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Monday, May 11, 2009
The TrueHoop Network Shootaround


Big Baby Davis hit an open look -- something the Magic couldn't do all night. Aaron Brooks shredded the Lakers' defense off the pick-and-roll. And if Kobe reminds you of MJ, it could be a case of  representativeness heuristic ... definition below.  

Orlando MagicZach McCann of Orlando Magic Daily: "The Orlando Magic lost on Sunday night because they couldn't put the ball in the basket. And it wasn't because of poor ball movement (59 percent of their field goals were assisted), careless offense (only eight turnovers) or a lack of attacking the hoop (28 free-throw attempts, compared to 27 for Boston). Really, that's what made this loss so frustrating. The Magic weren't playing poorly ... And somehow, it took a buzzer-beater for the Celtics to beat them. Despite their worst shooting night of the playoffs - going 5-of-27 from 3-point range, including a 2-for-18 performance from the guards - the Magic found themselves up by one point in the final seconds of Game 4. A win puts them up 3-1 heading back to Boston. Some people might glance at the box score, see 22 missed 3-pointers for the Magic and assume they were chucking up bad shots. Definitely not the case."

Aaron BrooksKurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold: "What kind of offenses gave the Lakers fits this year? Ones with quick point guards that could break our slower PGs down off the dribble, teams that ran their offense from the top of the key area and teams that had bigs that could step out and hit 15-18 footers that pulled our bigs out from protecting the paint. With Yao out, what does Houston do for offense? Run the pick and pop at the top of the key with a big who can hit the shot. The Lakers responded by going back to old habits - everyone sagging off their guy to provide unnecessary help in the key, in doing so leaving good three point shooters too open ... The Rockets came out knowing what they wanted to do with this lineup and played with passion. The Lakers came out unsure of what the Rockets were going to do but apparently being pretty sure it would be fold. It was not - the Rockets deserve the win for showing heart and passion in the face of adversity. But the Lakers are still the better team. And if they come out with equal passion Tuesday night that will be obvious."

Kobe-MJMike Kurylo of Knickerblogger: "Although Kobe [Bryant] is good in many areas, [Michael] Jordan was flat out dominant. If you count all the seasons where a player averaged 30 pts/36 with a true shooting percentage over 58.9% (Jordan's averages at Kobe's age) since the 3-point era, you'll find only 4 such seasons. Three belong to Jordan, and the fourth is Kiki Vandeweghe. Do the same with Kobe's averages (24.8 pts/36, 55.8 ts%), and you'll find 113 seasons. Kobe only has 4 of those seasons, while Jordan appears on that list 10 times ... Before looking up the numbers, my brain linked the two players because of their similar style of play. Granted there was always a section of grey matter that questioned their equality due to Bryant's lack of a title as his team's centerpiece. Because of their resemblances, my subconscious made a connection between the pair. This is known as 'representativeness heuristic' ... In other words since Kobe plays like Jordan, and is similar enough to him, people attribute Jordan's other attributes to Kobe. But in reality this is false. Bryant is a good player, but nowhere near Michael's level. And without statistics that subtle but important difference may not be clear."

THE FINAL WORD
By the Horns: Mike Miller? Thanks, but no thanks. 
Two Man Game: A sober, smart survey of the crime scene in Dallas.
Raptors Republic: The teams playing in May all have something in common. 

(Photos by Fernando Medina, Ronald Martinez, Jamie Squire/NBAE via Getty Images)