Post-game Reactions

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Was it just me or did this game feel like a close nail-biter the entire time?  No lead felt safe- not even a 20+ point lead in the second half.  Surprisingly, this discomfort had nothing to do with the fact that the Celtics led the league in giving up double-digit leads this season.  This had everything to do just how good the Orlando Magic are.

The Magic missed an uncharacteristically high amount of wide open shots.  That said, the ones they did make- especially in the fourth quarter- seemed incredibly timely.  The Magic had a bad game overall, at least for them, and they certainly did not get any help from the officials, but after it was all said and done, the better team won.

The Celtics played arguably their best game of the series (especially if you believe as I do that game three was incredibly fluky).  Before the game started, Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Tommy Heinsohn played the role of soothsayer to a T.  Johnson predicted that Nate Robinson would have a special game off the bench and Heinsohn correctly called on Pierce being the hero.  With so much of predicting outcomes being shots in the dark, they really showed off their experience with this one.

Paul Pierce was the story tonight, scoring a huge but almost quiet 31 points.  The bigger story tonight was Pierce’s rebounding.  When Pierce is committed, he can really clean up on the glass and tonight he showed that- especially with two HUGE offensive rebounds.

How did I make it this far without mentioning Doc Rivers doing his best Nostradamus impression.  Doc rightly said all along that Nate Robinson would win a game for the C’s in the playoffs and tonight was the night.  The best part of this being the fact that it was not some random game the Celtics could afford to lose.  The Celtics needed this game, and Nate Robinson’s second quarter was a huge, if not all, part of that.

There you have it folks.  Next week, the Celtics will take on the winner of the Suns vs. Lakers series while they shoot for their 18th title.  All the credit in the world goes to the Orlando Magic for tonight’s game, as I have wrongly felt that they really lacked heart.  Their failure to fold and throw in the towel tonight showed me the error of my ways.

To quote one of the first true works are art of this century, I am of course talking about Brian Robbins’ Hardball, “We goin’ to the ‘ship!  We goin’ to the ship!”

The following are my quarter by quarter notes, enjoy:

1st Quarter

  • Pierce throws Dwight Howard into Matt Barnes and rightfully gets called for a foul.  A few plays later, Jameer Nelson throws himself into a trailing defender after dishing the ball and there’s no call.  Where’s the consistency?
  • Kevin Garnett looks like he is taking no prisoners tonight.  Not happy with Howard hand checking him, he drops too people’s elbows on Dwight’s forearm and gets called for a foul.  Dumb foul, but this team feels the pressure.
  • The Magic are shooting terribly and the Celtics are playing very physical.
  • The Celtics are moving the ball very well when the offense does not go through Pierce.
  • Consistency asked for and received!  Jameer Nelson gets called for a foul for throwing himself into the trailing defender (Ray Allen) after the pass.
  • Rondo may have just had the pass of the playoffs:  The Celtics get a steal, Rondo pushes the ball hard up the floor drawing two Magic defenders.  Ray Allen is immediately behind him and the logical play for an easy pull-up jumper in the lane or even to take it to the rim.  Rondo proceeds to fake to Ray and no-look a pass to a sideline streaking Paul Pierce for an easy dunk.  What vision.
  • Rondo goes down hard after attacking the basket with incredible energy and fervor.  The fall is enough to force a Doc Rivers to burn a 20 second timeout as Rondo regroups.  And regroups he does by stepping up to the free throw line and knocking down to free throws- swish style.

Post 1st Quarter Notes:

  • Kevin Garnett: 0 points, 2 fouls, in four minutes and the Celtics have an 11 point lead…..say whatttt?
  • Post concussion Glen Davis gives 8 strong minutes.  He is showing no ill-effects from the concussion suffered in Game 5 (well, except for maybe a shaky jump shot) by going hard and physical to the rim.
  • Celtics shoot 47%, Magic shoot 38%

Second Quarter:

  • First play of the second quarter the Celtics pick up right where they left off.  Some amazing ball movement and even an offensive rebound.
  • Nate Robinson enters the game for a resting Rajon Rondo.  Robinson drives in and makes a great pass to Glen Davis, who muffs the lay-up.
  • Nate Robinson pulls up right in Nelson’s face and knocks down a three.  This guy is not “short” on confidence.
  • The second quarter has just officially become the Nate Robinson show.  He makes a great pocket pass to a wide open rolling-to-the-rim KG for an easy dunk.
  • Robinson is surprisingly aggressive on defense and frustrating Jameer Nelson to no end.  He forces Nelson to commit a double-dribble, but the bravado he exudes forces the refs hand and Robinson is called for the foul.
  • Kevin Garnett and JJ Redick both dive for a loose ball out of bounds and completely demolish a court-side fan.  Luckily, the fan was okay and due to some fancy floor camera angles, I think Reebok has its new Zigtec ad.
  • Without Nate Robinson on the floor, the Celtics offense gets a little stagnant yet creative.  Pierce and Allen go into the lane and set picks for each other.  The Magic are too concerned with Ray Allen shooting out to the three point line for an easy three that they leave Pierce for a slip second too long.  Pierce rolls about a foot right to the basket and draws an easy foul on Matt Barnes.

Post 2nd Quarter Notes:

  • The Magic up their shooting percentage to 44% while the Celtics’ fall to a dismal 42%.  This is a big cause for concern and may foretell a lackluster third quarter.
  • The Celtics are dominating the Magic on the glass (23 to 18) and in assists (9 to 5).
  • Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson both have three fouls.

Third Quarter:

  • Kevin Garnett goal tends Vince Carter and the refs do not call it.
  • Howard fouls Pierce and it is actually not as bad as it looks.  Pierce’s headband comes flying off on a top as Howard grazes the top of his head instead of the customary face-rake.
  • Toward the end of the third quarter the Magic are getting some better shots but not making enough of them  to make a significant dent.
  • Garnett hitting everything mid range.  Even off of one foot.
  • Ray Allen is getting some time guarding Jameer Nelson and Rondo has to defer to Redick.
  • Such a crazy exchange ending in a Pietrus three.  Can’t even be mad, maybe a little disappointed but this was just too crazy to describe.
  • Pierce forces to issue in the lane, looses the ball, collects himself, and has to force a little rainbow over Dwight Howard.  Swish.

Post Third Quarter notes:

  • The Celtics raise their shooting percentage to 48% as the Magic’s dwindles to 41%.
  • The Celtics are shooting an amazing 57% from three.
  • The Celtics are still dominating the glass (34 to 24) and the assist battle (16 to 9).

Fourth Quarter Notes:

  • Pierce starts the fourth for a three.  The Garden goes wild.
  • TA takes a rebound right out of Howard’s hand.  Only Nate Robinson fails to convert the bad three point attempt.
  • The Celtics offense is getting really stagnant but their defense is unbelievably tight and the Magic are scrambling.
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  • Paolo

    Paul Pierce reminds everyone why he is the captain of this team. What a performance.

  • LStrike


  • sacbobv

    Awesome night! Bring on the best from the west so we can hang #18!

  • Cptn Bubbles




  • sacbobv

    And on a side note, 8 out of 10 “experts” blew it again!

  • Zain

    Technically 9 out of 10. Legs was the only one correct.

  • Hey guys,

    Congratulations. You guys played awesome. Best of luck in the Finals and hopefully we’ll meet for a third time next year!

  • sacbobv

    @zain- True, but Broussard picking the right team gets a pass from me.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Where da haters at????

  • sacbobv

    @Will- Thanks for that classy comment!

  • I love Green


  • Cptn Bubbles

    @Will That’s real class, thanks Will.

  • RBD


    Tough to surf over here, I’m sure. Cheers.

  • complexity

    Great post celticshub, that’s everything I said and more.

  • David

    I just wanted to say congrats to Celtics fans. The Celts made it back to Nba Finals. This is special and there is no need to say otherwise. I thought the Celtics weren’t going to get pass the second round. They have fought and dominated the best teams in the league. I think that the Lakers will make it back to the finals. This will set up a rematch, I am looking forward to this series. I am not going to pick a winner, because after this season with the Celtics….. Yes they did turn it on, I thought the people on this blog was insane. My predicting days are over. I am a sports fan, I am just looking forward to a great match up between the Celts and Lakers. I hope that this is a great championship matchup.

  • John

    Watching the press conferences: great question Brian Robb. Doing us Celticshub readers proud!

  • sauce

    Back once more, glad we knocked them out so to speak.

    Thought we could of won it in the last quater of game 4 and I also though Howard was cheap but some of the magic really were magic at times.

    put down the champagne because all we’ll be drinking until thursday is bottled water

  • Evan

    Can someone post a detailed injury report for the starters and bench?

  • dslack

    @John, what did BRobb ask?

  • dslack

    @Evan: This is just from my head, but —
    Perk — knee injury
    KG — confidence injury
    Rondo — lots of bruises, maybe leg cramps/back spasms
    Glen — post-concussion
    Marquis — concussion
    Sheed — back spasms
    Shelden — back spasms

    On the Lakers side, all I know of is the fact that Kobe is a triple amputee who can still put up 40 in a game (if you listen to LA fans), and Bynum has torn cartilage in his knee.

  • Mang

    Wow what a ride. FINALS TIME

  • DRJ1

    @dslack– in 1 week, the list will be: NONE

  • DRJ1

    Somebody from what SOUNDED like “celtics-hub” (or was it “celtics-blog”?) asked if they knew why the Cs were better on the road than at home this year.

    Pierce essentially said he did not know the real answer to that. Went on about how they’re good on the road because they’re experienced, vet-laden, etc.


  • I love Green

    @DRJ1- It was Brian Robb bro! Celticshub not blog

  • NewEnglandpatriot86

    It’s an absolute disgrace seeing African Americans wearing an Irish Shamrock. The team should be given a new name.
    Irish people don’t even watch basketball. They call it Net Ball and only girls play it. In Ireland, their no. 1 sport is rugby, followed by horse racing, and then is Irish Hurley ( like field hockey or La Cross, then Soccer, only the rest of the world calls it Footbal

  • Rich

    That’s wierd NewEnglandpatriot, because I was thinking the other day that I haven’t seen a Cavalier watch an NBA game in a while. I also haven’t recently seen a Raider watch a football game, and still don’t know what a Brown is. For that matter, have you ever seen a Red watch a baseball game? Or how about Earthquakes, fire, or galaxies watch soccer games?

    Stupid post warrants a stupid response. In case you don’t get what I’m saying, the team name has nothing to do with who is playing. As you can see, Earthquakes don’t play, or watch, or talk about, or enjoy, or contemplate the game of soccer. Brown is a color, not a person, so clearly they aren’t paying attention to football. And Cavaliers, while they still might exist somwhere, surely aren’t huge basketball fans of any kind.

  • DRJ1

    @I love green– Ok… that’s great! Excellent question too… Paul didn’t know the answer.

    Here ya go, it’s inevitable:

  • Mang

    @Rich, dahahaha awesome

  • DeVelaine

    I’m going to make a prediction…

    I predict three experts will pick the C’s to win the Finals.

  • Dysphonickudu

    Does anyone wonder if the NBA did not pick the refs for game 5 so that the Celtics would likely lose that game. Perhaps they were even told to call that game very close knowing that the Celtics’ defense really requires a somewhat loose or “let ’em play” style of foul calling. So, since I am a Celtics fan, would it be possible to recommend that those refs be banned from the playoffs? Given a level playing field, Boston was obviously much better than the Magic.
    Those two technicals on Kendrick seemed indefensible, one of which the league later resended. Anyway, congrats to the Celts & their fans! Bring on the Western Conference champs!

  • Jason

    Very relieved to be done with this series. Orlando is a brutal (in more ways than one) team to face.

    I honestly think this team chews up either team from the West. Both have big men who can be pushed around, neither has faced a mediocre defense, never mind a smothering, elite D. They’ll wilt so fast. And neither team themselves knows how to play defense. Cavs were supposedly excellent O and D. Same with the Magic. Both gone in 6, both practically helpless for looooooong stretches. And they were both deeper than either west team. Celtics start on the road, steal HC, maybe even both games, then come home for 3 games. Sweet scheduling set up. Should be a cakewalk compared to the last two series.

  • why can’t i see any laker fan in here..hahaha..where the hell is boston hater..told y’all, he wont show up after game 6..way to go captain pierce..

  • DRJ1

    Hey guys… sorry to misinform. Brian’s question came on at ~2:30 of the video (on csnne.com), and he asked whether rebounding was a point of focus for the team. Paul answered that it was something they make a big point of, etc.

    Then, at about 6:15, somebody name “Tim something” from Celticsblog asked the question about why they were better on the road than at home this year.

    My bad for misinforming earlier…..

  • Evan

    Haha Newenglandpatriot86 is probably my new favorite troll. I really hope that name doesn’t imply you’re a 24 year old bigot. That’s a pretty early start on the whole racist thing.

    So let me get this straight, the entirety of the Irish population doesn’t watch basketball, carries shillelaghs wherever they go, travel on rainbows, are in possession of a pot of gold at all times, and cannot help but drink themselves into a stupor? Geez, I could of swore they were individuals–dynamic and unique people that could think for themselves like you and me. But hey, if you say they all stepped off the boat yesterday I just gotta believe you.

    So let’s think of some good, solid Irish Celtics. Bob Cousy perhaps. Oh, nope, born to french immigrants. Well surely John Havlicek deserves to wear the shamrock, after all he did define the 1960s Celtics–oh but he’s Czech/Croat so I guess he’s a disgrace too. Let’s see, Bill Russell–disgrace. K.C. Jones, good Irish name but alas, a disgrace. The list goes on I believe Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson (sorta Irish!), Reggie Lewis, Pierce, Allen, Garnett, Rondo–it’s all their fault they’re disgraces because Boston went and got these guys and they’re carrying on the torch of one of the greatest franchises in all of sports history.

    So, and I don’t even know if Larry Bird is even of Irish descent, the only players allowed to don the jersey is Larry, Kevin McHale, and Brian Scalabrine. And uh just for laughs let’s say Scot Pollard.

    Of course, Patrick O’Bryant was a good Irish boy that played here a little last year and earlier this season. Probably hangs out with other Irish greats around here like Troy O’Leary.

    Anyway, long story short–I’m thinking you’re the disgrace, to Boston and humanity, in the big picture here. Change the name of Boston’s greatest franchise? Really? This offends you that much?

    Put down the Glenn Beck and walk away my friend.

    @dslack: Thanks for the rundown sir.

  • RBD

    Been up all night, reading a lot of stuff online.

    Now debating flying into Boston for games 3-5.


  • Sweeney

    Here are a few observations that I had…

    1) Perk played his normal aggressive defense and was able to play without losing his emotions.

    2) Nate got his burn off of his game 5 performance and he was fantastic. Two stand-out plays were trying to dunk on Howard and his defense on Jameer (especially the play where he picked up the foul). It was exactly what we need off the bench.

    3) KG is losing his mind. What was the Bruce Lee move all about? That was too much and will probably be upgraded and deservedly so.

    4) Dwight Howard is only going to get better and you have to love how he keeps his composure. However, he cannot be the main man on that team until he can do more than hook and dunk. He has to develop something facing the basket. Six or eight feet off the glass would just open everything up for him.

  • Evan

    @Sweeney: lmao, KG did go all Bruce Lee on Dwight. Man, I was laughin so hard when he like stepped into the second judo elbow chop lol. Honestly though Sweeney…Dwight has had all the free passes on flagrants this series and KG is fed up with that bs…and deservedly so.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    Firstly – African Americans can wear what they want to wear,,it’s a complete non issue.

    Secondly – “Irish people don’t even watch basketball”,,mmm that’s weird. Why have i been staying up until half 4 every other night watching Celtics game online. Why is my email account getting clogged with mail from friends who also stayed up until half 4 watching the Celtics,,or the Suns-Lakers series asking my opinion on different aspects of the game. Your point that basketball is not a widely followed here has some truth to it. Rubgy and soccer are the core sports and our own sports, hurling and gaelic football are huge and are quite possibly the most bad ass sports in the world,,but to say no one here watches basketball is the most ridiclulously outlandish statement I’ve ever heard. Netball!!!!! Are you for real. Hardly anyone plays that here

    I could vent a lot more here but I’m not going to. Lets just hope that you keep your misguided bigoted views to yourself in future. When I went to Boston in 08 I met many Policemen and Firemen who were proud to call themselves Irish-Americans and who happened to be the most racist people I’ve ever met. I was ashamed and embarrassed that they thought of themselves as Irish and people viewed them as true Irish people. I would not be one bit surprised If you were the son of those bigoted assholes.

    I’m done,,,fuck you,,you don’t know anything about Ireland. Normally I’d say come here and learn from experience, but it sounds like you’ve already been here but didn’t learn very much. And i wouldn’t want a dickhead like you setting foot on my shores.

    Cheers to Brendan, for pointing this clown out to me. Bring on the West Champions!!!!

  • DW

    Folks its time to move on with the “Howard gets away with cheap shots” stuff. I do find it humorous, the Celts are called tough and physical but Howard is called a cheap shot artist. The difference is he doesnt crumple to the floor every time he took one of those shots. If KG did his karate chop on Pierce, he would have rolled around on the ground for a couple minutes holding his wounded wing, only to stand up and miraculously shake it off and make his free throws. I am obviously a Magic fan, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading the threads on this site and plan to follow it. I am disappointed on the outcome, but the BEST team won, no question there. Now that the series is over, I hope the Celts can get some rest, recover, and KICK LAs ass in the finals. Good luck.

  • Doug

    with all the focus on the Celts making the Finals again, if you are on Facebook, join this group: Boston, Give Bill Russell a Statue, a Tunnel…SOMETHING!

    and tell all your friends!

  • urbeltic

    You heard it hear first….Sheldon Williams WILL win a playoff game for the Cs.

  • urbeltic

    Oh, and Scal WILL win one too.

  • Evan

    I never said Boston didn’t throw cheapshots, and I honestly appreciate your balanced perspective DW, but I think you’ll find more fans here with similar views as your own. Most here have a fundamental appreciation for the game, and we all know there isn’t one team coast-to-coast that doesn’t have some cheap shot artists playing for them–if not a 1 or 2 starters on every single club. Obviously there’s some pent up feelings about how game 5 unraveled in terms of officiating over here but it’s not as if we don’t know Pierce’s game after 12 seasons–we know he likes to sell the foul and he loves to play the hero with the big shots and the big comebacks.

    But all I’ve heard for the past 4 months through the national media is how Boston is lucky to get into the playoffs, lucky Wade was off, or LeBron’s elbow must’ve given Boston the go-ahead, and there’s no way they can compete with Orlando. After awhile it starts to really go up you sideways, and, yeah, we probably lay into the Dwight Howard thing too much, but I’ve honestly heard less about Boston defense and more about how 3 old guys escaped round after round are lucky to make it to the finals. It really took till game 5 with Cleveland for the pundits to basically stop saying Celtics can’t win, the opposition can only lose.

    But I think everyone here respects Dwight’s game, he is a phenom under the rim on both ends of the court and will be for a long time. Thanks for the ups next round.

  • Chris O.

    @ Evan & @ DW – Guys I def think the C’s have dirty players (like Rasheed and even KG at times). But Dwight is physically dirty with his play. You don’t give that many hits to the heads and above shoulders of opponents on accident. Regardless of how *hard* he is fouled he has not been taking elbows to the head or having people extra slam his face on the way down. He is an injury waiting to happen for opposing players…say that elbow to the back or KG’s head caused damage…say Big Baby’s concussion was more serious (not that it isn’t already). I just think he needs to clean up his play to match his image, you smile and preach holy yet you clearly throw them ‘bows….c’mon DW.

  • John

    RE: DJR1

    Thought that was a great question about a tidbit in the box scores (the fact that Pierce was the Celt’s leading rebounder much of this series) that revealed Doc’s gameplan– emphasizing that wings and guards would have to rebound as the bigs blocked out Dwight.

  • Sophomore

    If you wrap up a guy up so he can’t score or chop at his arm, that can be a hard foul. But nobody’s going to get hurt that way.

    Swinging your elbows at eye level to clear a rebound, launching yourself into a guy who’s defenseless in mid air, sweeping your arms down to make sure a guy going in for a layup hits the deck hard – that’s how people get hurt.

    If he keeps this up, D12 runs the risk of taking somebody out of the league – at which point the league will share the blame for not setting boundaries.

  • DRJ1

    @Soph– Agree. The league is responsible for allowing Howard to continue to play this way. He is clearly dangerous, as evidenced by multiple replay tapes.

    Re KG’s Karate Kid moment– the only theory I’ve seen that does NOT account for this by calling KG nuts is that Howard was digging his hand into KG’s RIBS…and hurting him. KG knew that he couldn’t just TELL the refs about it… a) that’s bush league, b) it certainly wouldn’t work anyway. So he decided to burn a foul and slam him, in front of the refs, so Howard would stop doing that. So far as I know, Howard did stop, so maybe KG’s plan worked.

    Or maybe that’s being too generous to KG. Maybe he just lost his mind of a moment… he did look crazed when he was talking to the ref.

  • DRJ1

    Somebody mentioned Nate’s play when he got fouled. Good one. That was Nate’s finest moment… because just before that (ridiculous) foul call — he had forced Jameer to (a) blatantly TRAVEL — at least 5-6 steps, and (b) double dribble, not once, but TWICE. I do NOT understand how the refs did not whistle those two OBVIOUS violations, and instead waited for Jameer to sorta stumble into Nate and then called it on Nate. (But no complaints about the refs last night in general… they were friendly enough.)

  • Still enjoying #17

    Beautiful basketball. I hope all the “analysts” will now recognize how good of a basketball team the Celtics really are. Gotta go, I have to keep celebrating over here on the West Coast.

  • NewEnglandpatriot86

    No I am not 24 because I chose 86 after my user name. I am not a Irish American. I am from Co. Antrim and have been living in the US for 30 years . I have been to both the Republic of Ireland and England. I know what you mean about Irish American being bigots and drinkers. They are a disgrace to me. Just stop into The Oasis one night on Rt 1 in Dedham,MA and you will see what I mean. When the Celtics went over to being an all black team they should have changed their name to The Boston Black “Sports keep me out of prison” or “Great Great Grandson’s Sons of Slaves” and made their uniforms anything ,but green.Whats next ? Black pilots flying Aer Lingus Jets ? Its the same with Notre Dame “The fighting Irish”.another disgrace to the Irish and even the 49 er’s. Yea I always thought Jerry Rice was Irish ! If the Patriots can change their uniforms then why can’t The Celtics ? You people who watch Basketball should get a life and watch World Cup Soccer and The English Premiere League and support your local MLS team., now in its 11th year. The New England Revolution has a lot of black players from various other countries , but the name suits them because American history shows that blacks made up part of George Washington’s Army as well as blacks serving in the Civil War. The Celtics don’t care about their uniforms. they are laughing all the way to the bank and Irish Freedom Fighters who died for their homeland are of no interest to Rondo or Pierce. Driving a Cadillac Escalade is. They can’t handle the money they rake in from you fools that spend money on tix to watch them. Their immaturity level catches up to them and they eventually pull a Michael Vick. a Tiger Woods, or an LT.