Sportress of Blogitude


Jason Whitlock Blames Magic’s Loss To Lakers On Stan Van Gundy, Claims Van Gundy “Needs His Ass Beat”


Oh, Jason Whitlock, what would we ever do without you?

The controversy-starting columnist comes out swinging in his analysis of last night’s Magic-Lakers game, even going so far as purporting that “Stan Van Gundy needs his ass beat” (direct quote). I don’t know, claiming that Van Gundy deserves bodily harm to be inflicted upon him due to the outcome of a friggin’ basketball game may border on going a little bit too far.

Whitlock, never one to steer clear of controversy, lays all the blame for Orlando’s epic meltdown and subsequent soul-crushing 103-90 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals Thursday night on Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. He even came up with a clever little nickname for the Orlando coach, Stan Van Panic, riffing off of Shaq’s moniker for Van Gundy of “Master of Panic.”

Stan Van Gundy is responsible for one of the greatest choke jobs in NBA playoff history. If he had any pride, he’d resign today and let Patrick Ewing coach Game 5 on Sunday.

I will not refute Whitlock’s entire analysis of the game, as he is a far greater basketball mind than me, but I find it downright ludicrous that he contends no blame should be placed at Dwight Howard’s feet for the loss, despite the fact Howard was an abysmal 6-14 from the free throw line, although Whitlock concedes that the Magic would have won the game if Howard nails even one of the two free throws he missed in the closing moments:

No doubt, if Howard knocks down one of two free throws with 11 seconds to play, the Magic win the game. I’m sorry. I can live with Howard’s misses. He’s a 59 percent free throw shooter. There’s no reason to expect him to make free throws at crunch time.

Um, I don’t mean to get all mathematical here, but according to Whitlock’s logic, since Howard is a 59% free throw shooter, it’s perfectly acceptable for him to not even come close to his career percentage from the stripe? According to my math, 6-for-14 is only 43%. Even if Howard makes those final two free throws, he’s still only at 57% for the game, 2% lower that the 59% Whitlock maintains should be a perfectly acceptable excuse for missing free throws down the stretch.

And why is there no reason to expect Howard to make free throws during crunch time? He’s a goddamn NBA player, for Christ’s sake! They don’t refer to the free throw line as the charity stripe for nothing.

I could go on and on blasting Whitlock for his erroneous reasoning regarding the outcome of the game, and while I’m sure there is a method to his madness, I’ll leave you with this: would Whitlock’s analysis had differred had Van Gundy been, as Whitlock contends should happen anyway, Patrick Ewing, and the player missing the free throws been, say, J.J. Reddick, for instance? I’m just saying.

Oh, Jason Whitlcock, you crafty son-of-a-bitch – I fell right into your trap, didn’t I? Of course, sports are never completely about what goes on between the lines, there is always a racial component, right? By not playing the race card, as is one of your favorite tricks, you lulled me into a false sense of comfort and tricked me into playing it, rendering any sort of criticism I level at you moot, since I am an ignorant, anonymous blogger. Do I have that right?

Damn, he’s clever. He got me – I didn’t think he was going to get me.

Bravo, Mr. Whitlock. Bravo.

Magic lost because Van Gundy hit panic button [Fox Sports]