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Disturbing: Magic 96, C’s 89

 

ESPN Recap * Orlando Pinstriped Post * Orlando Magic Daily

48 consistent minutes. Celtics fans have been pining for it all season long. Today looked like The Celtics had a genuine shot at putting it together for the first time in a long time after a terrific 1st half . The C’s were fighting hard on the glass, taking care of the ball (only 3 turnovers in 1st half), defending well (Orlando shot 38 percent), and perhaps most importantly got Dwight Howard into foul trouble, limiting his minutes. The bench looked great, everyone was healthy for once, finally it was all coming together.

With the entire team finally at full strength and the C’s holding an 11 point lead heading into the locker room, the C’s could have answered the legitimate questions about their struggles against elite teams and uneven performances.  Instead, they came out of the tunnel with their worst quarter of the season, got outscored by 25 points and dug a hole far too big for them to climb out of.

There are a laundry list of problems with this team this year. No need to delving into them all now. But I think one of the main issues with this team right now is their psyche. It’s hard to believe this team is composed of the same key players as last year. Ever since KG went down last year, they’ve lost that mental toughness. That 3rd quarter effort never happens in the last 2 years with KG on the floor, definitely not at home.

Yet, this year, the C’s have not been responding well, or even at all to adversity. The walls start to cave in on the team and instead of looking to escape, they play basketball with a deer in the highlights look on their face and aren’t able to resolve the problem until it’s too late. They’ve gone through this situation so many times this year of blowing the big leads, that it’s safe to say getting over that mental hump right now is almost just as crucial to this team as anything else right now.

Yes, they showed fight in the 4th quarter,  but again were never able to seriously threaten the Magic until it was too late. And there was always something waiting to slow the C’s down, whether it was a blocked shot, a dumb foul, a missed layup or missed free throw (by Ray Allen!), you name it, it kept the C’s from making a major run until it was too late.

So, what are Celtics fans left with? Well, we’d be foolish not to give a lot of the credit to Dwight Howard and the Magic. The C’s gave them opportunities but they fought hard, defended well and shot the lights out when they needed to. They also kept their cool and weathered the storm.

This is just one game, C’s fans have the remember this. But, it’s safe to start asking real questions about whether this team can put it all together. The focus just hasn’t been there yet. I want to say I trust it will be there when it counts, but after so many breakdowns in games that should matter, I’m not so sure myself anymore. Without a doubt, this team has a lot to prove to themselves and their fanbase in the coming weeks. Luckily, they have 32 more games to put it altogether.

A 3rd quarter breakdown, bullets, and is there anything positive C’s fans can take out of this one? All after the jump

Let’s break down this 3rd quarter a little more, shall we? What exactly went wrong for the C’s? Let’s start with the offense. Turnovers. The 1st half was such a thing of beauty for the Celtics for plenty of reasons but their handling of the ball would have to be number 1 on that list. The team had only 3 turnovers in 24 minutes! Three! Yes I was that excited! You should have been too! Finally, maybe this team had turned a corner. I wasn’t expecting the same kind of effort in the 2nd half, but anything barring a total meltdown with the ball would have worked for me.

So what did we get? The total meltdown. 8 turnovers in the 3rd quarter. 5 in the first 6 minutes of the quarter. 24 second violations, 3 second violations, bad passes, it was the pu pu platter of bad ball control. And everyone in the starting lineup minus Rondo pitched in with KG being the worst culprit having 3 in the frame. Utterly unacceptable.

It’s bizarre too since the quarter started fairly well for the C’s offensively. The team was making a concerted effort to get KG involved after a slow start (o/5 in 1st half) and he did, finding a groove and scoring 6 points in the first few minutes, keeping the Magic at bay. But then the turnover bug hit and the wheels fell off on both sides of the floor.

The C’s looked like they had an ok day taking care of the ball and for 36 minutes they did. Only 11 turnovers total for the game. That’s a great number for this team. But 8 in one quarter will kill you against a good team. And it did for the Magic, who hit their stride just as the C’s offense was collapsing.

Before we kill the C’s too much here, we should talk about the things the Magic did well. Listen, that’s a good basketball team and this Magic performance in the 2nd half reminded of when they closed the C’s out in the Garden during game 7 last year. They played an amazing 48 minutes in that one and likely easily played their best quarter of the season against the C’s in the 3rd and were still solid in the 4th when they had to be.

So what did they do in the 3rd? Well, first they had a great game plan. Get the ball to Dwight Howard who got a nice rhythm going, hitting a couple baskets and drew some fouls by Perk. He even made a bank shot from 12 feet! This is what worried me in my preview. Howard has, in my mind, gotten over the mental hump against the C’s in that last game. He scored in the post when it counted in that one, and it carried over today.

Still, the C’s traded baskets with Howard in the early part of this frame and maintained their lead. Stan Van Gundy then made the pivotal decision to leave Howard in the game after his picked up his 4th foul. Knowing how much the Magic struggled without Superman in the 1st half, SVG bit the bullet, gambled and was dealt blackjack.

In leaving him in, Howard’s solid play opened up the floor for the rest of the team, as the Magic started spreading the floor to perfection, creating a perfect balance of attacking the basket and kicking the ball out for open 3′s. It was a combination of beautiful offense and some shoddy defense by the C’s to the tune of 36 points by the Magic. That team has a lot of offensive firepower and they showed the best of it tonight.

All in all the Magic went on a 25 to 2 run to close the 3rd quarter. Yes, you read that correctly. 25 to 2. This happened to the C’s when they were at home. In a nationally televised game. That can’t happen. It would of been 25 to 0 if Tony Allen of all people didn’t attack the hoop. And while the C’s starters started the fire in the middle portion of the quarter, the bench turned the sequence into a 4 alarm fire once they entered the game. All the flaws were readily apparent in those last 3 minutes.

Eddie House: Burnt on drives twice and an incredibly stupid foul on Jason Williams as 3rd quarter expired.

Glen Davis: Hate to criticize him here since he was fighting so hard in the 4th quarter down low, but the guy gets blocked so much down low and couldn’t put the ball in the bucket around the hoop in the closing moments of the 3rd.

Tony Allen: C’s holding for one shot at the end of the 3rd quarter down 10 and TA slips on a drive to the hoop. Turnover. Again, I feel like I’m picking on him here but again a crucial turnover that led to 2 points the other way before the quarter ended.

Rasheed Wallace: Don’t even get me started. He was flat out useless today. Missed miserably on all 3 point attempts, took some stupid jumpers inside the arc and was out of position all day long when it came to rebounding the ball. I’m close to giving up on this guy and it kills me when Perk sits for long periods of the 4th in favor of him. Ugh. That’s another topic for another day.

So yes, lots of flaws today from the bench in that sequence. Almost everyone on the team played in that quarter and almost everyone did something negative. It was quite impressive, if not disturbing.

So that gave way to the 4th quarter, where the C’s had to make up a 14 point deficit against the 2nd best defensive team in the league. Not easily done. The Magic played some feisty D, contesting layups, closing out on 3 point attempts, rotating well all over the floor, forcing the C’s to work for ever shot and limiting the team’s momentum.

I give the C’s bench unit credit for redeeming themselves early in the 4th. Davis, despite his struggles around the basket worked his ass off and chipped in with 9 points and 7 boards. Eddie House delivered a couple clutch 3′s, one of which was of course taken away with his foot on the line.

And I must say, I am very disappointed that I haven’t even mentioned Marquis Daniels yet. He was tremendous, in fact today may have been his best game in a Celtic uniform. Posted up well in the 2nd quarter for a couple easy buckets, played good D and had a nice between game and steadiness this bench unit desperately needs. Once he learns the playbook, he should be a nice weapon for the Green. I am also pretty excited about this bench unit as composed right now (minus Sheed)

The starters tried to carry over the bench’s momentum in the 4th in chipping away at the lead, but again going against a good defensive team, had trouble scoring buckets. C’s weren’t able to close the deficit to single digits until 1:36 mark. They got it to 5, but the Garden looked like a ghost town in the closing 3 minutes with everyone getting home in time for their Super Bowl plans. You generally never see that at the Garden where the C’s have pulled countless wins out of their ass in recent memory…..but not this year. Not today.

Ok, Super Bowl is starting in about 20 minutes, so bullets the rest of the way here:

* Underlying good news of the day: Rebounds. C’s win the battle 40-38 and double up the Magic on the offensive glass 12 to 6. Does it make me feel any better? Not really, but still we need some kind of positives out of this one.

* Rajon Rondo: 0 turnovers. Still way too hesitant to shoot the midrange jumper in the 4th quarter. But he worked his butt off all over the floor today for loose balls. Nearly a triple double with a line of 17 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals. He wasn’t the problem today.

* Ray Allen looked flat out old today. 4 of 13 from field, lots of misses in the 2nd half. Played 39 minutes. Looked like he was held a lot and Magic did  anice defensive job on him. He won’t be traded, but performances like this will keep the rumor mill moving.

* Paul Pierce: Solid in his return though lacked explosion which had to be expected coming out of the injury. Will be nice to see him back at full strength. Team could have used it today.

* I want to see Perk in the game in 4th quarters

* Michael Pietrus and Rashard Lewis are Celtic killers.

* Other good news of the day, Big Baby made a free throw jumper.

*Not sure which game stings more this, or the loss to LA last week.I guess you have to go Lakers since it’s LA but this was brutal

* Other big difference for C’s in 1st half. They were able to get layups. Only shot 6 3′s the entire first 24 minutes. Howard playing less than 10 minutes in the 1st half clearly has a lot to do with that. His presence down low changes the C’s attacking abilities dramatically.

A couple days now to rest and let this one, light a fire under this team’s ass. Got to go into All Star Break on high note Wednesday.

  • Jeezy da Juice Man

    Off your “deer-in-the-headlights basketball” point-”selfish” feels like an appropriate word, doesn’t it? There was one sequence in particular that stuck out. First, Ray was running the break with House on the wing. Four Orlando guys converge on Ray, leaving House all by himself at the three point line, and instead of dishing to House, Ray gets his layup swatted by Ryan Anderson. On the next possession, House jacked an ill-advised three the first time he touched the ball, and it clanged off the side of the rim.

    You guys have talked about Monta Ellis as a ball-stopper, and that being the reason to avoid a trade for him. I saw a lot of possessions in the third quarter where the ball moved well and then stop suddenly, and I know we’ve all been piling on him, but most of the time Rasheed Wallace was the culprit. Is this a team-wide thing and I’m just missing it? Can we please find a way to trace it all back to Sheed?

    One more thing–I love Baby getting offensive rebounds, but I don’t love him missing what felt like a million put backs. I think that’s a credit to Orlando’s defense more than anything, but I’ve missed most of the recent games. Has Baby been having put-back troubles for a while?

  • ed judson

    our team has been too happy with itself all season loong. there’s no killer instinct. this didn’t even start it the third period today. when howard picked up his third foul today i thought “we SHOULD take advantage NOW and be up by 15 at half. instead, we messed around for a handful of possesions and Orlando even took the lead before we got it together. EVERY POSSESION COUNTS!
    the same guys that think they’re better than Orlando and Atlanta need to extrapolate that the same logic means that Toronto is the best team in the Atlantic division.
    it’s not time to panic, but it is time to do something radical. we’re too predictable and too complacent. every scouting report about us must start with “just keep competing ’cause the Celtics won’t.

  • I love Green

    Selfish, cocky, pathetic, and a disgrace. We don’t have a chance to win the championship this year. I’m preparing myself for a loss in the second round already. I just hope we can get a guy like Joe Johnson in free agency this year, and hopefully Rasheed dissapears. Or he can start making shots, and play defense better.

  • MikeD

    One positive to take from this game is that Rondo continues to play his tail off. He got to so many loose balls, and was hustling all over the floor. If only the rest of the team fought as hard as he did, maybe we could have won. Kid deserves to be an all star, he is the best Celtic this season by a mile.

  • Rob

    another day, another big lead lost. Its becoming a habit especially when we play top teams in the league. We’re a veteran team we should put games away not give them up and some one NEEDS to tell big baby to swallow his pride and not try to put up a lay up on 4 magic defenders it’s as good as handing them the ball and saying “I’m not athletic enough to this”

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I wonder how Danny feels watching this team? He must be very glad to have resigned Rondo who played his heart out. Astonishingly, Rajon had NO turnovers. He almost had a triple double. None of the other starters really showed up in the 2nd half. It would have been better to have gotten Quis & E House more minutes today which leads me to another subject…

    Is Doc blind??? When you see player X struggling, isn’t it best FOR THE SAKE OF THE TEAM to sit X down & give another player from the TEAM a chance to pick up the slack??? Doc is going to have to modify his coaching or we can all expect to see more of the same. How could Doc play Ray 40 minutes when he was clearly off today??? What is up with Doc? Is it fear of a starter’s wrath? Or laziness? Or living in the past–what worked 2 years ago must work now?????
    I really thought Doc was a pretty smart coach, but this is a chronic problem.

    Paul & Ray combined were 2-11 from 3. Isn’t there some point at which they see how badly they are hurting the team from out there & do something different????? Paul was 2-2 from the line. Ray was 5-6. Dwight was in foul trouble early…. Shouldn’t a little light go off or bell ring in their heads??? Seems like the 3 has become the lazy man’s shot of choice.

    KG is not 100% physically. I get that, but turning the ball over 4 times???? Has he lost something mentally too?

    Quis looked pretty good today. Glad to see him back. Would have loved to have seen him play the whole 2nd half………

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Highly sobering thought. Quis does not know a lot of the plays & has forgotten a lot (according to Doc) ….YET….. Quis played better than most of the other guys who have been practicing & playing a lot….SCARY

  • pinsla

    This game ends that 2 and a half year run and for me the Celtics are not contenders anymore.
    They are DONE
    no heart, no determination, no focus
    you can go on and say what you will and not realize the truth but its clear to me that this year they just not elite NBA team anymore

  • Dan

    One interesting takeaway as of late has been Rondo’s 3 point shooting. It seems as of late that he’s been hitting a lot of them. I know his % is still pretty bad, but how many of those are half court desperation attempts to beat the shot clock? Is there a stat that would take that into consideration?

    Also, do you think the C’s have any chance of dumping Wallace? If he’s hurting the team this badly right now, imagine how he’ll be next year. What would it take to get rid of him?

  • Sam

    Damn I missed he 3rd quarter meltdown and was shocked to see them down by so much tworads the end of the third.

    From what I saw Rondo did work his tail off so it sucks the rest couldn’t follow his lead.

    There’s completely useless and then there’s what Wallace was for us today. In other words he was way beyond completely useless.

    Quis looked better than I anticpated and I was really excited to see him back today.

  • NV

    Rashard Lewis probably jucied up during half time to hit that shot at the end.

  • Celticjay

    When Rondo spoke-out the other day he was absolutely right! Some of these guys either don’t get the team concept, or don’t want to learn.

    The two biggest offenders are Tony Allen and Rasheed Wallace. I think Tony genuinely is trying but he often over-dribbles or tries to freelance when the play just isn’t there – especially when he’s at the point. Teams know he can’t shoot outside 12 feet and his low release (by the ear) makes him a much easier cover – despite his leaping ability & quickness. Doc needs to figure out the best places to play him and limit his minutes.

    Rasheed Wallace is the biggest reason this team is not winning. One guy (especially a big man) can mess up an entire team. Rasheed refuses to play in the low post on offense. Even if he doesn’t shoot – at least play on the box!! By camping outside the 3-point arc it closes-off the screen plays on the weak side for the shooting guards (Ray & Eddie), and teams know this!

    He is the laziest big man I have ever seen. He refuses to move his feet and play a defender in his face. Instead he lunges at shots or lets guys blow by him into the paint. Not only does he get burned, he’s out of position to rebound the ball and he puts his teammates at disadvantage in transition. It’s SO easy to see and I’m just a fan. Why does this punk take so many 3-pointers? Is he the 2nd coming of Dirk Nowitzki? We have plenty of guys to shoot the 3 and score off screens. GET YOUR BUTT IN THE PAINT AND PLAY LIKE A CENTER!!

    Sheldon Williams has not played in 10 games! This is completely inexcusable – especially considerring how bad Rasheed is.

    Rondo was ABSOLUTELY right to speak out – because he was talking about Rasheed. It’s up to Doc Rivers to sit him down or Danny Ainge & Ownership to acquire a rebounding power forward before the deadline, regardless of the luxury tax.

    GO CELTICS!!!!!

  • David

    @ pinsla
    “This game ends that 2 and a half year run and for me the Celtics are not contenders anymore.They are DONE”

    Thankyou for being honest telling it like it really is. IMO, I havebeen saying this for the last month or so. I think the Boston fans, that can’t be honest with themselves, will continue to believe Boston will bring it together when the playoffs come. Anybody that is an honest SPORTS Fan, can see that this years Boston team doesn’t have what it takes to win it all. A championship caliber team doesn’t melt-down in the fourth quater like this team does. Pls tell me how can you fix, aging key playes,KG,P.P, R.A, unable to play at a high level for 4 quaters of basketball. That is why they lose big leads and go long periods without scoring. I was thinking, Boston is in a bad situation right now. With the current team they have IMO they won’t beat Clev, Orl,ATL. in a 7 game series. If they make any trades, they will distrupt the team’s chemistry. Thats tough.

    BTW, Boston fans on this website, keep FOOLING yourself that Boston will get it together and WIN IT ALL THIS YEAR!

  • Celticjay

    Wallace has a 3-year deal Dan. I would be tough to deal him at the deadline because his contract is not expiring. Also, he hs 15 Technical fouls, so every T he commits for the rest of the regular season costs him a 1-game suspension. What team would want to trade for that?

    Plus, he’s just not good enough for anyone to acquire. One of the concerns with him was he was a headcase. I don’ mind the T’s if he were playing hard and rebounding. Kendrick Perkins really needs to be playing 35-40 minutes/game, and he needs to be finishing games on the court.

  • James

    I think we’d all like to see that post on Sheed. I read somewhere on ESPN (I believe) that he looked hopelessly out of shape in the locker room (read: rolls of fat on his torso). Any word on that? If Iguodala can put a body on Pietrus/LBJ and KG can get his act together over AllStarBreak I’d say do a Sheed+Ray for Iguodala and Change and Salary commitments. It’s pretty clear the Celts as constructed aren’t going to ‘snap out of it’.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @all. Two things on Sheed:

    1) I’ve written a post on him being out of shape and an item for the Daily Dime about his insane rate of jacking three-pointers. What more can I do? (Seriously–there appears to be demand for a “Sheed Stinks” post, huh?)

    2) Nobody is going to deal for Sheed’s contract.

  • Jay P

    I’ve officially given up on Sheed, he is the most downright infuriating player to watch in Basketball.

    How he can play the way he did in this game, against Orlando astounds me. He’s looked brilliant in flashes this year, but he was a disgrace on the floor today. I’d rather of seen Scal out there than Sheed, he may not have Sheed’s talent, but give me a less talented player who leaves his heart on the floor, over a lazy ass, out of shape has been primadona who can’t be bother to put in any effort, any day.

    Perfect example, mid 4th quarter just as the bench was putting it together and the C’s looked like they’d stopped the bleeding and might even be able to make a game outta this, Rondo pokes the ball away, drives down the court, dishes to Sheed on the wing who… rather than try and take his man off the dribble because Orlando was transitioning and had NO FREAKING HELP AT ALL IN THE LANE, jacks up a stupid 18 foot jump shot off the baseline with a hand in his face, which clangs off the back of the rim. Goodbye potential momentum… hello transition offense for orlando who drive right down, score, 4-point swing. Thanks Sheed, you Fing worthless piece of crap.

    Ugh… I screamed at the TV so much because of Sheed last night my girlfriend had to leave the room.

    So frustrated right now…

  • Tom

    Brian, I was at the game yesterday, I agree with almost 100% with what you said. As I said many times before to my buddy. At every Celtic game, you will witness one dumb TA play and one Big Baby’s shot being blocked. Sure enough, it all came true in the 3rd. There was one play where he had 4 guys around him, instead of passing it back out, he tried to get it up and ended up not even get it over the cylinder. It’s that kind of play that makes me sick to watch him. When we were down 10 points in the 3rd, why was our offense flowing through him? He is really getting on my nerves.

    Ray was getting mugged in the second half, not sure how none of them were calls while every touch on Howard was a foul. It’s the NBA, where bad officiating happens. Ray was bad, he missed a key FT with a minute or so to go. Instead of being down by 5, it put the difference back to 6 again.

    Rasheed was absolutely useless, too many blow bys and missing shots. Perk’s been garbage as of late too, too many dumb plays and miss too many shots. The double team people are using are exposing his flaws. God, why can’t he be 7 feet.

    KG had a good game today, he wasn’t limping and was fairly active. I just wish the offense would go through him instead!!!

    Lastly, Rondo was simply awesome. I am glad we extended him, he is getting better each game. Correct me if I am wrong, but I belive he shot over 50% in his three points the last 10 games

  • http://celticshub.com Brendan Jackson

    @Tom
    I was at the game yesterday as well….but I think we were at different games.

    Ray Allen was getting pressured the whole game by Matt Barnes and couldn’t handle it. The only time he got fouled without a call was when Howard forced him out of bounds and Ray had try and kick it out only to have it picked off. The foul would have been Howard’s 6th and should have been called.

    Also, KG was absentee the first half (0-5 I believe) and was noticeably favoring his unwrapped leg. He also did not get up and down the floor as fast as a healthy KG would.

    Baby also had a huge block on Rarshard Lewis, where’s the love?

    Rondo’s made three yesterday came at the end of the shot clock after the C’s failed to run a set play effectively. I’m glad he hit it, but it was more situational than anything.

    Where were you sitting? I ask because I find it interesting we saw such different things and I wonder if it’s a matter of perspective. I was 11 rows behind the Magic bench.

  • James

    Zach, that must be your post I remembered then.

    And yes, we’d all like to vent some more. This guy Sheed was supposed to be James Posey 2.0. Granted I thought letting Posey go was inexcusable (turned out to be wrong as he declined the next year) and thought Sheed would provide some solid defensive backup to KG, shoot the 3s, and fit right into the Celt ethos (also turning out to be wrong on all counts) but I’m a fan not a GM – I’m allowed to be wrong ;).
    I think everyone else is playing decently though, given their abilities. It’s just that with the Big Three’s decline, Perk and Baby aren’t as free for putbacks and offensive rebounds which were their bread and butter.
    As far as the vaunted Celtics defense, let’s face it. A lot of that was founded not only on good rotation and communication, but their bullying and intimidation tactics. KG’s alpha male persona gave his teammates confidence and motivation. That’s how they mauled the Lakers in the finals. But now KG didn’t seem to cow Bynum too much when Bynum had enough of his yapping and threw it down on him. You don’t get the feeling that teams have a healthy apprehension of the Celtic D anymore.

  • Jay P

    KG has definitely lost his intimidation factor, people just don’t fear him like they used to… or like they do Howard.

    Back in the day, people feared him cause he was in your face, finishing on you, jamming you up, you set a screen, he popped right out with you, and you weren’t going to get around him.

    Now he’s just a step slower, and once that mental psyche of opposing players starts leaning to “Hey… this guys not as good as he used to be, we can get by him, we can push him back.” Then it’s over to you, you have to player better than you did 10 years ago, and he just doesn’t have that anymore.

    We knew this going into the year though, it’s not a surprise, I didn’t expect KG to the the dominant force of old.

    But I did expect more out of Rasheed (greatest disappointment of the year), I did expect more out of Ray Allen (he’s been better lately, let’s hope it continues if he gets more rest now with Daniels back.), I did expect a veteran team to take care of the ball better, and do the little things right.

    In 2007 we could get away with being a little sloppy, we could get away playing lazy for stretches, cause KG was still in his prime, and he could carry this team any night… every night.

    Two years later, and one knee less, he can’t do that anymore. This is a team who can’t just sit back and rely on their talent to get them through anymore, their too old, their not as quick as they used to be. They need to do the little things right, they need to protect the ball, box out, player consistent, help defense (And not really on KG to bail them out, cause he cant do it anymore.)

    The mentality of the team has to change, or it will be a very short postseason.

  • MikeD

    cptn bubbles – Why do you put so much blame on Doc? He is a pretty damn good coach and we are lucky to have him. That 3rd quarter meltdown is completely the fault of the players. I just don’t understand your logic that because a player is struggling Doc needs to sit them. Everyone is going to have up and down games, that doesn’t change the fact that he is a hall of famer and our best shooting guard. You can’t just put someone on the bench because they got off to a bad start shooting the ball, how would they ever break out of the slump? The C’s have one of the most efficient offenses in the league, the problem isn’t field goal % it is turnovers and rebounding.

  • Tom W

    MikeD- I agree and disagree with you. I agree that Allen needs to be left in games, shooters who aren’t shooting well only right themselves when they get to keep on tossing up shots. But to leave him out there for as much time as Rivers did, when Daniels was CLEARLY playing the better game? I didn’t think that was a good decision.

    Also, it’s 100% Doc Rivers’ fault that Rasheed Wallace keeps getting minutes, when he clearly doesn’t deserve them over Perk OR Sheldon Williams. If I could trade shoes with Rivers for a week, I would do what Samuel Jackson did in Coach Carter and tell Sheed he had a week to complete 1,000 suicides and 2,500 pushups by Friday, or be benched indefinitely.

  • MikeD

    Yeah I do agree about Daniels, he played very well when he was in so I am suprised Doc didn’t use him more. Of course Doc makes mistakes, but my main point is that he is a very good and underrated coach. He had some growing pains for sure, but this season I don’t put much of the teams struggles on him. The players simply aren’t performing to the level that they can.

  • Tom

    Brendan,

    I was sitting on the opposite side of the Magic bench.

    Glen Davis made a few baskets, but did you feel people were confident in him shooting? He had three shots blocked against, why even attempt it when there are four people behind you. PASS THE BALL. For every good thing he does, he does something stupid to offset that.

    ESPN’s playchart is down, but I recall Rondo making more than 2-3 jumpers.

    Ray Allen had a arm touching his everytime he was doing the curl, I could see it clearly in the 3rd when he kept losing the ball and on the floor. I am not saying it is not his fault, but the magic got away with a bunch of good hacks.

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