Magic Dismantle Bobcats 92-77, Lead Series

You gotta hand it to Orlando’s tried and tested ‘dump the ball to Howard then pass it to perimeter shooters if he gets double – teamed‘ play. It nearly got them a Championship and now it’s proving to be effective even with personnel changes a year later.The question is though, is whether it can withstand Dwight Howard‘s volcanic temperament.

Well, it’s not really volcanic in so much as it is unpredictable and prone to outbursts. I am perplexed as to why that is considering he has had a full year’s worth of experience after their Championship run and is still shouting, screaming, beating his chest and completely emotional over all sorts of calls, bad and good. This does not bode well for him and what does not work well for the most dominating center in the NBA not to mention the centerpiece of his team does not also bode well for Orlando.

As a result, in this very rough game he finishes only with 15 pts, and 9 rebounds, piddling numbers for a talent such as he, and not even topscoring at that.

What saved Orlando no doubt, is their excellent play. Pietrus scored 3-4 from the 3 pt. range, and the rest of the starters scored in double figures as well, with Carter topscoring at 19.

The Bobcats were a picture of hesitation and hence, frustration, with only Stephen Jackson scoring well at 27, followed by Gerald Wallace at 15 then Nazr Mohammed of all people, making 10, and no one else following with double figures, not even one of my favorite guards R. Felton.

Speaking of volcanic temperaments, I knew it was only a matter of time before Jackson was going to erupt in some way and he did today, coming very close to technicals in several occasions.

I never count out Larry Brown coached teams, but the Bobcats look like a mishmash of great talent that never get on winning teams because of one reason or another, usually behavior, as personified by the spectacular but mercurial Jackson.

Despite such ability however, I’m giving this series to Orlando 4 games to 1. Orlando is a well-oiled machine with their perimeter passing, 3 point shooting and effective option in the paint in the person of Howard, the most dominating Center in basketball today. Inspite of his immaturity (you can’t call it anything else really), they play so well enough to overcome it, as in this case where all Starters didn’t have to come off the bench by the 4th quarter.

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