The NBA is where amazing happens, certainly that applied to Lebron James's amazing last second shot to win the game last night. For the Magic, it's just more proof that basketball can be a cruel game sometimes. In case you missed it, here it is,
I watched the post-game news conference and Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said right away that he made a mistake and it cost them the game. Here is some of the transcript of what he said:
I’d like to have that last one back from a coaching standpoint. I should have defended it differently. It’s crushing enough to lose as a coach, but when you feel like you’re the guy who could’ve made the difference, it hurts a lot more.The Cavs were definitely looking for the lob as the initial play, but you can see in the clip, Hedo Turkoglu impedes Lebron going to the basket, and Lebron pops out to the top of the key instead.
Van Gundy talked about that if he could do it again he would've defended it differently. Hindsight is 20/20, but if it were me and I had a mulligan (since we're living in the hypothetical in blogger land), the single thing I would have done would to have Rashard Lewis or even Dwight Howard aggressively defending the inbound. As you can see in this screenshot, Lewis is basically in no-man's-land -- not really defending the inbounds and not really defending another player.
As in the Denver-LA series, when Odom aggressively defended Carter, forcing Carter to lob it in the air. If Lewis had been on the shorter Williams, it would've forced Williams to lob it in the air, where Hedo would have had enough time to get to Lebron in time to either intercept the pass or at the very least get in his face to make the shot much harder.
The other option, would be to have Lewis completely off the ball and face-guarding Lebron. Hedo would take away the lob. But I don't like leaving the inbounder unguarded because it makes it easier to thread a pass.
As I mentioned, basketball is a cruel game. Had the Magic held on to go up 2-0, heading back to Orlando, this series could've been almost a done deal. Now, the Cavs have the momentum with just that 1 shot, and the Magic are now back on their heels.
For more info on building winning programs, Morgan Wooten's 20/20 Hindsight DVD is a look back at some coaching tips from Coach Wooten's legendary career as one of the most successful high school basketball coaches ever at DeMatha Catholic. Head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss all of your hoops.