This game was a tough one to swallow. After playing terrible for the first quarter, the Celts battled back “valiantly” only to have Vince Carter make terrible shot after terrible shot. 10 for 26? Serious Magic fans, 10 for 26? Honestly, you can have this game if it means Vince Carter plays the role of Chucker.
Unfortunately, Carter’s poor shooting percentage was one of the few positives about this game. I was able to catch the second half with Brian Robb and our oft-mentioned friend JRO and we ended the game arguing over who had the better bench. My take is that despite Sheed’s dreadful shooting, I like our bench more than Orlando’s. Of course, BRobb and JRo argued that Orlando’s bench depth is the best in the league. Valid point, but whose bench played better tonight? Fight it out amongst yourselves.
Now that I’ve given you some food for thought, on to more important things, like bullets:
- Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The Magic shot an unbelievable 46% from three and the Celtics only made one the whole game. You’re not going to win any game shooting that poorly from behind the arc given how much this team loves the three.
- The Celtics version of fourth and two: Ray Allen trying too Shake his defender and just leaving the ball behind. Ouch. Just Awful… Game over at the point, although Brian will tell you it was much earlier as he jumped up and proudly proclaimed it over when Scal missed that three in the fourth quarter.
- What’s up with the slow starts offensively. It looked like the C’s got up for this game, got good looks in the first quarter, and made good decisions. KG just couldn’t connect on anything, missing his first five shots. It’s really hard to dig out of a hole like that and thanks to the bench (seriously look at their +/-) they were able to claw their way back.
- Did anyone see that play in the first half where Paul dribbled down the right baseline and Marquis made an excellent cut down the lane for a wide open layup? I have to watch it again to see if there was an off ball screen on ‘Quis’ man but regardless it was beautiful.
- You can tell him all you want but ‘Sheed is not going to stop jacking threes. If he’s open, I don’t mind, but even though he’s tall enough to shoot over almost everyone, it just looks bad if he misses a shot with a hand trying to contest. Such a momentum killer, at least in terms of my comfort level while watching.
- Celtics D made an appearance in the fourth quarter, anyone see it? “Quis made a nice steal and outletted it to Ray for a layup. Which reminds me, I love how Ray is going strong to the hole lately. It bodes so much better for this offense. He’s finally broen out of the thought that his only role is to be a spot up shooter on this team.
- Want to know what happens when ‘Sheed runs the pick and roll and doesn’t fade cut to the arc, but rolls to the hoop? Layups happen. I want to sit ‘Sheed down and make him watch that over and over again until he realizes how amazing that could be.
- This bullet list couldn’t be completely without mentioning the embarrassing dunk Howard had on Perk in the first half. Even though there was no contact, something had to have been hurt. Pride at least.
- What’s worth Rondo and Perk sitting for most of the fourth? Interesting move by Doc here and I’m not sure how wise it was. I keep going back and forth on it, but I think I’ll defer to Brian on this one. Brian, take it away:
- I don’t care if you hate the Magic with everything you have, you got to love Pietrus’ fan interaction. Head rubs, asking if the man and the women sitting next to each other were together. I love a good clown, or should I say Tartuffe? Well anything by Moliere really.
Brian taking over here to wrap things up. A couple items of note: Rasheed Wallace 4 of 16 from the field, and 0 of 8(!) from downtown. Yet I’m not that upset with the shot selection since he finally was crashing the glass, and making strong moves to the hoops for the first time consistenly in a Celtics uniform. Sure he still shot too much, but the C’s getting active on the glass kept them in this game despite their terrible shooting (35 percent from field)
A lot more analysis to come tomorrow, but I’m not going to get too negative on this one, since the Celtics defense was there the final 3 quarters. For the C’s to be in this game, while shooting 10 percent from downtown was a victory in itself. Down the stretch, the C’s couldn’t get execute and the Magic did, it was that simple. Teams have off shooting nights and you aren’t going to beat Orlando when you don’t. They are a good defensive team as well and give them credit for coming and establishing themselves. However, I like the C’s chances in the future when the C’s turn the Magic into a one man show with Vince Carter playing the role of AI.
Much more to come tomorrow from us and Zach Lowe
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