|2009 NBA Eastern Conference Finals|
|Orlando leads series, 1-0|
|May 22nd, 2009|
|Quicken Loans Arena|
|Rafer Alston||PG||Mo Williams|
|Courtney Lee||SG||Delonte West|
|Hedo Turkoglu||SF||LeBron James|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Anderson Varejao|
|Dwight Howard||C||Zydrunas Ilgauskas|
Wednesday night, for the second consecutive Game 1 of their playoffs, the Orlando Magic stunned their opponent on the road to steal home-court advantage. The last time that happened, in the Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics, the Magic came out flat in Game 2 and got run out of the gym, squandering a golden opportunity to take a commanding 2-0 edge heading back to Orlando. Tonight, they'll look to avoid a similar letdown. Magic reserve center Adonal Foyle, who has a way with words, might have said it best immediately after Game 1. He updated his Facebook status to read:
we are not here to bear witness. We are here to dethrone the chosen one.
Adonal isn't the only player talking a little tough. Cavs guard Mo Williams does not feel the slightest bit intimidated by his team's 1-0 deficit: regarding the Magic:
"I don't feel this team can beat us four times. I don't see them beating us four times."
Orlando's biggest concern is defense. While the Magic did fairly well limiting LeBron James to 49-points--try re-reading that sentence and you'll get a better understanding of James' off-the-charts skills--forcing him to take contested jumpers for most of the night, they lost track of other Cavaliers like Anderson Varejao and Delonte West, and should count themselves lucky that West had an off-night (11 points, 4-of-13 shooting). They simply need to play more alertly on that end. Offensively, there are very few complaints. Dwight Howard (30 points) and Rashard Lewis (22) got just about whatever they wanted, with Hedo Turkoglu (14 assists) and Rafer Alston (7) running the show.
A Magic victory tonight would go a long way in their quest to "dethrone the chosen one," to use Adonal's words. Tune in to TNT at 8:30 to see if they can do it.