Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 5/4/12
After Thursday's practice session, Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said he was considering lineup changes for Saturdays Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers. No wonder. The coach is do doubt looking for answers as he looks at numbers that tell a striking story. In the first three games of the best-of-seven series, the Pacers starting five have outplayed the Magic starters. Badly. Heres how the numbers look: Indianas starting five, on the court together, have an offensive efficiency rating of 121.2, meaning, the Pacers are scoring an incredible 121 points per 100 possessions. Pacer starters have a defensive efficiency rating of 83.9, which means they are giving up just 84 points per 100 possessions against the Magic. Subtract the defensive rating from the offensive rating, and you have a net efficiency rating for Indianas starting lineup at a whopping 37.4. (By comparison, the Miami Heats starting five this season had a net efficiency rating of 10.9, among the highest in the league) Conversely, the Magics starting five, while playing together during the series, have a net efficiency rating of -32.2. As a result, the Pacers have jumped out to big leads in the first quarter of all three games, and even more troubling, they have outscored the Magic by an incredible 81-43 in third quarters. Orlando, we have a problem. One of several things has to happen for the Magic to win Saturday and even up the series 2-2. First of all, starters Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis must all raise their game. But one player in particular holds the key: Nelson. As the point guard, Nelson sets the tone for the team. The Magic, especially since losing Dwight Howard to injury, rely on their point guard to lead the way. When Nelson is in attack mode, coming hard off of pick-and-rolls, looking for opportunities to score first, then set up his teammates, he and the Magic are their best. Its no coincidence that in their only playoff victory (Game 1), Nelson had his best game of the series (17 points, 9 assists, 15 field goal attempts). The other option for the Magic is for Van Gundy to make those lineup changes he talked about on Thursday. So far, Orlandos most effective players in the series have been reserves J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson and Earl Clark. Redick seems to be the one player who can get good shots in the half-court offense and get to the basket. His quick and decisive movements, both with and without the ball, are key for the Magic offense, which tends to bog down. Richardson is big enough and strong enough to defend Indianas long wing players, Danny Granger and Paul George. Clarks length and athleticism match up well with the Pacers big inside duo of David West and Roy Hibbert. One or all of these players could be inserted into the starting lineup for Saturdays game, but if not, look for Van Gundy to have a short hook on struggling starters. There is still time to turn things around, but falling behind 3-1 would put the Magic in a desperate situation. NOTES: Ryan Anderson, who has blossomed since becoming a starter this season, was announced as the winner of the 2011-12 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award on Friday. Anderson, who set career marks with 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this year, received 33 of 121 first-place votes. He is the fifth Orlando player to win the award, joinging Hedo Turkoglu (2007-08), Tracy McGrady (2000-01), Darrell Armstrong (1998-99) and Scott Skiles (1990-91).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Report: Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker