Can the Magic Make This a Series?

After the Lakers blew out the Orlando Magic in Game 1 on Thursday, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy recalled the Memorial Day Massacre of 1985, when the Celtics hammered the Lakers in the NBA Finals opener, only to lose go on and lose the series.

After a tough Game 2 loss on Sunday, Van Gundy reminisced about the 2006 Finals, when the Heat were down 2-0 to the Dallas Mavericks before going on to win four consecutive games and the championship.

If the Magic lose tonight, Van Gundy won't have a historical template to bring up. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 Finals deficit. With that in mind, here are five questions heading into Tuesday night's Game 3:

1. Are we going to have a series?

Only if the Magic can find a way to win a game, and that game has to be tonight. The Magic seem to be missing a sense of desperation in this series. If they're missing it Tuesday, then something's very wrong.

The bottom line is that tonight is the last best hope for something intriguing to come out of this thing.

2. Can Dwight Howard establish any kind of positive consistency in the low post?

Dwight Howard has been neutralized and turned over, and his dunks are nowhere to be found. Most of what the Magic do revolves around Howard, but he has not played well in this series thus far.

It's difficult to see Orlando starting to knock down 3-pointers consistently until Howard can begin to manage the way the Lakers are playing him inside. Howard's got to be better and smarter.

And it wouldn't hurt if he tried to get back to first establishing himself as a defensive force.

3. What's going on with the Orlando point guard situation?

I'm sick of Magic coach Stan Van Gundy taking heat for what's going on here. First off, Jameer Nelson is the Magic's team captain and All-Star. He pronounced himself ready for the Finals, and team doctors cleared him.

What's Van Gundy supposed to do? Say "no thanks"?

OK, so maybe Van Gundy played Nelson too much in Game 1. Fine, he admitted it and then pared Nelson's minutes in Game 2. So, is Van Gundy somehow still responsible for the fact that Rafer Alston has been brutal in this series? Give me a break.

If Alston is this mentally whacked by the return of Nelson, then maybe he's not tough enough to be logging Finals playing time in the first place.

4. Will the Lakers be willing to play more of an uptempo style in Game 3?

The score at the end of the first quarter on Sunday night in L.A. was 15-15. Considering that, it wasn't a bad effort to get to the final score both teams did -- 101-96 in overtime.

If the Magic are going to get some kind of transition game going, it's most likely going to start in Game 3. They'll have the crowd behind them and they'll also find a Laker team more willing to play that style - if for no other reason than a 2-0 lead gives them that luxury.

5. Can Courtney Lee bounce back from missing a big shot in Game 2?

You know what? We're not talking about Courtney Lee's missed layup at the buzzer that would have given the Magic a victory. That was a tough shot on the move and not one he could have been expected to make.

It would have been a hell of a shot, but it was no gimme like it's been made out to be.

Lee's bigger miss came with 10 seconds remaining in regulation, when he got free in the lane for a little floater and the shot clock winding down. That was a good look, and, if anything, the shot Lee should be wanting back.

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