Game 6, Eastern Conference Finals - Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers.
For Orlando, this is easily the biggest game in franchise history. With a win against the Cavaliers, the Magic would advance to the NBA Finals for the second time since 1995. With a loss, Orlando would trek back to Cleveland for a do-or-die Game 7.
By taking home-court advantage away from the Cavaliers in Game 1, the Magic are rewarded with the chance to close out the series in front of its fans. The question is, can Orlando take advantage of the opportunity?
We'll find out the answer tonight.
- Brian Schmitz thinks the Magic should treat Game 6 like a Game 7:
Time to play mind games.
Maybe they ought to hire a hypnotist to deliver the pre-game speech. Light some candles and incense and start chanting.
It would do the Orlando Magic good to think of Game 6 tonight at Amway Arena as a Game 7.
A victory finally rids the Magic of the Cleveland Cavaliers and allows them to look under their beds and not see the LeBron monster anymore.
Oh, yeah. And they would then head off to the NBA Finals in Los Angeles, a trip that now would seem like a relief compared to another night in Cleveland.
The Magic could make their life infinitely easier by making Game 6 their Game 7, playing as if their season is on the endangered species list.
- George Diaz states that Orlando needs to stop LeBron James as b
est as possible, tonight, and force Cleveland's role players to beat you:
Put two defenders on LeBron. Three. Stuff the Mascot. Pray. Light candles. Call a voodoo priest. Rub Mike Bianchi's bald head. Eat Lucky Charms for breakfast. Whatever. Just figure it out. Please.
That's the final word from many Magic fans, now resorting to "lucky underwear" or "favorite chair" tactics to bring the best out in the Magic so they don't have to go back to Cleveland for Game 7.
Oh, oh. Big oh, oh.
We all know that falling behind by 22 is never a good strategy, but that's not likely tonight with the adrenaline from the home crowd pumping through The Am.
The next step is easy: Do what you have to do to get the ball out of LeBron's hands and make anybody else beat you. Whiny Energetic Wild Thing Sideshow Bob (aka Anderson Varejao). Mo Williams. Daniel Gibson (memo to Hedo Turkoglu: You are allowed to raise your hands in the air to try to block those deep 3-balls he's fond of shooting).
Maybe the Magic will get the ball out of LeBron's hands early in possessions tonight. For much of the fourth quarter Thursday, LeBron played patty-cake with the ball at the top of the key, waiting to drive or pull for a jumper as the 24-second shot clock ticked away. Don't give him time to figure it out. Rush a defender at him. Make him work harder. Make some other guy be The Hero.
- Kyle Hightower notes that the Cavaliers, especially James, feel confident heading back to the O-Rena to face off against the Magic.
- The Orlando Sentinel ranks LeBron's series performance against Orlando to the past greats that have played in the NBA. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
- UPDATE: Andrea Adelson reports that the Cavs were having fun during shootaround in the morning, with LBJ tossing a football around.
Make sure to check out this post every few hours for updates.