AP Photo/Mike Carlson
6-12 FG | 4-8 FT | 1 BLK | 16 REB | 16 PTS | -25
It’s true that Howard has won the Defensive Player of the Year award in three consecutive seasons. It’s also true that Kevin Garnett is a former Defensive Player of the Year award winner. And for Garnett, despite being 35 years old, he reminded everyone that he still has it defensively. Howard struggled to score against Garnett, allowing the Boston Celtics to stay at home on the Magic’s shooters.
5-12 FG | 1-4 3P | 3 STL | 0 REB | 13 PTS | +1
After scoring 10 points in the first quarter, Richardson did next to nothing for Orlando the remainder of the game. He went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line in the third quarter, made a layup shortly thereafter, and that was it. When the Magic were in desperate need of some offense, Richardson was unable to deliver. Given that Richardson isn’t much of a shot creator, that should come as no surprise.
5-12 FG | 1-2 3P | 1 AST | 4 REB | 12 PTS | +8
In the first quarter, Anderson had 12 points. When he found himself being defended by Pierce, Anderson was able to take him off the dribble twice for a layup and also shoot over him for a midrange jumpshot. Near the end of the period, Anderson made a three-pointer that put the finishing touches on a great start to the game for Orlando. That was the last time he scored.
3-10 FG | 2-5 3P | 7 AST | 5 REB | 10 PTS | -7
Turkoglu really didn’t do much to help the Magic’s cause against the Celtics. In the fourth quarter, when Orlando needed to rely on him, Turkoglu had trouble generating offense for himself. This was no better exemplified than when Brandon Bass found himself defending Turkoglu one-on-one with the shot clock winding down. Turkoglu’s jumper was blocked by Bass. It was just one of those nights for Turkoglu.
Boston gave up 58 points at halftime, had a 21-point deficit heading into the third quarter, and they won. Remember when the Magic, no matter what, would almost always lose to the Detroit Pistons for several seasons a few years back? And it didn’t matter who was wearing a Pistons uniform? It’s become more than obvious that the Celtics have taken up the mantle of being that team.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.