Sneak Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, Game 2 | Magic Basketball

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May 18

Sneak Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, Game 2

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Orlando] Magic coach Stan Van Gundy decided before the series that he would use [Vince] Carter to defend Paul Pierce and [Matt] Barnes to defend Allen — the opposite of how the Magic began games against the Celtics during the regular season. Pierce scored 22 points, and Van Gundy said Monday that he didn’t know whether he’d continue with the new defensive assignments. He just knows that the Magic can’t allow both Allen and Pierce to shoot 50 percent or better from the field tonight. Van Gundy was more definitive about something else: He wants his team’s energy level to improve.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Boston Celtics’ defense is no mystery. The man behind it is. His name is apparently Tom Thibodeau, Doc Rivers’ associate head coach. He’s all but a rumor, perhaps a figment of Rivers’ imagination. He might be a hologram or an animated robot that Doc winds up at game time, yelling instructions from the bench and mimicking the movements of his defenders like a dance instructor. It’s no wonder the Orlando Magic’s mighty offense didn’t know what hit it in Sunday’s Game 1 loss. This Thibodeau guy is like the phantom punch.”
  • Gary Dzen of The Boston Globe: “Ray Allen, who torched the Magic for 25 points in Game 1, said he wasn’t aware that the man who was guarding him, Orlando’s Matt Barnes, had any kind of injury. Barnes played just 15 minutes and complained of back pain after the game. […] Allen made a conscious effort to drive to the basket more in Game 1 (he took the ball to the hole nine times), but he said it was more of a result of what the defense gave him than trying to take advantage of Barnes.”
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: “The focus of the Celtics’ resurrection can be attributed to the revival of Kevin Garnett, the evolution of Rajon Rondo, and the sparkling play of the bench. Largely ignored has been the increased execution of the defense, which was critical in containing the Magic in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday. The Celtics have earned the reputation as one of the league’s stingiest defenses the past three seasons, but that mind-set was missing most of this season. The Celtics allowed 100 points or more in 30 games, their defense slashed and overwhelmed by young, eager opponents who capitalized on their age. It wasn’t that coach Doc Rivers and associate head coach Tom Thibodeau adjusted the defensive sets or stressed help any less than two years ago. The problem was focus. Although the Celtics worked feverishly on defense every day, the players lacked the fervor to execute.”
  • Michael Vega of The Boston Globe: “The Magic were an inside-out team this season, with a squadron of perimeter scorers surrounding Dwight Howard in the low post. That identity was reinforced in the first two rounds of the playoffs when the Magic swept the Bobcats and Hawks, hitting 37.5 percent of their treys against the Bobcats and 39.3 percent against the Hawks. But when the Magic converted just 5 of 22 attempts from behind the arc Sunday, missing nine in a row before Jameer Nelson knocked down Orlando’s first trey 25 seconds into the second half, it had become apparent there would be little inside threat from Howard, who had to fight his own battles underneath, without much help from the perimeter players.”
  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: “Sheed has his set of ethics, and beyond that he just doesn’t care what anyone thinks, so don’t even bother. He steadfastly refused to yield to public pressure and, you know, play during the regular season. And he’s willing to put his wallet where his mouth is, spending a cool $100,000 in fines for sharing his opinions on the state of NBA officiating – and this doesn’t include more than $20,000 in automatic hits for technicals. But the figure on everyone’s mind during the first 82 games (and, notably, Game 1 of the Cavaliers series) was the $5.8 million the Celtics were paying him. That the return on investment now is coming to light puts Wallace in the awkward position of being forgiven for something for which he never apologized.”
  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: “This is what Doc Rivers has to deal with. The Celtics might be a maddening team at home. Their Game 3 loss to the Cavaliers was so dispiriting, the crowd booed. But they were the dominant team in Quicken Loans Arena, with the Cavs crowd poised to jump from the upper balcony on two of those three nights. Nor is this strictly a playoff phenomenon. The Celtics had the second-best road record (26-15) in the NBA during the regular season, behind only Cleveland. The Celtics were two wins better on the road than at home (24-17). Even more than the 2008 championship team, which didn’t win a playoff road game until the conference finals in Detroit, these Celtics seem to enjoy a harsher environment.”
  • Ron Borges of the Boston Herald: “In Sunday’s Game 1 win, Perkins and associates Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis caused Howard to miss more shots in one game (seven) than he missed in Orlando’s entire four-game second-round sweep of the Atlanta Hawks (five). Howard shot a ridiculous 84.4 percent (27-of-32) in the Hawks series, but just 30 percent against Perkins in Game 1. This was no fluke. Perkins may well play Howard better than anyone in the NBA because he uses a simple formula: Hold your ground like an oak tree in a blizzard and, if they let you, hold your man, too.”
11 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@derekk

Saw the pieces you were talking about. Some of them were featured in today's Magic Word. Tom Haberstroh is an excellent writer, by the way. Does work for Hoopdata, too.

derekk
derekk

Those 2 pieces are on ESPN by Hollinger and Haberstroh, who Ive never heard of until very recently.

derekk
derekk

Shaq for backup Center next year guys? :D :P

Btw, there's two really good pieces on the Magic adjusting for Game 2 and Scoop did a Barnes is the enforcer article today too, but these guys got em out only a few hour ago, way too late for many readers looking for Game 2 specific.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Billy (slickw143)

A dried up, little pond ... to be exact.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Orlando's just a pond. Shaq made sure we were all aware of that when he left.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@sacbobv

Billy knows, he's just being sarcastic.

sacbobv
sacbobv

@Billy (slickw143)

Pro Sport wise, it's way bigger.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Billy (slickw143)

Because it's a MUCH bigger market than Orlando, that's why.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Why does the city of Boston need so many sportswriters? They need a collective life.