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Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  29 responses

Rafer Alston on Crunch Time Benching

Skip, like many Magic fans, couldn’t believe he was glued to the bench in the fourth quarter and overtime of Game 4: “Benched for the fourth quarter and overtime, Magic starting point guard Rafer Alston was upset with Stan Van Gundy’s decision to leave him out in the crucial minutes of Orlando’s 99-91 Game 4 loss to the Lakers on Thursday night. Alston was replaced by All-Star Jameer Nelson, who is still rusty and recovering from shoulder surgery. The decision didn’t go over well with Alston. ‘I was shocked. I was shocked,’ Alston said. ‘It’s tough. You’re thinking Coach will come back to you. The first two games I could understand, but again we were right there to win the game. As a player you would like to have your number called.’”

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  • Peter

    This was bizarre

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    The craziest was how obvious it was. This was not a case of second-guessing. Me and many other commenters spent the bulk of the 4th quarter and OT last night asking where Skip—who had been giving Fisher fits—was.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    SVG is a literal idiot for not playing alston late. playing a guard who has been out for MONTHS is questionable especially when you choose him over a guard that BROUGHT you to the finals. Plus,

  • Epsilon Nupe

    It seems like shaq was right. Stan is the master of manic. The Mgic are going to lose this seris because of bad coaching

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Shaq is always right – even when he’s clearly wrong. That is lesson one of Shaqology

  • Realosophy

    yea this was so dumb, skip was playing good, another offensive weapon whereas nelson is throwing up more air balls than buckets. nelson got dwight in the game a bit at the end with some nice passes but his failure to cover fisher on that last 3 was a waste of him ever coming back cos that right there cost them the series more than lees miss the other night, that was so stupid, down by 3 and he gives fisher who is usually clutch a open 3…stupid, but van gundy is more stupid for sitting skip for the second half im still trying to make sense of that but i cant cos again its so stupid, damn they shouldve won that game this is so wack. probably david stern told van gundy to sit skip so that lakers will win and kobe will become the new jordan and nba ratings will be sky high!!

  • http://slamonline.com B. Long

    D-Fish should send Stan a thank you card.

  • http://ibuzzunlimited.com T Williams

    Street Ballers don’t get respect and it’s Sad, I grew up with Skip and to see him come this far despite what he has been through is enough for me. Stan will reap his coaching plans but I will say this “you must have confidence in your players”. Phil Jackson went with Fisher the whole series and he was stinking it up! But look where confidence got him.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’ll repeat my suggestion: Orlando should consider a Subs Coordinator. SVG is an elite Xs and Os guy but he doesn’t have a clue with rotations. Gut feelings can only go so far.

  • niQ

    wow serious. i blame this on horrible coaching. svg definitely ruined it by not playing rafer. there goes the team chemistry.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    NBA where unbelivable happens

  • http://sfjklf.com Jukai

    I always thought Stan Van Gundy was an underrated coach but I’m really questioning things here. Sure, Jameer was playing good, but Fisher plays well enough against guards who are slower and stronger compared to guards who are balls of speed (Rafer).
    I don’t get this at all.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    So Riley did have a point back in ’06….

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    And the wheels (those of Rafer anyway) are now coming off a great Orlando Season. Too bad.

  • truthteller

    I’m rooting for the Lakers to win and couldn’t help but wonder why Skip wasn’t in the game late in the 4th quarter and OT! Amazing!

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    yeah, watching the game last night, this was the most puzzling thing I saw. Skip has a right to be incredulous.

    But Nelson still should have D’ed up Fisher better at the 3 point line. That was one of those moments where I’m screaming at the TV. Fish’s 0.4 vs San Antonio a few years back is still my favourite shot of this millennium — dude is clutch and should have been guarded better.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    Well, Alston has to remember one thing: Sunday might be his last game as a Magic player. I wonder where he’ll end up.

  • rainman10

    If the Magic had shot well from the line, the Fisher play would be irrelevant, and everyone would be talking about how great a coach SVG is. That game didn’t come down to coaching. It was mistakes by the players. Yeah yeah you can say the coach shouldn’t have those players in if they are gonna make mistakes, but it wasn’t just Nelson. Howard is one of my favorite players, but he needs to learn to keep the ball up. The play that Farmar hung on him was a perfect pass. But he brought the ball down and Farmar fouled him, and I believe that was the one where he missed both freebies. And I don’t even want to talk about the Magic and inbounding the ball.

  • rainman10

    yesterday was ridiculous that we were talkin HOF chances of Robert Horry, and saying RODMAN in the same sentence. If the hall lets in Horry, then Fish is in. Right? Right?

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    Everything Justin Walsh said, I agree. Co-sign to Gerard Himself as well…

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    If SVG played Skip in the crucial minutes at least of the 4th quarter, the Magic would’ve won game 4 and tied the series. At some point, that may be one of the reasons why he wasn’t much of a fit with the Miami Heat. Just a thought…

  • JoNaBo

    As a Laker fan I was elated to see that Rafer was benched. He is as important to the Magic as Lamar is to the Lakers. SMH @ SVG- don’t bite the hand that fed you in all your most important playoff games.

  • Kadavour

    First Kobe robbed him of a KEY rebound down the stretch, telling him to “shut the f*ck up and play” then he missed the two biggest free throws of his life. Christopher Reeves would have made those free throws. Superman my a$$

  • Kadavour

    put this loss on Dwight

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Skip should have been in the fudgin’ game during crunch time. What the fudge was SVG thinking? That was just a boneheaded coaching decision, and this is coming from a dude who LIKES SVG.
    Skip should come back to Houston.

  • http://www.unitedplayersofamerica.com John Delaware

    Stan Van Gundy is a bum. His lack of self-control reflects on his team. His players do not respect him. The Orlando Magic are clearly the better team but the Lakers reflect the stoic calm of their team leader and their spiritual leader.

    Stan Van Gundy sitting Rafer Alston for Jameer Nelson was an idiotic decision befitting his anxious nature. Jameer Nelson is playing in first gear, while everyone else in the finals is playing at full throttle.

    Van Gundy is a horrible coach.

  • FlightClub

    it doesn’t matter if Rafer Alston played or not in the 4th, it doesn’t change the fact that dwight and turk kept missing free throws that could have won the game!…its not bad coaching, van gundy didn’t miss them free throws in game 4….

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq Al Haydar

    Flight Club,
    If Dwight had made one of those free throws, the Magic would have won IN SPITE OF Van Gundy’s horrendous coaching blunder. The fact that D12 (and Turk) missed their freebies doesn’t exonerate SVG at all. The guy is a good coach. I don’t think it’s fair to call him the Master of Panic and all that, but this Jameer/Skip thing has been a HUGE gaffe.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Just wait until next year when Alston leaves the Magic, and the Magic exit the second round.

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