The look splashed across
Unfortunately for Orlando, no one did.
The lack of a crunch-time scorer has become a recurring problem for the Magic in the 2009 postseason. If you look at the list of recent NBA champions, they all share at least one common thread: a natural killer instinct and a player (or players) on the roster capable of acting on it. The Lakers had
The Magic? Who do they have?
They have Lewis, one of the NBA's best three-point shooters, who needs double teams on Howard and crisp ball rotation to be effective.
But they don't have any player capable of sparking a 26-point fourth-quarter comeback, as Pierce did in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals. They don't have anyone capable of making impossible shot after impossible shot, as Allen did during the Celtics' epic first-round series with Chicago this year. At least, not since All-Star point guard
What the Magic do have is a young, talented core that needs to build a sizable advantage in the first three quarters in order to ensure a win in the fourth.
There's nothing wrong with that.
That doesn't hide the issue with the most teeth: Who, if anyone, will emerge as Orlando's fourth-quarter weapon? In those final seven minutes of Game 4, as Celtics coach
Despite the crushing manner in which Orlando gave home-court advantage back to Boston, the Magic still may hold an edge in this series, with Boston showing more and more of the wear and tear that comes with a depleted roster and a grueling first-round series. But until the Magic find a go-to scorer, a player who can make the perimeter shot, create his own shot in the lane and knock down free throws (all at the same time), they will never be a championship contender.