneyline for this game has the Magic as the home favorites at -150 and the Lakers as the road underdog at +130.

The Lakers beat the Magic 99-91 in OT on Thursday night. The high scorer was obviously Kobe Bryant going for 32 points on 11/31 shooting. For the game the Lakers shot 38/91 for a FG% of 41.8%. The high scorer for the Magic in game 4 was Hedo Turkoglu going for 25 points on 8/13 shooting. For the game the Magic shot 31/74 for a FG% of 41.9%.

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.

Once again the Magic could not capitalize on Kobe not having a great game. Even though Kobe was solid going for 32 points and made some key baskets late in the game he only shot 11/31 from the floor.

Pau Gasol had another solid game going for 16 points and grabbing 10 boards.

The Magic have to get out and run and control the tempo of the game, as when the game is a high scoring one and they get out and run on the break they have a much better chance of winning.

The Magic have to hold onto the rock tonight, as in game 4 they had 17 turnovers and the Lakers only had 7.

Dwight Howard was a monster on the boards grabbing 21 rebounds in game 4, but he only scored 16 points on 5/12 shooting, had 7 turnovers, and missed those 2 crucial free throws at the end of regulation.

Howard is not a good free throw shooter, as for the season he show just under 60%, but in game 4 he was throwing up bricks from the charity stripe only hitting 6 of his 14 free throws.

For the game the Magic only shot a paltry free throw percentage of 59.5%.

Rashard Lewis only had 6 points in game 4 on 2/10 shooting and he needs to give the Magic some offense tonight.

We will see what the Magic are made of tonight, as they have blown their chances in this series. The Magic have to suck it up and forget the first few games and concentrate on winning tonight and getting back into this series.