Stan Van, You’re Not The Man…

Choke, choke, choke. Yes, this was the story of the Orlando Magic’s utter collapse and ultimate loss in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers yesterday. orlando_magic_by_pixel_reborn_1280x1024With a double digit lead late in the 4th quarter (12 I believe), the Magic simply fell apart and watched the 76ers pull a fast one on them with the likes of A.I. (and not Allen Iverson) and Donyell Marshall who hit a game-tying 3 with under a minute left to go in the 4th quarter. Iguodala nailed a 15-footer with 2.2 seconds remaining to stun the overly-tanned Orlando crowd. And why exactly did this happen? Well, let me tell you why…

Stan Van Gundy, the degenerate brother of Jeff Van Gundy (who is absolutely horrible to listen commentate NBA games on TNT), is a terrible coach. Yes, the Magic are good, but it’s all because of Dwight Howard and NOT because they are well coached. Van Gundy’s reputation lives on…reference yesterday’s choke job. 423px-stanvangundy_20050723With under 5 minutes to go and up by more than 10, the Magic brought the ball down the floor and dumped the ball into Superman (Dwight Howard), who was quickly fouled and subsequently poked in the eye on his way up to throw down a dunk. After hitting both free throws, Van Gundy pulled Howard, apparently because he could not see, but forgot to coach the rest of his team who was left on the court to seemingly clean up the victory…..OOPS, I KNEW HE FORGOT SOMETHIN’. With Superman on the bench, the Magic turned the ball over, forgot how to play D, and watched Philly steal the Game 1 win with seconds left on the clock. During this whole 12 or 14 point run by the 76ers, Van Gundy didn’t call a timeout, didn’t say anything from the sideline, and forgot that in the NBA, anything can happen…even with a double digit lead late in the 4th. A poor coaching effort just cemented Van Gundy’s “lack of respect and reputation” among his current and old players, including “Big Daddy” himself, Shaquille O’Neal. A few months ago in an interview, Shaq reminisced about his time with the heat under Van Gundy. And boy was he blunt, claiming Stan Van got nervous in close games, buckled under pressure, and was usually less-than-inspiring from the bench. Shaq basically said that the team was on its own to figure out how to close games…

Based on yesterday’s 4th quarter fiasco, Shaq seems pretty smart now doesn’t he? Way to go Stan, way to help your cause…I hope you get out of the 1st round big guy, otherwise your future down in steamy FL doesn’t look so sunny…

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