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Ulcer Inducing: Celtics 92, Magic 88

 

ESPN •  Magic BasketballOrlando Pinstriped Post

The Celtics let another double-digit lead wither away as the Magic nearly came back from the dead to steal back game one.  With less than a minute to go, Paul Pierce came up huge in crunch time, making two free throws to put the Celtics up by five.  Ray Allen nearly gave the game away by not boxing out a streaking Jameer Nelson on the ensuring missed free throw by Vince Carter- but quickly redeemed himself by making two huge free throws after the Nelson bucket.

Dwight Howard was mired in frustration the entire game and the Celtics went cold in the last five minutes of the game.  If the Magic are going to bounce back, they are going to have to find a way to get Howard going.  If the Celtics are going to continue to win, they are going to have to find a way to score down the stretch and avoid these ulcer- inducing offensive droughts.

The bottom line: The Celtics lead the series 1-0.

The Celtics defined today what it means to have versatile weapons.  Kevin Garnett failed to see the same success offensively that he did against Antawn Jamison in the series against Cleveland and Rajon Rondo’s drives to the bucket were really hampered by Howard’s shot-blocking.  So how did the Celtics respond after the two most heavily-leaned on guys from the Cleveland series were effectively neutralized?  Paul Pierce and Ray Allen gladly reclaimed their swagger from their yester-years.

It might as well have been “Turn Back the Clock” night in Orlando as both Pierce and Allen returned to heyday form.  Pierce got his game going early mixing in an array of strong drives to the basket and steps back jumpers.  It’s clear that for one reason or another, Pierce’s eyes are lighting up when he sees Vince Carter in front of him instead of LeBron James.

Most of Allen’s retrospective production was made possible (unfortunately for C’s fans) due to a hobbled Matt Barnes.  It’s pretty obvious that Matt Barnes was not 100% as he chased Ray Allen around in the first half pretty ineffectively.  If he continues to lack 100%-like productivity on the defensive end, look for Ray Allen to have a huge series.

The Celtics, as a team, went to work tonight and executed beautifully for most of the game.  In the spirit of their play, let’s do the same with some bullets, starting with the most impressive part of the Green’s game:

  • The Celtics defense picked up just where it left off from the Cleveland series by being spectacular tonight.  It pretty much starts and ends with how the Celtics’ bigs defended Dwight Howard.  Kendrick Perkins has just the right amount of size and athleticism to be the perfect foil to Howard’s game.  His defense is flat-out disciplined, which is a bit humorous when you consider how undisciplined his feet and demeanor are on the offensive side of the ball.  Glen Davis was able to use his bulk the same way he did against Shaquille O’Neal.  This is purely speculation, but I believe Davis does not even have to exert as much energy as others when he leans on post players.  He has such great balance for a guy his size and his contribution to this win was irrefutable despite his less than impressive stat sheet.  Many people have speculated that Rasheed Wallace was brought to Boston to be a stretch four and give the bench more versatility.  Well, can can add “needler” to that list.  Dwight Howard is a petulant player by nature and Rasheed Wallace is doing a perfect job of getting under his skin.  After tonight’s performance, I firmly believe that Boston has the ability to shut down Howard emotionally and doing that will have a drastic impact on his play.
  • Rajon Rondo had a solid game overall tonight but it’s evident that he is still trying to feel out th beneficial way to play on both ends of the floor.  Should he go over screens and defend Nelson’s three point shot (which proved to be potentially deadly) or should he go under screens and roam the open floor looking for errant passes?  He is great at defending both so there may not be a right and wrong answer.  This may even be a situation where Rondo has to feel it out and switch strategies throughout specific games.  Rondo also has to do this same type of “figuring out” on the offensive end.  Rondo is not going to enjoy the same amount drive-time he did against Cleveland and Dwight Howard has almost eliminated the chance for three point plays on tear-drops and lay up attempts.
  • The Celtics also did an excellent job closing out three-point shooters.  The Magic shot 23% from deep and that number would be even lower if Rondo chooses the go over screens.  That number will undoubtedly go up as the series progresses as the Magic make adjustments and just flat-out make more shots, but it is very nice to get off on the right foot.  It’s easier to maintain good habits than trying the find ways to close out shooters and the Celtics have some good habits going.
  • Tony Allen had a solid game defensively and a huge alley-oop dunk that showcased how open the C’s playbook is for this series.  The amount of preparation this Celtics team undergoes cannot be understated.
  • It’s all going to be about winning the team assist category for the Celtics to continue to win games.  They are not going to win the board battle or the foul battle, so they must win the assist battle.

I really believe some of the preventable miscues will be prevented on Tuesday night.  After Game one, the Celtics have accomplished the very least of what they set out to do: steal the home-court advantage.  Fans have to be feeling pretty good after the Celtics dropped Game 1 in the Cleveland series and had enough resolve to comeback from a devastating loss.  Now, the Celtics did not repeat the same mistake (despite how hard they may have tried to) and they have to be riding pretty high.

Enjoy this one C’s fans.  I know I am.

  • mitch

    go celtics!!! love you guys

  • Devon

    A win is a win. No matter how gut wrenchingly painful the fourth quarter was. My dad called me with 2:30 left in the third and says “I never call anyone unless they’re up by 20″. To which I respond, “great dad I just hope that wasn’t a jinx”. Just to apologize for my pop nearly inducing another collapse.

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    Ulcer inducing is right.

  • Charlie

    I can’t say I’m glad that Orlando came storming back, but it does not worry me. Boston allowed the same thing to happen in game 1 against Cleveland – they actually lost then. But the fact that Cleveland came back made Boston play much better in the 4th of game 2.

  • sacbobv

    As long as I don’t have to hear how Orlando “lost” to the Celts, I’m good with the result.

    Hope we keep getting stronger and tougher next game, got no nails left to bite for this series.

  • urbeltic

    The C’s are a tough ass team loaded with weapons and smart players. The Magic are going to need to come with a lot more if they think they can beat them in the Semis.

  • DRJ1

    Thing is, other the Q1 and part of Q3, their offensive game was not very good. But the D help up for MOST of the game, and they pulled it out.

    Interesting that the Cs only doubled up on Howard ONCE in this whole game. Just ONCE. And on that that play, they hit a 3 with a kickout. Cs know what they’re doing now. I think…. I think they have Orlando’s number too (in addition to LA’s).

  • I love Green

    We should treat game 2 like a must win

  • Dave

    The way the Cs play at home and the road HCA means nothing to me. Hope they keep the killer instinct for game 2.

  • carlos rizik

    Orlando got 15 offensive rebounds and the C’s still managed to win. That’s a rare combination.

  • rondo-is-love

    I thought Pierce was absolutely spectacular and efficient today. 22 points on 6-for-8 shooting is pretty damn nifty. Perk was great on Dwight and seriously.. Sheed. Timely buckets, getting under Howard’s skin, his ability to make free throws! On paper, it’s hard to look at Dwight’s statline considering Perk only played so many minutes, but wow.

    A win is a win, but they almost let this one slip away too. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

  • MP

    Can we play every game in Orlando?

  • Chris O

    Had we lost this game I would have dropped most of the blame clearly on Rajon’s shoulders…I love the kid but he TWICE drove in with a few minutes to go (between the 2mins-3:30 mark) quickly getting rejected and wasting no time of the clock. That gave the Magic extra possessions by speeding up play. What the Celtis needed to do at that point was clearly SLOW DOWN the game and get a quality look. Not with 20 seconds to go get swatted by Dwight Howard because you want to outsuperhero the Magic…

  • What More Can I Say?

    Great analysis. Our bench was the difference. Orlando’s bench played pretty damn good too, but they got NOTHING out of Pietrus which was big for the C’s. Perk played solid D on Howard, but he was downright awful on offense, especially in the first half. Big Baby and Sheed came in for the guy and filled in admirably.

    Perk has got to work on his hands. I never believed his hands were awful, I just see the tentativeness on O and wo confidence, they guy is gonna be a liability. I thought Orlando guarded KG beautifully…but I also thought KG made some great passes. Perk has got to get his offensive game going.

  • What More Can I Say?

    The best thing about this win is that I thought Rondo had a subpar game. He made some bad decisions on D at times and I thought he ran the offense awful in the 4th quarter. I expect him to have a solid game in game 2.

    Great win for the Celtic nation.

  • Mang

    @ I love Green. I agree. Every game from now on the Cs should play like a must-win. There should be no alternative in their minds.

    Freakin lovin this Game 1 win over Orlando though. LOVING IT.

  • JP

    I don’t really understand how Ray was able to drive into the lane when Rajon wasn’t able to. Sure Ray got blocked a few times, but he also got in for layups a few times. Barnes was injured but Rondo should still be able to get past Nelson I would think. Any thoughts?

  • carlos rizik

    In the last 4 games neither Cleveland nor Orlando has scored 90 points. That’s Celtics’ defense at it best!

  • Sophomore

    @what more – agreed on Rondo.

  • dslack

    It seems inevitable that there would be some drop off in Rondo’s play when he’s in for 44 or 45 minutes. Maybe he could have gotten a breather when the Celtics were up 20. On the other hand, if Doc takes him out and Orlando goes on a 10-0 run, he looks like an idiot.

    I actually don’t mind Rondo’s instinct to drive early in the shot-clock. I thought the Celtics ran into more problems by playing the clock instead of just going for good offense. The problem was that the shots he took weren’t good shots, not that he didn’t use enough clock in taking them.

    Finally, this is awesome:
    http://www.sbnation.com/2010/5/16/1474523/dwight-howard-magic-vs-celtics-abc-error-graphic-score

  • Berkcelt

    Rondo’s problem isn’t getting past Nelson, it’s figuring out how to beat Howard. He had some nice assists to Glen Davis in the 4th that helped stem the tide.

    Nelson I have to say is a gritty player. No quit in him. I think he got that little spurt in the beginning of the third because of what Gortat did. Right after the timeout the bigs started making aggressive hedges so Rondo could recover.

    It’s going to be interesting to see if we can get KG more involved. It seemed like Orlando was very aggressive with him when he got the ball. They ran him off shots. Not that he got it in the post much, but does anybody remember if they doubled him? And I don’t know if anybody noticed this but early in the game he came down in traffic and it looked like he came up gimpy. Didn’t really notice it affect his running but I thought he might’ve tweaked his ankle stepping on somebody.

  • Chris O

    JP says:
    May 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm
    I don’t really understand how Ray was able to drive into the lane when Rajon wasn’t able to. Sure Ray got blocked a few times, but he also got in for layups a few times. Barnes was injured but Rondo should still be able to get past Nelson I would think. Any thoughts?
    _____________
    Ray is smoother and seems to account for Howard better, either juking him earlier of only driving in when Howard is out of position. It seems when Rondo has the ball Howard plays closer to the lane on D.

  • RBD

    So many good signs (in a relatively painful game to watch):

    -PP will be able to abuse his defenders. Vince may bring it on O but not on D.
    -Sheed will probably get thrown out of a game but he is going to drive Howard batty this series. I love it.
    -Howard is soft on the offensive end. Is he any better in the post than Perk? I doubt it. Dude has no touch at all. And he gets frustrated easily.
    -Howard is awesome defensively. Just a beast. He alters, blocks and flat-out deters shots.
    -KG very credible on Rashard. Wore him out though. A concern for game two. Will he have enough gas?
    -Also, Rashard – also soft.
    -Jameer is gonna make Rondo work on D. Can’t let him get rolling.
    -Great game by Redick. Really impressed with his effort.

    This series will be 3-1 Boston after game four.

  • Dave in LA

    Lakers fan here. Celtics are impressive. Orlando hasn’t faced a real team in the playoffs so you could say they’re just lucky to be there. Celtics in 5 or 6. I wish the Lakers could have it this easy.

  • trindog

    Perkins has got to make Howard pay for going for the block. Perkins needs to dive to the front of the rim every time Howard leaves him to go for the block. Too many times Perkins just stayed on the outside while Howard helped. This will one get Howard in foul trouble trying to get back to Perk or deter Howard from going for the block. I love the defense by Perk which is allowing everyone else to stay home and contest shots

  • JP

    Interesting to note:

    Magic 8-1 in the playoffs

    Celtics 9-3 in the playoffs

    Are the Magic really that invincible, having played ATL and the Bobcats, whereas the Celtics played DWade and LeBron. I think only losing 3 to those 2 teams is more impressive than no losses to the teams that Orlando has played as odd as that sounds.

  • DRJ1

    @RBD– Good list. Some caveats:
    - Sheed really has to grow up. When Howard pushes — DON’T PUSH BACK. FALL BACK! Don’t get a double T… get the foul on Dwight. C’mon, after all this time Sheed should have better control over his emotions.
    - KG will not wear out. He’s back, and he’s NOT stopping till they win 7 more games.
    - Perk on O is just terrible. Couldn’t be worse. Including his FTs. Either grow him some new neurons, reduce his touches, or just play Sheed more.
    - Cs’ were mediocre on offense. And I don’t see them backing off on defense at all. Therefore, we can expect much better overall performance going forward…. when their offense REALLY clicks (i.e., when KG and Rondo aren’t this bad — which they surely will not be).

  • matthew

    i actually think Sheed did a great job on howard. i think it was good he didn’t back down on d12, physically and emotionally. sheed just completely frustrated him and had him make bad decisions in the low post.

  • Jay P

    Expect to see more of JJ, Barnes is obviously hampered, and Reddick did a very good job on Ray late in the game. Not to mention his offensive contributions.

  • http://espn.com travis zen

    i can smell a sweep…

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Rajon started out the game putting a lot of pressure on the ball, even when they were bringing it up the court. It was wonderful. Then, it seemed like Rajon got tired in the 4th. You can’t blame him for trying to gut it out, but Doc has to see guys blowing by Rajon = put TA in the game for just a few minutes. I noticed mr cheerful subbed Nelson out at the beginning of the 4th, & Nelson looked like he was getting the step on Rajon later in the 4th. Maybe Doc should consider resting Rajon for a few minutes at the start of the 4th.

    Orlando is a good defensive team, but if our defense is better then we will win. We make dumb turnovers, but if we force them into a dumb turnover with our defense then it all cancels out. Paul did a great job rebounding along with Ray & KG except for those offensive rebounds they gave up. Paul was really helping out more on the boards. It was beautiful to see him battling instead of trying to leak out early. One time, Paul got the board but was too anxious to get it out. Paul’s pass was stolen & then thrown to Dwight. Paul slapped the ball away from Dwight & got the ball back. Great D can cancel out mistakes. Other Note to Paul, when there are 4 magicians in the lane that is probably not the best time to try & throw a bounce pass right down the middle of the lane from the top of the key.

    Note to entire team: This just in…….PERK CANNOT HANDLE LOW PASSES. At best, he will fumble around with it, & the defense will recover & have plenty of time to block him or trap him. Instead, please consider chest high or higher passes to Perk moving him toward the rim into a shot.

    Note to our guards & Paul: if you don’t stay in front of Nelson or Jason Williams or Redick or Vinny or Pietrus then it is going to be a layup or an ez offensive rebound for Dwight. We’ve all seen this eleventy kazillion times. Example, Nelson jukes Rajon & gets into lane for closer, easier shot. Perk leaves superman to fix Rajon’s mess. If Nelson misses shot Dwight gets ez rebound & ez shot while Rondo watches from a distance. Proving once again that Perk cannot guard the best big man in the nba & a pg or sg or sf at the same time.

    Nelson is 6′ & he had FOUR OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS— Hello, Rajon, this is your guy not being blocked out.

    Vinny had THREE OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS— Hello, Paul, this is your guy, where are you?

    Rashard had TWO OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS— Hello, KG, this your guy.

    They had over double the offensive rebounds of us. All those extra possessions, extra shots. Really dangerous.

    Don’t double Dwight. Give Dwight the running hook shot or even a dunk over giving them an open 3. Take away the 3s & the lane. Let them have deep deuces, but get that rebound. They will hit some of those deep deuces but that’s a lot better than the 3 or all the bad things which can happen in the lane with clark kent down there.

    Whoever is being left by Dwight when he goes to block a shot needs to be SUPER AGGRESSIVE & move toward the rim with their hands ready for a pass. Then, the driver can go up (Dwight will be up there in the air with them trying to get that block) & throw the pass around Dwight to the guy Dwight was guarding. Dwight leaves guys all the time to go help or go for a block. Perk or Sheed or KG need to go to the front of the rim & CREATE a passing angle, ready for a pass instead of standing there (where Dwight was guarding you) flat footed & gaping as Dwight blocks yet another shot. Punish Dwight for leaving you on defense.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I hope the Cs are not satisfied or pleased with themselves. I hope the Cs are extremely aggressive & relentless with this next game.

  • ihatemarquisdaniels

    This was only the 5th game ive seen the magic play this season yet in all of those games Matt Barnes has struck me as mediocre in every regard… and now he isn’t at full strength

    Stan Gundy is a good coach and isnt afraid of tinkering with his team… he went to the JJ and VC at the 2 and 3 in the fourth and it was effective. Throw in the fact that VC is primarily defending Pierce and it seems logical to me that this lineup will see more minutes in the rest of the series and it may even become their starting group

    JJ is a better shooter, better passer, better at chasing ray around and contesting his shots, and almost automatic from the line… the only thing i’ve seen Barnes do better than JJ is rebound. Bottom line- if SvG makes the adjustments that im predicting I feel that the Celtics will have a harder time winning game#2

    Gortat played very well today and probably should have gotten more minutes… I’d rather play the dwight we saw today over the Gortat we saw today any day of the week… hopefully SvG will continue to underutilize him

    Tony and Rajon hooking up on that alley-oop was siccckkk

    Rondo has to realize his role in this series will be diminished slightly…. his layup game is nonsense with dwight in the paint (unless rondo gets him with the ball fake)

    all things considered i like our chances for game 2… its actually pretty important that we come away with a win too. most likely will split the home games with them… without a win on tuesday that would give them back home court adv

    I love the team basketball that the guys in green play

    GO CELTICS

  • still enjoying #17

    Great job Rasheed. Perk’s D on Howard was nice to watch. I believe Perk will be a big factor in winning this series.

  • Rich

    You guys know I’m a Cavs fan, but this is insane. The regular season, clearly, host lost all meaning. After the Cavs series I was picking the Cs to beat the Magic, and the reasons are the same as they ended up being against Cleveland.

    The Celtics win 4 out of 5 of the match-ups. Obviously, you would take Howard, but after that? KG or Lewis (tbh, this is where I thought the Celtics were lacking going into the playoffs, I didn’t expect old KG to return)..KG. Rondo or Nelson….Rondo. Allen or Barnes…Allen. Pierce or Carter….Pierce. Again, the starting talent for Boston is more than that of the Magic.

    Boston, kind of easily, in 5.

  • http://secureimmaturity.com Will

    Hey guys,

    For those who don’t know me, I’m a Magic fan. So that’s out of the way. . .haha, what a game. Man, we played terrible but, and I believe someone said this earlier, it wasn’t because we lost but because you won! I respect the Celtics so I have no reason to bash them or come up with excuses. . .you guys played suffocating defense and matched that with an intense offense. You guys can nearly blow a 20 point lead because you GOT the lead in the first place. The key word, of course, is NEARLY. . .you DIDN’T blow the lead and got the W, so congrats: it is well deserved.

    Am I worried? Not yet. . .three teams this playoffs lost Game 1s and came back to win the series and I can’t see the Magic shooting as horrifying as they did in the first half again (though, knowing the Magic’s history, well, anything can happen!). Am I surprised? No. I believed you guys were good enough to begin with. Am I dissapointed? No. I’m glad we almost made a comeback and I believed, from day one, this would be a seven game series.

    Though my team ended up the loser in this heat, I think this is going to be an amazing series.

    Note: I missed the second half due to my daughter’s baptism. I’m sure the priest loved the occasional FUCK! coming from my pew during the third quarter when it looked like we were going to get blown out by forty.

  • Ray Leighton

    Honestly, this was not ulcer-inducing — I think everyone has gotten too freaked out by the regular season Celtics, and this is the playoff Celtics. We were too far ahead, with too little time, and playing solid defense. Every team makes runs during a game, but in this case, it was way too late for the Magic – the fact that we did not score a field goal for the last 5.5 minutes and still won illustrates that the Magic didn’t really have a chance at that point. And every time earlier that the Magic made a run, we just turned it up a notch. We didn’t need that late in the game. When we were 5 ahead with 48 seconds, the ghost of Red is lighting up his cigar. As long as we don’t do something really stupid (although letting them score off an intentionally missed FT was pretty bad), and we have Ray and Paul on the floor to shoot freethrows, the game is over. I agree with Vince Carter — when the C’s are playing this kind of defense, you aren’t going to come back from a 20 point deficit in one quarter, even if the C’s offense isn’t scoring. So I am not really worried about the final stretch or the poor offense — that was often the story throughout our championship run two years ago; as long as the defense is that good, we win.

    I was very glad to see that the Celtics’ intensity was still so high even after beating Cleveland on Thursday. Going to be interesting to see what Stan throws at us on the Tuesday. Go Celtics!

  • RBD

    @Ray

    Agree. I was never worried we’d lose this game. After the trifecta of wins to close out Cleveland, I’m convinced the Celtics are playing at a level where they can absorb a gut punch and still fight back. And credit to Orlando – they picked up their D in the fourth. It wasn’t just Celtics ineptitude.

    @DRJ1

    -You’ll never change Sheed. Especially not now. I would actually argue he DID keep control tonight. He’s trying to get to Howard and that requires a little back and forth. A couple technicals aren’t gonna hurt.
    -Not worried about KG long term. Just game two. After that, the three days off should allow him to freshen up.
    -Also not worried about Perk. He’ll finish some dunks, shuffle his feet into some turnovers and set moving picks now and then. But he’s gravy on offense. His single-coverage D is what’s going to allow us to close out on the perimeter and beat these guys. Also – much credit to him for playing hurt.
    -Have you noticed PP is coming around? Guess it wasn’t his game improbably falling off the table all at once, but a brutal matchup with LBJ. :+)

  • DRJ1

    Perk on O has become a real problem. Here are the (frightening) details:

    Q1
    9:34 Fumbles pass from Rondo, recovers
    7:27 Moving Pick – Off. foul called – official TO#1
    4:32 Receives pass from Ray, hesitates too long on right side, takes weak shot which is easily blocked by Howard – This is an effective TO.
    Q2
    8:26 Moving pick – Off. foul called – official TO#2
    5:33 Throws bad pass to KG, out of bounds – official TO#3
    0:32 Receives pass. Hesitates. Confused. Travel called – official TO#4 (At this point, Doc puts his head down, shaking it in disbelief.)
    Q3
    10:16 Receives pass under basket, fumbles it out of bounds – official TO#5
    Q4
    2:51 Missed 2 FTs

    - In addition, Perk fumbled an easy rebound out of bounds (off a Howard missed FT). This was his 2nd unofficial (uncounted) effective TO.
    - In addition, Perk took 6 FGA, hit 2 of them. Total point production for game: 4 pts. (Note: one of the missed FGAs was from the other side of the court at the end of quarter.)

    Altogether, Perkins managed, in 26 minutes of play, the following on offense:
    - 7 possessions completely lost due to turnovers and effective turnovers
    - 4 missed FGAs out of 6 attempts (though one of those attempts was from beyond midcourt).
    - 2 missed FTs.
    - No assists.
    - 4 points scored.

    There’s no argument about his value on the defensive end. But does he have to personally give up 7 possession in a game? And miss half his free throws (usually)? It’s a problem… so maybe the Cs need to adjust but simply not throwing the ball to Perk unless he’s ready to shoot or pass. If he as to THINK, or god-forbid dribble, we’re screwed.

  • RBD

    @DRJ1

    You’re overreacting to one game. Just like you overreacted to Pierce’s struggles against Cleveland.

    Perk averaged ONE turnover per game vs. Cleveland. In the same number of minutes he played today. It’s probably an outlier game.

    Relax. We got this.

  • DRJ1

    RBD– I think we got this too :)

    Problem with the playoffs is there is very little room for error. No time for guys to fix their game. Just 7 games max. But… I saw Doc shake his head in disbelief on the travel… so figure he’ll fix this one way or another. Fewer touches for Perk, probably…. he’s really almost out of the offense anyway, so (obviously) that’s would be no great loss. So long as he can still dunk and take the occasional easy layup, that’s enough.

    Btw… Paul ALSO had a lot of turnovers. Ugh…. Imperfect tho they are, they’re better than everyone else. Isn’t that something? It’s their D… which was beautiful for most of this game.

  • Nathan

    Talk about a biased article…This is clearly a Magic’s fan article…pffft!

  • eidos

    Loved the intensity of the celtics in D, but I don’t expect RL throwing bricks all the series like today…seriously 0-6 in 3 range…wow.

    I am interested in the adjustments both coaches will bring in the second match, sending only one big to guard Howard helped to control the perimeter play of Orlando, I am sure Van Gundy will try to find a way to exploit this fact.

    In any case, we are winning 1-0. We stole the home court factor, 3 wins more to go…

  • NHBluesMan

    My highlight of the game was when one announcer said Dwight was playing more like Clark Kent than Superman, and the other announcer corrected him and said ‘no, he’s playing more like Louis Lane’ lol

    C’s defense was killer tonight. I especially loved when ‘Sheed was guarding Dwight, then backed off suddenly, causing Dwight to travel and turnover the ball. Thats a veteran move right there, and thats why we picked up ‘Sheed.

    I don’t expect the Magic to play this badly again, and there will be ups and downs in the series, but after seeing the Celtics go cold on offense, allow the Magic to work back into it, and then STILL seal the deal, i’m very confident with this series. True we can still improve, but thats the scary thing, we shut down the Magic and we didn’t even play at 100%.

    I agree with the comments on Perk. His O worries me, but anything we get from him on offense is extra. His D is what we need him for (its also alot more comforting knowing our back-up center is ‘Sheed as opposed to Mikki Moore).

    Rondo needs to adjust his game abit, their really attacking KG because he was the X factor in the last series, but once they realize they need to account for PP and Ray now, KG will get his looks.

    the bench played HUGE for us tonight. True, Orlando’s bench might be deeper, but our bench has a key advantage: championship experience. They know what it takes to win, and they’ve all stepped up their games.

    Now we just need get up by 40 so we can put KryptoNATE in to dunk over Howard.

    C’s have put the breaks on Flash, we stole LeBron’s Burger King Crown, now we’ve got a good hold on ‘Supermans’ cape… lets give it a good tug and then return the costume to the rental shop.

    Celtics in 6

  • Jay P

    “C’s have put the breaks on Flash, we stole LeBron’s Burger King Crown, now we’ve got a good hold on ‘Supermans’ cape… lets give it a good tug and then return the costume to the rental shop.”

    Great line. Haha.

    The C’s obviously let up the gas in the 3rd, and the Magic started hitting a few 3s. I don’t put much into other than if the game was close, I don’t think the C’s let them get some of those shots off quite as easily.

    They nearly paid the price for their complacency too, but a W is a W, so we’ll take it. But expect SVG to make some adjustments, expect them to start using Howard in a screen and roll more, expect to see a lot more of JJ on Ray, Barnes can’t keep up, whether ir be injury or inability, who knows, but it’s the bottom line.

    This Magic team is good, and they definitely got a rude awakening in Game 1… they aren’t play the Bobcats or the Hawks anymore. But they’ll bounce back, and Van Gundy will make some adjustments, this team and that coach is too good to not.

    Enjoy the win, but there’s a long road ahead.

  • What More Can I Say?

    @RBD and DRJ1

    I agree with RBD about Sheed. I like the extra pushing, shoving, and tangling with Superboy. At the end of the day, the refs can toss Sheed and Dwight, that definitely works to the C’s favor. I don’t want Sheed to calm down, get under his skin and continue to guard him just like you are doing Mr. Wallace. Great game for Sheed.

    Big Baby played a good solid game as well.

  • Eric

    Paul’s turnovers this game were not of the dribble-the-ball-off-his-foot or dribble-into-four-defenders variety. They resulted because he was trying to get his teammates easy shots–passing when he should have shot and passing into too-much traffic. And the good-shot-to-turnover ration was high: 3:1 at least.

    But he should have taken more shots; 22 points on 8 shots is crazy efficient. I was screaming for the dreaded Pierce iso those last few minutes; better than the Rondo quasi-iso.

    Anyway, great win.

  • Anthony

    Having watched all the Celts’ playoffs games except for game 3 against the Cavs (Thank god!), I think the Celts have done a much better job of sustaining their lead and countering any spurts by their opponents. Game 1 against Cavs excluded. But the Magics are deep enough to keep fighting and chipping away. up 13, magics fought back. up by 16, magics fought back. up 20, magics fought back. Each instance, the celts countered except for the last one. Luckily the magics didnt have enough time. In all fairness, Garnett had a couple of good looks that just didnt fall that wouldve countered the magics final run. Also, someone mentioned Rondo had poor time management when he drove in on Howard with lots of time remaining on the shot clock just to get swatted. I must admit, Jameer was a much better player than I thought and the magics really limits Rondo’s game. The magics are going to have a lot of fight in them so as long as the Celts can countered and not go back to the regular season ways of giving up leads, I’m ok with that. I dont want to get ahead of myself but should we root for Phoenix so we dont have to play Lakers??

  • Anthony

    @JayP…LOL…totally forgot we have KryptoNATE.

  • What More Can I Say?

    @Anthony

    I WANT the Lakers to win! Don’t get me wrong, if PHX wins, they deserved it and I won’t lose any sleep, but I am of the opinion that Kobe and company got LUCKY KG’s knee failed him and got to play the Magic in the Finals instead of the C’s.

    Then again…you can make an argument that w/o KG getting hurt, the C’s may not be working with the Rajon Rondo that we are seeing now.

    Bottom line? Ain’t nobody scared of the Lakers!

  • Cptn Bubbles

    @Rich….Glad to see you did not drive your car into the river. It’s great to see fans of other teams come here & participate with some real class.

    @Ray….Some good points. I wasn’t thinking ulcer either. Just some careless plays but I’m with you on the defense.

    Our D can cancel out a lot of mistakes. If we get a lead & just play suffocating, hard nosed D AND DEFENSIVELY REBOUND THE BALL then we will win the game. Rondo doesn’t need to make some heroic, sportscenter hi-light drive against Dwight. Surely, Rajon realizes that Orlando has watched tons of film on him & they are all out to get him by drawing charges & blocking his shot. He should save all that burst, all that energy for the defensive end & shut down Nelson. Nelson made him look bad several times with his cross over & rebounding the ball FOUR times on the offensive end. One time Perk blocked Nelson & Nelson fell down. Rajon just stood there where Nelson had blown by him watching instead of helping to contain Nelson. Nelson got up off the floor & recovered the blocked ball. If Rondo gets mad & makes it his mission to lock down Nelson (rather than wasting energy trying to show up Dwight resulting in another block) then you’re cutting off the head of the snake. Sure Rajon should drive when it’s open, but we need him the most to totally frustrate Nelson, help Defensive rebound, & get assists. Dwight was not expecting Ray to drive for layups, but he was definitely waiting (probably watched tons of film) to ambush Rajon. Rajon can hurt Dwight the most by dominating Nelson so badly that Dwight doesn’t even get a chance to touch the ball. If you could get Dwight’s man to actually MOVE toward the rim when Dwight leaves to block a shot then Rajon could get some ez assists instead of another blocked shot.

    One big advantage Orlando has is that they will take charges, & they are good at it. I don’t expect or want KG to take a charge (there is a bias & it’s hard for a really tall guy to draw a charge in the nba), but the other guys should be willing. Their guards are great at drawing charges, but we really only have 2 guys who are capable or willing to take charges.

  • Anthony

    Very true but you know how people dont like to give the Celts their dues. Nobody seem to remember how lucky the Lakers were last year. First round against a Jazz team without Boozer, second round against a Rockets team without Yao, conference finals against a Nuggets team that just blew it. I dont want to dwell on it but the Celts were also without Powe. I was just wondering because the Celts dont match up well against the Suns.

  • Anthony

    @What More Can I Say?
    Very true but you know how people dont like to give the Celts their dues. Nobody seem to remember how lucky the Lakers were last year. First round against a Jazz team without Boozer, second round against a Rockets team without Yao, conference finals against a Nuggets team that just blew it. I dont want to dwell on it but the Celts were also without Powe. I was just wondering because the Celts dont match up well against the Suns.

  • Rich

    Don’t disregard how lucky the Lakers have been this year too. They get OKC instead of San Antonio in the 1st round. Then, instead of Denver, they get Utah. Such an immensely different match-up situation for the Lakers it’s amazing. Finally, the Suns instead of the Spurs yet again.

    If the Lakers had drawn the Spurs and the Nuggets, they might be out as we speak. Instead, they face the two absolute best teams in terms of match-ups for them in these playoffs…the Jazz and the Suns.

    Boston should be happy, because you’re right, the Suns are the one team I can see beating Boston at this point. They run. They play smaller athletic line-ups and it kills Boston (HELLO MIKE BROWN!!THIS IS WHY YOU WILL BE FIRED). However, I can’t see any scenario in which they can beat the Lakers or even challenge them. L.A. just has so much more size than does PHX it’s going to be really hard for them to get anything at the rim.

  • Jay P

    @Rich

    I found it ironic that you mention Phx having no chance against LA because of their size, but say they could agaisnt Boston. Boston has just as much size as LA, and Bynum is definitely hampered by the injuries now, so I’d even give Boston the edge in front-court depth.

    I got my money on the Lakers winning the series, but I won’t count that Suns team out, they’ve shown some real heart, and ya gotta love the way Nash can control a game, it’s fun to watch. And either way, Boston controls it’s own destiny, the kinda basketball their playing right now, if it keeps up, I don’t care who they play.

  • DRJ1

    So there are 2 POVs regarding whether or not Sheed should have fought with Howard and gotten that double tech.

    - One side says it was a good thing. Get under Howard’s skin, bother him… all good.

    - I say no, do fight him hard, do get under his skin with your D — but do NOT start swinging arms and getting tech’d up. First of all, you could get thrown out of the game (especially if you’re Sheed, of course). Second: is it not even MORE effective in terms of getting under his skin to have HOWARD get the foul and maybe even a tech, while you get off clean? Isn’t that always the goal?

  • Rich

    The Lakers have Lamar Odom to match up with Frye. Not to mention the Lakers three big men can all make you pay on offense. Sure, the Suns can out-run the Lakers, but Bynum, Odom, and Gasol can all make use of their size on offense in the post and punish a smaller team. Not so sure Perk or Rasheed is going to be doing that no matter who is guarding them.

    So basically, the Lakers can take advantage of a smaller team, and Boston can’t.

  • What More Can I Say?

    @Anthony

    You make a decent point, but from how Game 1 went last night, I don’t even think the C’s will even get a chance to worry about PHX. Think of it like Atlanta. Orlando did ouyr dirty work for us.

    LOL!

  • http://www.handcarwash.org Charlotte Wright

    i had an ulcer last year because i am fond of skipping meals and working too hard. it was quite painful:~’

  • http://www.pinoygambing.com Robert Ahmed

    ulcer is quite painful and sometimes it is deadly too, my grandmother died from ulcer“:

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