Ride’s Over, Everybody Off

p26-gah

Let’s just take the suspense out of this right now and show you the above picture. Now, let’s find out how I got there (if I sound despondent, look above for the reason).

p26-1board

I started out nabbing boards since the Magic didn’t seem to want them, and neither did my teammates.

p26-2pass

Once I had the ball, it was easy to find open teammates. They didn’t hit with any regularity, especially early on. The Magic,similar to with the rebounds, were matching us miss-for-miss. It was a slow start, to be honest.

p26-3swat

Of course, some of their misses weren’t just bricks. Sometimes I caught my man on a fast break for a LeBron-style chase down. I ended the first quarter with 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a turnover in eight minutes.

p26-4open

In the 2nd, I had one good play. I cut past Rashard Lewis (I seem to be guarded by everyone but my man)…

p26-5release

p26-7met

… pulled up and nailed a quick jumper.

We did have a play in the period that reminded everyone that, independent of the Best in the NBA argument, LeBron James is without doubt the most exciting.

p26-8wow1

p26-8wow2

p26-8wow3

p26-8wow4

p26-8wow5

He caught a long bomb pass on a full extension, ran to the free throw line, spun around Jason Williams and threw down a two handed slam on J-Will’s head. I mean, look at Lewis in the pic above. It looks like he just wants to touch the man. For the record, that off target pass was from Wade, not me. If I’d thrown it he would have caught it in stride – and then none of the exciding pictures above would have happened. So, go Wade.

p26-9bat1

p26-9bat2

He also pulled off a true chase down, just to show me how it’s done. I then committed the ultimate cardinal sin.

p26-10no1

Dammit. Just, dammit. There was one second on the clock until the half, and I tried to block Jameer Nelson’s near-half court heave for some cheap teammate rating points.

p26-10no2

“What, me? Foul? No way, I didn’t foul him!” Yes you did, genius. He didn’t hit the shot but he did pull them within one at the half by hitting all three freebies. At this point, we were up by one, were out shooting the Magic 42% to 35%, but had one free throw to their five. Hold on to that last thought.

p26-11attack1

I came back after the half and showed that I can score – something people who who only saw me play in this game would probably not believe.

p26-11attack2

I had space to work with, so I approached the three point line.

p26-11attack3

I was met by Howard, who came to help Nelson. I was constantly harassed by Dwight whenever I approached the paint, so good job by him. I hate him for it, but good job by him.

p26-11attack4

I double back as Bosh steps in to lend a hand (or shoulder).

p26-11attack5

With Howard caught up on Chris at the three point line, I had a one-on-one with Jameer.

p26-11attack6

I stepped back and pulled up for a clean shot. Now I just have to make it.

p26-11attack7

No problem. This gave me six points in the game. In the third quarter. My poor offensive showing wasn’t me shooting poorly, it was my Alpha Dog mates attempting to win the game themselves. Normally I’d ride their coattails to success, but they were missing. Allot. Especially LeBron, who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

p26-15damn

Ultimately, we lost. But you knew that already. Aside from my scoring (I finished with 8 points) I had a solid overall game. I contributed 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block and a turnover on 40% shooting (4-10). Bosh led us in scoring with 17, Wade has 15 and LeBron scored 12. Bosh was 9-9, Wade hit 37% from the field (6-16) but LeBron only shot 28% (6-21). As a team we hit on 39% of our attempts, while Orlando only hit 36%. We hit five more shots over the course of the game, so we had the edge there. They also only made 1 more three then us (3 to 2). So how on earth did they beat us?

Free throws.

Remember, about midway up this post where I told you that they had shot 5 free throws at the half to our 1? By the end of the game that had ballooned to 19 makes for them versus 5 for us. That’s where we lost the game, and therefore the series, ultimately ending our season.

Now I have decide what to do with myself. If I get the opportunity, should I bolt for a team where I can be a leader? Do I take the opportunity to go home to Cleveland if it’s offered? Is there unfinished business here? Let me know in the poll on the site. I’ll leave the poll up for a couple days and tally the votes to see what the consensus is. Help decide my future!

In other news, the Magic are facing the Lakers, if anyone still cares.

- Rick Daniel

Comments are closed.

Categories