Sneak Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, Game 5 | Magic Basketball

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May 26

Sneak Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, Game 5

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “For [Orlando] Magic fans, it’s all about the heartbeat of hope. Their team showed a pulse in Monday night’s overtime victory against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. About time, especially after the 94-71 stinker a few nights ago. For Celtics fans, there is the cautionary tick of panic. Just a little bit, for now. But everybody goes into DEFCON 1 kookiness if the Magic win tonight. Suddenly, the Celtics will look like a bunch of old guys, staying on the ropes for the last few rounds, hoping to hang on for a split-decision victory. An Orlando victory changes all the dynamics. An Orlando victory changes all the dynamics.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Jameer] Nelson had led Orlando to a season-saving overtime victory against the Boston Celtics on Monday night at TD Garden. At 5 feet 10, he sometimes was all that stood between the Magic and an embarrassing four-game sweep. He finished with 23 points and added nine assists, scoring six of Orlando’s 10 points in OT. But it was his clutch, back-to-back 3-pointers in the extra period that helped the Magic trim the Celtics’ deficit to 3-1, setting up tonight’s Game 5 at Amway Arena.”
  • Jarrod N. Rudolph of The Boston Globe: “The Magic played Game 4 with a focus and intensity that everyone expected to see in Game 3. Many will credit the pride [Rashard] Lewis talked about as the primary reason they were able to avoid a sweep. At this point, no one knows whether that win was the start of something special — perhaps a historic comeback like the ones pulled off by the Flyers this year and the Red Sox in 2004 — or just a bump in the road for the Celtics. But the Magic are going into Game 5 tonight with the confidence that they have recaptured the winning ingredients that had been missing in the first three games.”
  • Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe: “The Celtics have never really believed in the idea of adjustments, but in simply correcting the things they know went wrong. The flaws from Game 4 were execution — particularly on the final play of regulation — and energy early on. If Game 4 was about how the Magic would respond as they gasped for air down three games to none, tonight’s Game 5 is about how quickly the Celtics can correct the issues they so readily recognized after the loss. If they go into Amway Arena tonight and drop another game to the Magic, they will have resuscitated a team that was in critical condition.”
  • Christopher L. Gasper of The Boston Globe: “Monday night, Rondo wasn’t even the best point guard in his own building — blame it on the Sports Illustrated cover jinx — and the Celtics need to make this a one-time occurrence or they could be making more than one trip to the Magic Kingdom. For the first time this postseason, Rondo has a legitimate challenger. It will be interesting to see how he responds in Game 5. In the past, such point guard duels have brought out Rondo’s best — think his head-to-head with Derrick Rose in last season’s playoffs — and the Celtics should hope that’s the case now, because Nelson won’t back down.”
  • Ron Borges of the Boston Herald: “Whenever the Magic are done this season, so is Amway, condemned to a pile of rubble in favor of a new palace around the corner that has the requisite luxury boxes, club seats and income potential to satisfy the needs of the modern professional franchise. When the Magic left a week ago down 0-2, and then were obliterated in Game 3 at the Garden, the belief here in Disney World was that Amway’s doors had closed for the last time. [...] They’ll be open for Game 5. If the two teams play similar to the way they did in the second half Monday night, I wouldn’t expect to see them open again.”
  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: “Rondo, suffering from a jammed left finger, had a largely forgettable night with the ball. But his defense also was put on alert. If the Celtics are to win Game 5 tonight in Orlando and close out the series, Rondo and his help must do a much better job of keeping Nelson out of the paint. [Dwight] Howard, with four put-backs and eight dunks, has never been bigger in this series. But to knock down the Orlando strongman a few notches, the Celtics have to take care of Nelson.”
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