Post-game Reactions

The New York Times writes about the rejuvenation of the C’s but is careful to note that if there’s one team that won’t be intimidated by Boston’s overwhelming record in series in which they have taken a 2-0 lead, that team is the Magic: 

Last year, the Magic became the first team to beat the Celtics in a seven-game series when Boston held a 3-2 lead. Immediately after the series-clinching victory, Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy wrote 32-1 on the locker room’s dry-erase board, the Celtics’ new record.

Good for you, coach.

Orlando Sentinel: The NBA has suspended Joe DeRosa, the ref who played hot potato with the heckling Magic fan, for one game without pay. 

• A call to retire Kevin Garnett’s number with or without a second title in Boston. 

• John Hollinger points out that the C’s three-man bench has basically played Orlando’s four-man bench to a draw, and that in itself is a big victory for Boston:

While Orlando’s bench has outscored Boston’s 50-43, the Magic reserves have played 21 more minutes, partly because Orlando is using a nine-man rotation while the Celtics keep it to eight.


Plus, the much-maligned Tony Allen is having another strong playoffs as Boston’s lone backcourt reserve. While his penchant for blowing layups continues to frustrate Celtics fans, he has made five of his 10 shots from the field, has turned the ball over just once and continues to play spirited defense against opponents’ top wing players.

• At Orlando Pinstriped Post, Ben Q. Rock points out how badly Rashard Lewis has played in Games 1 and 2. As I pointed out here, several pundits pointed to the Rashard Lewis-KG match-up as perhaps the biggest reason Orlando would defeat Boston. 

Yeah, so:

In 84 minutes this series, Lewis has scored 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting, including 1-of-9 from three-point range. That’s a rate of 4.7 points per 36 minutes, which is about on par with what Jason and Jarron Collins contribute. The Collins twins, you may recall, are defensive specialists at center who only draw an NBA paycheck because they know how to a) give a foul and b) flop.

• Mr. Rock also suggests that J.J. Redick replace Matt Barnes in Orlando’s starting line-up. He provides this helpful chart (via Synergy Sports) on how the Magic has performed in this series with Barnes playing alongside Howard-Nelson-Lewis-Carter versus with Redick playing with the same quartet:

Stan Van Gundy said today that “there’s no question” the team has been better with Redick than with Barnes, but that he won’t change the starting line-up, according to the Sentinel’s Tania Ganguli

• Wayne Winston, the author of “Mathletics” and a former consultant to the Mavericks, agrees that the Magic have done poorly with Barnes on the floor. 

• Barnes, meanwhile, accuses Paul Pierce of flopping on one play in Game 2 and would like to guard Pierce more often (via the Sentinel):

“My third foul in the third quarter, when I tried to beat him over the screen, he fell down like I threw him,” Barnes said, when asked about Pierce’s tendency to exaggerate contact. “It was ridiculous. But the refs called it, so it was a good play. It was a flop, 100 percent, and that’s how some guys like to play. But if the refs call it, it’s effective.”

You gotta love Matt Barnes—few irrelevant NBA journeymen have ever talked as much trash.

• You know you’re hot when the team sends out an alert about counterfeit playoff tickets.

• Over at Red’s Army, Mr. Triple Double 10 does some research and finds that the C’s are only 8-7 in the KG/Ray era in games that came after three or more days off. 

I’m not sure how relevant that is, but it’s interesting. In the middle of a long playoff journey, I’ll take whatever rest the NBA schedule-makers give us.

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Zach Lowe

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  • PierceTurth

    for all those who are going to games 3 and 4 (and hopefully that all) of this series remember to check in every so often to @CelticsChants on twitter to see what new chant The Basketball Guy has come up with for the Garden… imagine 18,426 Celtics fans all chanting one chant ridiculing the magic

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I think just about every nba player I’ve seen has flopped or gone hollywood to get a call. Some more than others. Ak47 & turkey jordan are 2 of the bigger floppers. I think European players see it so rampant in soccer that they emulate it more. That will be the worst thing about the World Cup in South Africa, flopping & knee jerk red cards. If we watched enough film we would see Barnes flopping to get calls. Don’t know how you get rid of flopping other than the refs rewatching the games with slow mo to zero in on chronic offenders. You gotta think that the refs don’t want guys duping them so maybe some verbal warfare is worthwhile. I would like to hear more about how Dwight can get away with moving screens & fouls on some of those blocks.

    It was down from 9 to 5 last game, but I still don’t get how 6′ Nelson is snagging 5 rebounds. Rajon is faster than Nelson, right? It looks like he could neutralize Nelson on the boards. Nelson should be getting zero offensive rebounds if Rajon is playing cut throat D. Dwight is bad enough. We don’t need the Orlando guards going above their seasonal rebound averages. Redick had 5 rebounds last game also, 2 offensive. Redick is not known as some sort of rebounding machine so someone is relaxing out there. Ray or TA has to be aware of that & clamp down on JJ. JJ is not an ez guy to guard. He is not just gonna stand there. He moves without the ball, & he is being more aggressive rebounding. Lastly, you gotta treat Gortat with a whole lot more respect on the offensive glass. He was really going after that offensive board last game (4 offensive rebounds=4 more possessions). These games are too close in the final minutes to be giving up any edge. I NEVER would have believed it if anyone told me that Nelson at 6′ (& not known for rebounding) would have out rebounded Rajon so far over the course of 2 games. I figured Rajon would easily double Nelson’s rebounding with his sick rebounding skills.

  • mindgames

    Hello Zach,

    Good updates all around. While we are passing time for Game 3 on Saturday, I would like to request if you would do some research on a burning question that I have.

    The issue concerns the play of the best point guard in the league: our own Rajon Rondo.

    Let me explain: The Celtics are (were?) known for blowing big leads in the fourth quarter all season long. Though that has improved markedly in the playoffs, they haven’t stopped playing some ulcer-inducing fourth quarters. So like every Celtics fan I have been wondering myself crazy why that should be so. And during the playoffs I realized that the pace of our game slows to a crawl in the last quarter, especially the last 5 minutes or so.

    And why is that? I don’t know why but Rondo stops running the ball on offense. He starts to walk the ball over to the other side and then dribble, dribble and dribble as if passing time. Then they try something in the last remaining seconds with normally bad results. I do not know if that is how Doc’s been designing the plays for some reason. Or if Rondo just gets tired after playing nearly every minute of every playoff game. Or our guys are just too winded at the end of games to sustain the frenetic pace of the earlier quarters.

    So I had been worrying about Rondo walking the ball over for some time now. But not being too proficient in basketball, I thought I was missing something. Also, no one else seemed to worry about Rondo play at the end of games. But yesterday, I read Bill Simmons and viola he made a similar point:

    “If you want to go deeper, one reason they struggle down the stretch is because Rondo (a poor free throw shooter) doesn’t want to get fouled, so he plays the last four minutes a little differently than the first 44. Hasn’t been a problem in the postseason. Yet.”

    So, Zach, could you please look at the end of our playoff games and use your expertise to explain what happens in the last quarter, especially the last 4-5 minutes. Why do you think Rondo starts walking the ball over the court? And why does the pace of our offense grinds to a crawl? A good video review would be of immense value to all the readers.

    I just have an ominous fear about that “yet” that Simmons tagged in that quote.

    Go Celtics!
    Let’s have a sweep if that is what the Captain wants!! Why not??

  • urbeltic

    Regarding PP the flopper…who cares. Everytime Anderson V. flops and gets a foul I hate the mo fo more than ever, but in the back of my head I say … good move. When Lebron flops, same thing. Everybody is going to exagerate contact, and that is that.

    I’ll bet some good money that PP flops far less than the number of times he takes a hack w/out a foul call. Should we start keeping track of this? Maybe we can get T. Heinson on the phone to sort out how many times he didn’t get the call.

    Bottom line though….when Barney leads his team to the finals and wins it all, I’ll listen to him, until then…he is barely a bleep on the NBA radar.

  • Jay P


    To Barne’s credit at least he said “If he gets the call, it’s a good play.” He’s acknowledging the fact that it’s smart basketball, he just doesn’t like it, I think it’s fair.

    But when you can’t make noise on the court, you gotta do it off ya know?

  • What More Can I Say?

    I’m just gonna keep it real. PP does flop. He flops like no one else I have seen. He alsways flops with contact on the drive and does like a neck thing that sorta resembles whiplash. It is kind of similiar to Reggie Miller, but he doesn’t get the arms going and it isn’t all that dramatic. Just effective.

    KG’s number will be retired. No doubt in my mind. Personally, I think Ray’s and Rondo’s will be too, but that is just my opinion.

    Bring on Game 3!

  • @Urbeltic

    I have to agree with you. I hate watching Pierce go down like he was shot, but it is just a good play. If the refs call it, more power to you… I know how tough Pierce can be, but it still irritates me.

  • NHBluesMan

    Cptn Bubble: some of those rebounds come off of the ball bouncing farther out to the court, whoever collects it gets the rebound. So its not like Nelson is in their banging with Perk and KG and coming up with boards all the time. Sometimes its just a matter of being in the right place in the right time

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I don’t think Nelson is gonna get the board based on height or jump or as you say, banging. If Rajon is guarding him you would think Rajon would be in the general area & therefore could out quick Nelson to the ball. From the 1st game, I don’t think Nelson just happens to be in the right place 9 times. I know Rajon has some mad rebounding skills so I just want to see Rajon have more rebounds than his 6′ counterpart for the rest of the series.