1. How does Courtney Lee respond after two key misses?
He played under 20 minutes, scoring 4 pts, a steal and three fouls trying to guard Kobe. However, one of his two field goals was a nice dunk. It is hard to guard Kobe Bryant, but he was game and he gave a decent account of himself. His minutes are that low because Pietrus was scorchin'.
2. How will the crowd impact the game?
The Magic set a NBA Finals record for FG shooting both in a half and in a game. The start was not exactly the ideal one, but you can attribute that to Kobe ensuring a competitive LA. However, they were 5/14 from three point range.
3. Will a PG rise up in Orlando?
Rafer Alston woke up and was amazing. He smoked the 1st quarter and ended up with 20 pts, 2 rebs and 4 assts. He was so hot, Jameer Nelson only played 11 minutes. SVG will probably now play the hot hand among the two.
4. Can Dwight make an impact offensively?
Only six FG attempts for Dwight, making five, but again he was dominant in the line, shooting 11/16. He really needs offensive moves, which is the priority in the offseason.
5. For LA, can the supporting cast help Kobe, Pau and Lamar?
Farmar scored 11 points and Ariza scored 13, but the story is that Kobe's shooting went south after how he kept the team going early. He finished with 11/25 shooting. In addition, he missed half of his ten ft attempts. Another note. I know the team shot well, but when the leading rebounder for the Lakers had 7 and it was Trevor Ariza, the box out was conducted a bit well, especially with Pau only with 3 and Lamar with 2. Agreed though that Pau Gasol is really awesome in the Finals.
So, with Game 4 looming, what 5 points will I highlight?
1. Is Kobe tired? Does he have enough gas? What will he put up now with all the criticism being hurled at him right now?
2. Can Orlando shoot the ball well like what they did in Game 3? Can they approximate it? Will it rain threes?
3. Can Rafer follow-up Game 3 with a respectable performance in Game 4? Ditto with Pietrus?
4. What will be the rebounding story? 5 rebounds from Pau and Lamar combined is not good.
5. Andrew Bynum. Will he ever emerge in this series?