“Coaching isn’t everything–it is the thing!”


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We knew the Lakers would close the 12-point deficit. It was just a matter of when. Pau, Kobe, and a clutch Derek Fisher (the real closer) showed up tonight. So who forgot he was in the NBA Finals? Stan Van Gundy. Yep, watching Jameer Nelson play I could only hear Bobby Brown crooning in my head, “Tell me, tell me, tell me why?” Only I was shouting at the television. WHY! WHY! 11:00 minutes: Jameer Nelson bow-legs brings the ball up the court. Somewhere around 6:40(it’s already 11:45p.m. around here folks, my memory is blurry) Jameer Nelson makes an assist to Cry Baby (a.k.a Dwight Howard), prompting Mark Jackson to say, “Criticize Stan for keeping Nelson in if you want to, but Nelson is making solid decisions, passing the ball and making assists.”

Hmm, true, but this is exactly the problem. Nelson was solid. Nelson passed. Nelson did not turn the ball over. You don’t want solid in the playoffs. If you’re the Magic you need to score at least 100 points to have a chance of contending with the Lakers. A barely healthy Nelson ain’t giving you squat.

When asked about his choice to play Nelson over Alston, Van Gundy said confidently,”Rafer sat on the bench for 10-12 minutes, I thought it was better to play Jameer.”

What?

Jameer Nelson has been sitting for four months! Talk about cold. I’m all for adjusting in the Finals but benching Rafer Alston to play your guard who hasn’t played with his teammates for months is not a smart move. The rest of the team doesn’t even know who he is! (Jameer…tall, dark-skin dude? Yeah, I know him. That’s the ball boy, right?).

Another kernel of wisdom from Stan: “Too much is put on this Finals experience. Our guys are basketball players–I don’t buy the whole veteran experience. This is basketball.”

Uh-huh. Wrong. Um, Stan wake up. This is the Finals and the Zen-Man is outcoaching you on every step you take. Watching a team in rhythm is a beautiful thing. It’s akin to watching Phelps swim beneath the water–rhythmical. Phelps merges with the water. A team in rhythm is like a school of fish; the team becomes a unit. The Orlando Magic as my mama likes to say, “Can’t tell whether they coming or going.” Translation: the Orlando Magic are a talented team without direction and are being led to the slaughter like cattle.

Magic Johnson says all the Lakers have to do is “stick to the game plan” and Lakers win (Kobe can say, “See, I told you I could do it. Shaq ain’t nothing without me!” Instead he’ll just say, “it was a good series. The Orlando Magic are a passionate team…blah, blah,blah).

If only the Orlando Magic could stick to the game plan. Who knows? Maybe Stan is right, rhythm and experience in the NBA Finals doesn’t matter. Maybe Lakers win anyway. I’m sure Stan will have plenty of time to mull this over with a nice cold beer on the beach after Sunday. Maybe the Orlando fans will be a bit more forgiving. Basketball, it’s just a game!

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~ by Miss Tea on June 12, 2009.

4 Responses to ““Coaching isn’t everything–it is the thing!””

  1. I had so much confidence in the magic. I believed! But now thanks to stan I no longer believe in magic. I only accept reality. Congrats lakers on a victory.

  2. Right on- Stan completely ignored the idea of team chemistry. Yes, Jameer Nelson is a great player, but the team got to where the were (the finals) with an erratic Rafer Alston. Now you have crushed his confidence and lost the finals. Finally, not fouling by up with 3…..WOW that is the DUMBEST decision ever. Forcing a team to make free-throws and TRUSTING your players (which he doesn’t) is what you are supposed to do in a FINALS game! That’s all for now- See you on the flipside.

  3. @Mozzart–I agree, a foul to give and I’m not going to take it? WOW! This has got to be one of the worst coaching decisions.

  4. I concur…took the words right out of my mouth

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