|2009 NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals|
|Series Tied, 2-2|
|April 22nd, 2009|
|NBA TV / FSN Florida|
|Andre Miller||PG||Rafer Alston|
|Willie Green||SG||Courtney Lee|
|Andre Iguodala||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Thaddeus Young||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Samuel Dalembert||C||Dwight Howard|
Both the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers will attempt to seize control of their first-round playoff series tonight when they square off at Amway Arena. Orlando tied the series and regained homecourt advantage in Game 4 thanks to a three-pointer from Hedo Turkoglu with 1.1 seconds remaining. Three of the four games so far have come down to the final shot. Oddly, the drama-filled series hasn't lived up to expectations, most likely because everyone expected Orlando to handle Philadelphia with relative ease.
If the Magic can improve their transition defense while simultaneously maintaining their excellent half-court defense from Game 4, they will almost assuredly leave Amway Arena with a victory today. But again, conventional wisdom has been largely absent in this series, as John Hollinger of ESPN.com illustrates:
The entire upside-down nature of the series was summed up best by a three-possession sequence in third quarter in which Orlando's J.J. Redick missed two wide-open 3-pointers and then finally scored by going coast-to-coast and zigzagging past three defenders for a layup. If you're keeping track, this happened a few minutes after 31 percent career 3-point shooter Willie Green knocked down his third bomb in three tries, and just moments before career 34 percent marksman Thaddeus Young hit his third triple to improve to 5-of-7 on the series.
I'll be on press row covering this game live from Amway Arena. If you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask the players or coaches during their media availability sessions, shoot me an email (3qcmagicblogger [AT] gmail [DOT] com) or send me a Direct Message via Twitter (@3QCMagic).