- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “So [Vince Carter is] taking a beating, and the media are exploiting the usual talking points about him: he’s soft, he’s not clutch, he’s timid, he doesn’t have a “killer instinct.” And, well, yeah, there’s truth to some of that, insofar as he’s having a pretty terrible series, shooting 35.9% from the floor for 13 points per game. But I don’t have a problem with his aggression in his series; I don’t see him settling for too much. Consider that his percentage of shot attempts at the basket area (28.1%) in this series actually exceeds that figure from the regular season (25.6%) and that his work in the pick-and-roll has led to 4 assists for 9 points, as well as 9 other looks for which his teammates did not reward his unselfishness, per Synergy Sports Technology.”
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie endorses J.J. Redick: “He’s not some per-minute wonder, built up on offensive rebounds and tip-dunks over bench types while averaging 6.7 fouls per 36 minutes. He’s a legitimate contributor that plays more efficiently the more he’s allowed to run the floor and lose the fear of falling short. Because Stan Van Gundy is in this guy’s head, and J.J.’s the only player on this team that works this into a bad thing. SVG helps, for everyone but Redick.”
- For Jameer Nelson, size doesn’t matter.
- Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm: “I have to wonder if this isn’t everything Orlando can throw at them. It’s a tentative balance, much more so than it was three days ago. The reason? The Big 3 are sputtering. When any combination of 2 of the Big 3 are hitting, you might as well go home. But last night Pierce struggled with the Magic’s physical play of him, Garnett’s head has been AWOL since the start of Game 4, and Allen, well, Allen’s got the best defender in this series on him like white on rice and is still hitting fairly regularly. The Magic have kickstarted the offense and as much as Celtics fans may not want to admit it, Rashard Lewis DOES look like he suddenly got healthier, playing with more energy and the focus on his release has been better.”
- The Orlando Magic have been running on Rajon Rondo and the strategy is working.
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk keeps it simple: “It is Game 6 or bust for Boston, it wants no part of a Game 7 back in Orlando. Friday night is the showdown.”
- Sean Deveney of The Baseline explains why the Boston Celtics lost in Game 5.
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy is NOT the “Master of Panic.”
- Eric Freeman of The Baseline: “That’s why their wins in Games 4 and 5 take on more importance than just a shift from 3-0 to 3-2. They have momentum and control, and not just because they’d have homecourt advantage in a potential Game 7. They’ve essentially changed the Celtics’ position in the series from on the brink of making their second Finals in three years to grasping at whatever advantage they can find. That’s why Game 6 looks like such a promising game. It’s in Boston, so the Celtics are not without hope, but the Magic have turned this series on its head. It seems difficult to predict which team will take control because the avenues for success are so varied. Will [Dwight] Howard control the paint at both ends once again? Can Rajon Rondo find his mojo again? Will one of the Celtics’ veterans step up? Can Carter wake up and not be a total failure? The list goes on.”