Sneak Preview: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics, Game 3 | Magic Basketball



May 22

Sneak Preview: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics, Game 3

Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “A not-so-funny thing happened to the [Orlando] Magic on the way to a second consecutive Finals appearance: The 2008 championship Celtics have materialized.They didn’t step out of an Iowa cornfield or magically appear through some heaven-sent cigar smoke from the late Red Auerbach. The tough old birds got their legs back, along with finding life in other assorted appendages. They stole home-court from the Magic, jolting them in Game 1 and winning Game 2 thanks to the play of a kid whose name sounds like a hero from an action movie: Rajon Rondo. And now a Magic team that easily was racking up victories never needed one more.”
  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard objects routinely to contention that the Magic want to go down fighting, saying that he doesn’t plan on going down at all. He offered a modified General George Patton quote after practice on Friday in an effort to illustrate the Magic’s position that they didn’t plan to go down fighting. ‘Do you know what the object of war is?’ Howard asked a reporter. ‘It’s not to die for your country, it’s to make the other person die for theirs.’ ”
  • Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe: “With the Celtics leading the Magic, two games to none, in the Eastern Conference finals, Rivers’s fear was the team would hear continuous praise for three days. Instead, there was talk about overconfidence and the potential for a letdown, considering what hap pened two weeks ago. In the Celtics’ second-round series, they split the first two games on Cleveland’s home court and came back to Boston with three days off before Game 3. Rivers had described the practices as “lousy,’’ and the Cavaliers dealt the Celtics their worst home playoff loss in team history, with LeBron James exploding for 38 points in a 124-95 decision. Rivers said there was no need to show the team tape of that game again. The lesson was obvious.”
  • Jarrod N. Rudolph of The Boston Globe: “The Magic aren’t ready to concede anything to the Celtics. They are down, 2-0, and have given their counterparts full credit for two wins on their home floor. The Magic are coming to Boston with the understanding they have to win tonight’s Game 3, and the belief they’re good enough to get the job done. […] Three teams have come back to win a best-of-seven series after dropping the first two games at home. The Magic, however, don’t feel they need to go to the history books for inspiration. Their approach will be simple and straightforward. The task of winning in Boston will be hard enough without complicating it.”
  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: “Tony Allen says he wants strictly to look ahead – a healthy perspective if ever there was one. When the Celtics guard looks back, there are too many thorny memories – the multiple knee and ankle surgeries, the repeated falling out of favor with his coach, the off-court and on-court troubles of his early pro career that led to an NBA security alert last April during the first round of the playoffs in Chicago. Compared to Allen’s current run as a rotational stopper – the man you might soon see on Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the one who can match up on just about any Magic player not named Dwight Howard – his past is locked in a closet. Right now he’s simply grateful for what has to feel like his third or fourth chance on this team.”
  • Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald: “A common explanation for the rediscovery of Paul Pierce’s offense in the Eastern Conference finals against Orlando is that he no longer must worry about guarding LeBron James, as he did in the previous round. Although the assignment was undoubtedly a burden, that rationale overlooks another, more glaring reason why Pierce struggled offensively against the Cavaliers: He was being defended by LeBron James. A two-time all-defensive first-team selection, James is more than capable of locking up an opponent’s top scorer. In that matchup, Pierce was giving up size, speed, strength and leaping ability.”