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Anybody Got A Broom? C’s 94, Magic 71

 

ESPNOrlando Pinstriped PostMagic Basketball

Two weeks ago, the C’s came home to host Game 3 after a three-day layoff, feeling mighty good about themselves, after evening up their series with the Cavs. They proceeded to be blown out of the building by LeBron and company, facing a harsh reality check before turning things around and taking command of that series.

Tonight, facing a similar scenario, the C’s were intent on not making the same mistake. Smelling blood from the opening tip and feeding on the energy of the raucous Garden crowd, the C’s pounced on the Magic from the onset, dismantling them with a dominant 27-12 1st quarter and never looking back on their way to the 23 point victory.

There’s really only one place to start tonight, and it has to be the defense. Just a tremendous team effort, all over the floor holding Orlando to 37 percent shooting and 26 percent from downtown.

From the first possession of the night, everyone was active, swarming passing lanes, denying the ball, sound rotations, and making smart switches on pick and rolls. Altogether, the C’s just created a tone from the onset where Orlando failed to gain any kind of a rhythm.

The inside game wasn’t working with only 2 points in the paint early on, (Howard o/4 in 1st), the outside shots weren’t falling (1/5 from deep), which left a team that had no answers for Boston.

The byproduct? A 12 point first quarter where Orlando shot 23 percent from the field, and turned the ball over six times.

That kind of putrid output is tough to recover from playing anywhere, but it’s safe to say the C’s ripped the heart out of the Magic in the first twelve minutes tonight. They didn’t get any closer than 14 points during the rest of the night.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the floor, the C’s fed off their defense, overcoming a scoring lull after a 7-0 run to start the game to pull away midway through the 1st. They tortured a helpless Orlando defense, executing and running at nearly every opportunity, thanks to Rajon Rondo and making the extra pass all night long, that kept the Magic constantly on their heels.

To make matters worse, the C’s shooters were on as well, with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce hitting from the outside early, making Orlando’s defensive switches with Vince Carter and Matt Barnes irrelevant. Neither of those guys can stick with Pierce or Allen when they are on and that was the case tonight.

Truth be told though, this was an incredibly balanced effort by the C’s tonight. Six guys in double figures, with Glen Davis leading the way with 16 points in 27 minutes, the beneficiary of some extra PT due to Perk’s foul trouble, one of the only problems this Boston team faced all night long.

I can’t express enough just how great everyone looked tonight, especially the frontline. From Sheed’s outside touch, (2-3 from deep), to Perk’s strong moves to the hoop, Baby’s inside outside game, and KG’s efficient evening (4 of 6 shooting) the C’s looked like a juggernaut of historical proportions.

The Magic just had no answers all night long. Everyone always says that in the NBA, every team will make some kind of run. That cliche was exposed tonight, as the C’s just stepped on Orlando’s throat at the tip and didn’t let them breath for the full 48 minutes.

No magical run, just a margin that never got closer than 14 points, and a rout where things went from bad to worse in the second half for Orlando. Overmatched, outclassed, outhustled, call it what you want, but it was fun to watch as a C’s fan.

For now, the C’s have a chance to wrap this bad boy up Monday night and by all indications, this team’s focus right now tells you they intent on taking care of business now.

Paul Pierce politely informed the fans in Orlando about this development on Tuesday. Judging by tonight’s effort, he wasn’t kidding.

A few quick bullets before more analysis tomorrow:

-Rasheed Wallace, now shooting 47 percent from 3 point range this postseason. Worth every penny!

-Perk moved as well offensively as I’ve seen in the past 3 months. Just a lot of hop in his step and wisely took the ball to the hole repeatedly, after a failed post up on Dwight Howard early in the 1st quarter.

-Hey Orlando got up their three point attempts tonight, 30 in all! What’s that? It didn’t help them? Ohh……funny how that works out. Meanwhile C’s attempt 11 3′s and hit just one fewer (6) than the Magic. It was that kind of night. Everything was working for Boston.

-Rondo with 11 points, 12 assists, 3 turnovers and 4 steals and what is an amazingly ho-hum line for him this postseason. Make no mistake, his imprints were all over this one, but how cool is it that this kind of performance is routine for him at this juncture?

-I wish I could throw some credit to the Magic tonight for fighting, but there was really no one that deserves any props. 3 offensive rebounds, 10 assists, and 17 turnovers. That says it all right there. No heart all night long.

-Rajon Rondo had the play of the night with his steal in backcourt on an unsuspecting Jason Williams, popping off the floor after diving for the ball in time to drill a tough 8 footer off the glass. Summed up the efforts of both squads in this contest. KG even called it the play of the postseason in his postgame interview. Tough to argue with him on that.

-Surprised Stan Van Gundy didn’t go to the bench earlier in this one to find a spark. Not that it would of mattered, but his guys were showing no life during the C’s early run on both ends of the floor.

-Clark Kent forgot to change into his Superman gear tonight. 7 points, 7 rebounds and a -29 plus/minus to lead the way for Orlando in the red. Keep working on that post game Dwight.

-Matt Barnes needs to relax.

- It always amuses me when players try to pick Rondo’s pocket on a fast break. It never works and they always get burned by it.

-Baby deserves extra props for his all around effort tonight. Stepping up big on both ends of the floor once Perk hit the bench with foul trouble in the 3rd, getting to the line at will with 6 attempts in the quarter.

-What do we root for now? Phoenix to land some body blows against LA and drag out that series or LA to wrap it up quickly so we can get this show on the road? I can’t decide.

-Garden was a terrific crowd tonight. Provided the team with plenty of energy from the opening tip and they fed on it all night long.

That’s it for now, much more tomorrow, enjoying a few cold ones in honor of the Green team tonight, after what was maybe their best defensive effort of the year.

  • uhohspagehttios

    WE WANT LA!!!

  • Kevin

    Game 4, if necessary.

  • urbeltic

    Sorry for the cheesey movie analogy, but Rondo’s performance reminded me of NEO in the Matrix when he basically figures it all out and starts kicking the living crap out of everyone. There just wasn’t anybody on the court tonight that stood a chance.

  • Jrmz

    Forget a broom, if this is the healthy Celtics and they stay healthy, lets start ordering coffins for the rest of the Eastern Conference for next year as well.

  • sacbobv

    Will there be a mini broom giveaway at the game on Monday? Hope someone can pull that off.

  • I love Green

    Woah woah woah slow down Jrmz. We still gotta win game 4, and beat LA. No need to look into next year

  • What Can I Say?

    LOVELY.

  • Mang

    Is it just me or should Lakers (or Suns) fans be very afraid of the Celtics right now? I want to know: do Lakers fans feel the same way about their team as we do? Cos I have no doubt in my mind right now that the Celtics will crush whoever gets in their way of a championship just as easily as they annihilated the magic this game.

  • NHBluesMan

    we are officially 3/4ths of the way to being 3/4ths of the way to banner #18!!!

    Lets finish Orlando and get rested for the Lakers (assuming the Suns don’t win 4 of the next 5 games)

  • DeVelaine

    Okay… If I did the math right for this (and someone correct me if the numbers are pooched), Looks like the C’s scored 129 points per 100 possessions, and held Orlando to 97.4 points per 100 possessions. That’s kinda sick. Even if it is only one game.

  • RBD

    During the post-game interviews with KG and RR tonight, after they talked about how tonight was one of their strongest efforts of the playoffs, some buffoon reporter from the Sporting News asked how much of the win was really just the Magic missing shots.

    KG was so disgusted/amused he couldn’t even respond.

    Rajon gave a dry, “They just missed shots.”

    These guys are SICK of hearing about how Cleveland and Orlando are losing rather than Boston is winning.

    Honestly, so am I.

  • RBD

    To answer the question from the original post–

    We want L.A. playing more games. Kobe and Bynum both have knee issues. The more they play, the better chance they get worn down or aggravate those injuries.

    I want to see Phx come out strong and physical tomorrow. Amare, in particular.

  • I love Green

    Lakers Celtics games this year decided by 1 point each time. One game Kobe hit a lucky shot, and the next Kobe didn’t play the next game.

    Prediction for the Finals, (assuming LA wins and Orlando doesn’t pull off an unreal comeback) Celtics win in 5.

    We win games 1, 3, 4, and 5.

  • Jason

    I’m still pissed Dwight committed 15 fouls and was called for 2. Perk committed 1 and was called for 5. Fucking refs. I was also pissed they cracked 70 points. Whatever, though, right?

    Other than that, of course I’m ecstatic. Good night sweet Magic.

    Beat LA.

  • MP

    I hope the media keeps asking why other teams are losing instead of praising Boston. It’s just adding more fuel to the fire.

  • DRJ1

    RBD– That kind of disrespect by the media makes me VERY VERY HAPPY. I LOVE it. Because you just KNOW how the Cs eat that stuff up… how it makes them play that much harder… how it makes them look at and see nothing and nobody until that last second counts down on that last game of the Finals.

    It’s all good. 5 more.

  • MP

    @Jason

    I was also pissed they cracked 70 points. You knew that 3 by Redick was going in the second it left his hand.

  • spencer_66

    Ok guys, I’m facing a huge moral dilemma. Huge Celts fan, have been for 20+ yrs now and I have tickets for game 5 in Orlando. Is it wrong if I kinda hope they DON’T sweep the Magic? I can’t believe I’m even entertaining the thought of hoping Boston loses game 4. What is wrong with me?!?

    Please help.

  • Jason

    Spencer, this is cut and dried to me, not even close to a dilemma. You don’t hope your team loses under any circumstances. (Unless you are betting against them, which in and of itself you should never do either.)

  • MP

    I understand your dilemma, but we really, really don’t want another game at Amway – could easily lose if the Magic make any sort of effort, and then we’d be on to a Game 6. Need to get these guys more rest than that if we want to come out strong against Los Angeles.

  • DRJ1

    From the way those guys are talking… they are on the diametrically opposite end of spectrum from the Celtics… they sound like they’ve given up. Not that they can be blamed at all… they’ve been completely outmatched, and they know it. So…. it’s not likely to go to 5, whatever happens.

  • Jason

    Summary of a beatdown.

    FG%: 46.6% to 36.9%
    3pt: 6-11 (54.5%) to 8-30 (26.7%)
    FT: 20-28 to 15-18
    OReb: Win, 7 to 3. (Wow only 3? So awesome)
    Assists: 23 to 10
    TOs: 17 to 8

    A bench player leads the team in points and you win by 23. Easily. Your PG misses 10 of 14 shots and yet he clearly still dominated the game. This team is unreal.

  • Jason

    Btw, remember all the Magic fans saying “Well you didn’t have KG, but we didn’t have Jameer.” As if that was an equal tradeoff. As if Nelson was going to make a difference. As if playing a real defense finally he was going to continue playing like the first two rounds. Ha ha.

  • spencer_66

    @jason @MP

    Sigh. I know, I know. What you’ve both said is 100% true. Ok how ’bout this. I will approach game 4 like all others and cheer for them until the final whistle, but if they do happen to lose I won’t be as upset as usual.

  • Chris O.

    I was at the game tonight…ridiculous. I lost my voice in the 1st quarter (but somehow regained it). I must have yelled 692 times +. That place was hopping. Rajon Rondo and that play…what can I say…he is my hero. He has more force than Darth Vader, more Strength than Chuck Norris, more flow than 2Pac, and more Obama than Barack. I want that dude as my president…Sooo wait a minute…if we sweep (and it has basically been a destruction even though games 1 & 2 ended close) a team that sweeped the first two rounds with a +15 margin will we finally be favored in the next series??? My bet is Hollinger picks the Lakers in 5 and I would have no qualms about him doing that since it means we will dominate…

  • DRJ1

    @Jason– Love your point about Jameer vs. KG. How ridiculous was that comparison?! Now, finally… the truth is open for all to see. This team is this team — with that incredible D — because of KG. Jameer? Jameer who?

  • Miguel

    BRING ON LA!!!!

  • rokomer

    Anyone have an idea why Rajon Rondo had his fingers in an ice pack during the middle of the game? That slightly worries me.

  • joe

    lakers hate physicality. BOS gets split in first 2 games, sweep the home games. acquires banner #18

  • Jason

    How about some love for BBD huh?

    Always plays hard, smart defensively, takes charges, hustles, nimble feet, will give you pick and roll and pick and pop, good hands, out-rebounds bigger guys, smartening up about when he might get blocked, plays his “role”, sets solid screens, defends the entire spectrum from Howard to Lewis in the same game, is a gamer, steps into the starting line-up seemlessly, thrives instead of shrinks in big moments. What more could you really ask for in a player?

    And after last year he was expecting a huge payday. It didn’t come. Did he let entitlement get the better of him? No, he’s back doing all the BBD things that help win championships.

    The crying, the stupid fist fight, yeah they’re not exactly proud moments, but in the end, this guy has always been a professional. He takes it seriously. He gives what the teams needs when they need it. I ask again, what more could you ask for?

    Congratulations BBD for everything.

  • sacbobv

    @rokomer- His hot hand needed cooling? But seriously, I saw that too and hope it’s nothing that hurts his play down the road.

  • Jay P

    I’m extremely disappointed we didn’t hear the “Beat LA” chants tonight.

  • Rich

    Rashard Lewis set to make 20 mil next year. Worth. Every. Dollar.

  • dslack

    @ChrisO,
    Celtics will definitely be underdogs to the Lakers in all the experts’ minds. Making the best team in the NBA look silly was only enough to garner a “There’s no plausible reason to expect the Celtics to win.” from Hollinger. Expect no different next round.

  • Lee

    Well, we were the underdogs in the 07-08 championship season too. Look what happened then?
    Although the Lakers have gotten tougher with Artest and Bynum around. Mainly Artest, though. I hope he keeps on shooting the ugly threes. They feel like a grittier and balanced team this year.

  • urbeltic

    Orlando of 09-10 = LA in 07-08. Great talent but soft and very intimidatable. LA of 09-10 is very different…

    Kobe gonna cover the Rondanator?

  • Paulo

    This Celtics is peaking at the right time. They just not beat opponents, but they crushed thier spirits, beating their opponent physically and emotionally. Boston just did that to LA two years ago. Lakers need to match the level of play with Boston. The finals is getting interesting, the Defending champ vs the former champ? Who wins? Who knows?

  • mike b

    Glenn “Big Baby” Davis is the new Charles Barkley. He is 6’6 and grabs rwebound with the big boys, plus he has the smooth jump shot. After Garnett retires Davis will be our starting pf for years to come

  • Corey

    Everyone keeps talking about LA, the series is 2-1, and the Celts were 0-2 against Phoenix this year, dont discount them either.

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