Let's get real about some things. Moreover, let's talk about actual facts, instead of inventing them. Facts do not oppose reality if we're thinking clearly.
First, there are some awesome Magic fans contributing here; they're courteous, passionate, and observant. It's cool to see, and if the Magic finish us off, we'll wish them well.
Second, there are rude, ignorant Magic fans polluting these boards. Sadly, some Cleveland fans have jumped on board with their "arguments." So the next time someone says something like the following, you'll know how to respond.
"The Magic just have more weapons than the Cavs and we saw it in game four."
Game four was one of the biggest outliers we could have possibly seen, for two main reasons: 3-point shooting and Rafer Alston. Game four did not demonstrate that the Magic is a better team; it demonstrated that occasionally a monkey can write Shakespeare.
Start with Alston. You probably know that he's not an all-star. But did you know that, in the past decade, he's one of the five worst shooters in the league with several hundred starts?
That's right. He's one of the *worst shooters in all of basketball.* He's not a "streak shooter," as some have said. Unless you count the streaks of paint he chips off the front and back iron. Not only that, but he's unsavvy enough on offense to take one shot every three minutes -- a hefty ratio for a dreadful shooter.
Fun fact: One of the closest statistical comparisons to Alston comes in the form of former Cav Larry Hughes. Cavs fans, did anyone think of Larry Hughes as a weapon? A streak shooter? An outside threat?
Career: 38.6% FG, 35.4% 3P, 72.9% FT
2009 Playoffs, pre-Cavs: 38.6% FG, 33.3% 3P, 66.7% FT
This series: 44.6% FG, 43.4% 3P, 100% FT
This is THE GUY you want taking a ton of shots. Luckily, he's obliging. Sadly for us, he's caught the streak of his life. This does not mean the Magic have better weapons.
"The Cavs' defense is obviously over-rated. Just look at this series!"
We've already discussed the outlier that is Alston. Now let's talk about Dwight Howard's free throws, which have gotten a lot of attention.
Series vs. Boston: 54.3%
Series vs. Cleveland: 71.5%
For a guy averaging 10 free throws per game, that's a dramatic improvement. But would it have really made a difference?
Probably. In game three, which was a two-possession game inside the last two minutes, Howard would have connected on 3 fewer points if he simply matched his season average. In game four - and we all know how tight that was - he would have scored 2 fewer.
Now, how about Rashard Lewis, hottest shooter alive?
Season FG: 43.9%
Series FG: 55.5%
Season 3P: 39.7%
Series 3P: 57.8%
After game one it was clear we had to make adjustments. Did they work?
Game 2: 6-15 FGs
Game 3: 5-8 FGs
Game 4: 5-9 FGs
We smothered Lewis in game two with excellent rotational defense. Then something extraordinary happened: Take a look at his field goal attempts in games three and four.
Do you know the last time this season that Lewis played at least 40 minutes in a game and attempted fewer than 10 shots? Never. It did not happen.
Do you know the last time this season that Lewis attempted fewer than 10 shots in a "full" game? March 15th.
If you want to say that Mike Brown didn't make adjustments, I will have a hard time believing you.