Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 235

May 27

Blue & White Ignite – Magic Host Official Watch Parties for Game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

As Blue and White Ignite for the 2010 NBA Playoffs, presented by Bright House Networks, the Magic are encouraging the entire Central Florida community to show their spirit and support the Magic at the Official Playoff Watch Parties for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday, May 28. Some highlights of the Official Playoff Watch Parties include drink specials and appearances by Orlando Magic Dancers and the Magic AirTran Flight Crew. Tip-off in Boston is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

  • Official Playoff Watch Parties for Game 6: On Friday, May 28, the Magic will host two Official Playoff Watch Parties, at The Plaza Courtyard (downtown at the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue) and at the Orlando Magic Fan Zone at Waterford Lakes Town Center (413 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828). The watch party at the Plaza Courtyard will feature a large projection screen and there will be music provided by DJ D Strong and 102 JAMZ. There will also be Anheuser-Busch drink specials on-site. Waterford Lakes will feature a large projection screen to watch the game along with music provided by Power 95.3 and a pop-a-shot basketball game for fans of all ages.  Both watch party locations will feature the Magic Dancers, the AirTran Flight Crew and giveaways, including rally rackets, car flags and T-shirts. Activities will begin at 8:00 p.m., and tip-off of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals will be at 8:30 p.m.

May 27

NBA Announces Results of Review of Orlando-Boston Game 5 of Eastern Conference Finals

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Via the NBA:

Following a review of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic, the NBA has announced the following:

  • Celtics center Kendrick Perkins’ technical foul with 36.1 seconds remaining in the first half has been rescinded.
  • Celtics forward Paul Pierce’s foul with 8:12 remaining in the fourth quarter has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 1.

May 27

Jameer Nelson Continues His Damage in the Pick and Roll

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Via ESPN Stats and Information:

Jameer Nelson continued his solid play Wednesday, going off for a game-high 24 points. Much like Game 4, Jameer did the bulk of his damage as a pick-and-roll ball handler.

Games 1-3 Games 4-5
Plays per game 14.7 26.5
PPG 12.7 32.0
Pts/play 0.86 1.21
FG pct 38.2 52.8

May 27

Second Look: Orlando Magic 113, Boston Celtics 92

Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Ever since laying a giant egg and having their hearts questioned after a Game 6 debacle, the [Orlando] Magic have played like a team that reached the NBA Finals last season and won 59 games this season. Like in Game 4, the Magic relied on cornerstones [Dwight] Howard and point guard Jameer Nelson while shooting guard Vince Carter (eight points on 3-of-10 shooting) struggled again. Howard finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, following up his monster 32-point, 16-rebound effort in Game 4. Nelson added 24 points and five assists, nailing four 3-pointers.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic, left for dead and wearing everything but a toe tag after the horrendous 94-71 loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, gave the Boston Celtics a Beantown beatdown Wednesday night at the Am and moved another step closer to becoming the first team in league history to ever rally back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series. In the annals of the NBA, 93 teams have fallen behind 3-0, and 93 teams have ultimately gone down. But even naturally pessimistic Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, the Eeyore of the NBA, can feel the winds of change blowing in this series.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando started its long-distance assault early. After turnovers on each of their first three offensive possessions, the Magic attempted 3-pointers on their next three possessions. Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis sank one apiece off passes from Nelson. Nelson’s quickness and ability to penetrate into the lane, particularly off picks set on Rajon Rondo, opened up space for Orlando’s outside shooters. As Celtics players collapsed on the diminutive point guard, at least one Magic player on the perimeter found some space. All the Magic needed to do was swing the ball around until they located the open man.”
  • Andrea Adelson of the Orlando Sentinel: “Center Kendrick Perkins picked up two technical fouls on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Magic, getting himself ejected from the game. But worse than that, Perkins now faces a one-game suspension because he has seven technicals in the playoffs. Meanwhile, top backup Glen Davis took an elbow to the head from Dwight Howard late in the third quarter and sustained a concussion. He did not return to the game, and his availability is in question. Rasheed Wallace also tweaked his back, and Marquis Daniels sustained a concussion, setting up quite an unpleasant scenario for Rivers to contemplate.”
  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “They want to share the passion and the pride with a man who knows what it’s like to build a dynasty. Now he is trying to build one with a bunch of young guys, some 60-odd years younger than the date stamped on his birth certificate. At 84, Rich DeVos is the patriarch of the Orlando Magic franchise might be tempted to ask for some divine intervention for the Magic, trying to stay alive in the chase for an NBA title.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “An Orlando Magic team that vowed it was never out of these Eastern Conference Finals – even when it fell into a daunting 0-3 hole – proved that to be true once again Wednesday and will now ride a wave of momentum back to Boston. The suddenly surging Magic pulled back within 3-2 in the series and forced a Game 6 in Boston by throttling the Celtics 113-92 behind two more spectacular performances from co-captains Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. As blue, black and silver streamers fell from the rafters and the Amway Arena crowd throbbed with raw emotion, public address announcer Paul Porter informed the crowd about a potential Game 7 on Sunday. That, of course, was dripping with the implication that the Magic will now go to Boston and win in Game 6 to force a deciding Game 7.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “The way the Magic played tonight and in Game 4 certainly makes one wonder where the heck they were in the first three games. Nelson’s the sparkplug, as he has to be. It’s as though a lightbulb flashed on above his noggin, as he’s clearly figured out how to attack Boston’s defense. Though Nelson is traditionally a halfcourt-oriented, pick-and-roll point guard, he has shifted into a different mode in this series, and is instead pushing the tempo aggressively whenever possible. On two occasions tonight, for example, he grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court, and converted a layup attempt in heavy traffic as the Celtics’ defense kept scrambling. He isn’t content to walk the ball up and run a halfcourt set. No, he’s getting the ball and making things happen with it, usually by dribbling into the paint for either a kickout or a shot attempt. He’s not turning the corner on the pick-and-roll and picking up his dribble, looking for the open man. No, his dribble is live, his improvisation skills high, and his swag phenomenal. He has Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on his heels. If he keeps playing this way, Orlando will be in great shape come Friday night.”
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: “So we haven’t seen everything there is to see in Celtics playoff history. Last night was not only Boston’s second consecutive loss in the Eastern Conference finals, extending the series to at least six games, it was one of the strangest and most emotional postseason games in the franchise’s storied history. The Celtics not only were buried, 113-92, at Amway Arena by the suddenly rejuvenated Magic, but they watched as two players left with concussions, and another because of technical fouls. And now the Green have to respond or risk the fate of their hockey counterparts, those Bruins, who won the first three games against the Flyers and then dropped Game 4 in overtime and Game 5 by blowout. Hmmm.”
  • Gary Dzen of The Boston Globe: “The latest came with 7:30 left in the third quarter in last night’s loss to the Magic in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Pierce took a hard foul from Magic center Dwight Howard and remained on the floor for almost a minute, clutching his left shoulder. As Pierce writhed, the Amway Arena crowd peppered him with boos. One glance around the arena revealed scattered signs questioning the toughness of the Celtics in general — and of Pierce in particular. [...] Pierce’s reputation hasn’t been quite as clean since Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Lakers. Pierce went down with a knee injury in that game and was famously taken off the court in a wheelchair. Pierce’s return to the game a short time later — and his subsequent performance as Finals MVP — led many to question the severity of the injury and caused some to label Pierce a drama queen.”
  • Jarrod N. Rudolph of The Boston Globe: “Energy and effort were the biggest questions surrounding the Magic entering Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals last night. After dropping the first three games of the series — two at Amway Arena — the Magic played Game 4 with the furious effort that made them a heavy favorite entering the series. Last night they seemed to play even harder. On the strength of their 113-92 victory, the Magic pulled within two games of completing what would be the greatest comeback in NBA history, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to advance to the Finals. They know they still have a lot of work to do, but they’ve proved, at the very least, that if they lose the series it’s not going to be because of a lackluster effort.”
  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: “The C’s lost two important members of their Dwight Howard defense in last night’s 113-92 Game 5 loss at Amway Arena to the Magic, who have climbed back to within 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals after dropping the first three games. Kendrick Perkins was lost in the second quarter following his sixth and seventh technical fouls of the postseason, then Glen Davis departed with a concussion at the end of the third after taking a Howard elbow to the mouth and losing a tooth. The theme continued when Marquis Daniels left with a concussion early in the fourth, which was followed by an Orlando run-off against a downsized Celtics team that seemed to take their cue from Davis and Daniels.”
  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: “The NBA will render a decision this morning on whether one, both or neither of Kendrick Perkins technical fouls from last night will be rescinded. As it stood when the Celtics left the arena following the 113-92 Game 5 loss to Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals, their starting center had seven techs for the postseason – the magic number for an automatic one-game suspension. Should the ban stand, it would keep him out of tomorrow night’s now critical Game 6 at the Garden.”
  • Ron Borges of the Boston Herald: “They didn’t move the ball on offense. They didn’t move their feet on defense. The one thing they did move was their mouths, which got them three technical fouls and Kendrick Perkins banished to the locker room before halftime with his sixth and seventh techs of the playoffs. The Celtics did more talking than Nancy Pelosi and produced just as few results. Worst of all, a team that prides itself on its defense didn’t get out on Orlando’s 3-point shooters and hence were buried by them, losing 113-“

May 27

Recap: Orlando Magic 113, Boston Celtics 92

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

BOX SCORE

In what can only be described as a strange game, the Orlando Magic defeated the Boston Celtics by the score of 113-92 in Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The odds are still heavily in the Celtics’ favor to close out the series sooner or later, but the Magic aren’t going quietly. Orlando was led by their captains for a second consecutive game — Jameer Nelson had 24 points on 10 shots, five rebounds, and five assists, and Dwight Howard had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks. Rashard Lewis and J.J. Redick chipped in with 14 points each.

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May 26

Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, Game 5

8:30 EDT | ESPN
50-32 @ 59-23
Pythagorean Record: 52-30 Pythagorean Record: 61-21
Pace: 91.6 (22nd) Pace: 92.0 (18th)
Offensive Rating: 107.7 (15th) Offensive Rating: 111.4 (4th)
Defensive Rating: 103.8 (5th) Defensive Rating: 103.3 (3rd)
Amway Arena | Celtics lead series 3-1

May 26

Wednesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando Magic power forward Rashard Lewis expects to receive intravenous fluids tonight before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Boston Celtics as he continues battle a nasty stomach virus that’s plagued him all series. Lewis said after the Magic completed their shootaround today that he’s ‘not 100 percent, not where I want to be,’ but he added that he’s ‘getting better.’ ”
  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “If you liked Matt Barnes’ fighting spirit before, you’ll love it after hearing Barnes explain what really happened when Kevin Garnett received a technical foul in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Garnett objected to contact with Magic center Dwight Howard and Barnes began to pull Garnett away from Howard in the kind of move that made it look like Barnes was trying to calm the Celtics’ very vocal leader. Not quite, Barnes said. ‘I wasn’t trying to calm Kevin down, I was messing with him,’ Barnes said after practice today. ‘I was messing with him. He likes to talk a lot so i was just messing with him. I wasn’t trying to calm him down at all. If he’s mad it doesn’t matter to me, so I was just messing with him.’ ”
  • Rajon Rondo is hurting, but will play tonight.
  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy wants Vince Carter to be aggressive offensively in tonight’s game.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “If the Magic are to send this series back to Boston, they are going to have to keep running the pick-and-roll. A lot. Everybody knows it. The question is, what does Doc Rivers — and really Tom Thibodeau — come up with? Rivers said at shoot around he wants more ball pressure, look for the Celtics to do what they do — be physical on defense. As much as the referees will let them. Rivers said he wanted his defenders to “put their body” into the Magic ball handlers. He’s talking specifically to Rajon Rondo. This is going to come down to how Rondo fighting through the picks and not letting Nelson have is way.”
  • Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus: “There are two ways to look at Monday’s result. Either this was a springboard for a return to the Magic’s success of the earlier rounds, or this was the best Orlando could do and even then it was just barely enough. Which is the right point of view? I have to lean towards the latter. We saw even during Game 4, when Orlando was playing well, that when the Celtics execute their systems at both ends of the floor, the Magic struggle. I thought the Celtics got away from their strengths on offense towards the end of the game and that, as much as anything Orlando did, played a part in the series lasting another game. However, with the home crowd behind the Magic on Wednesday, there could be one of those momentum-type games in which all those missed threes suddenly start falling. You never know. The Magic may yet find a little wind in its sails.”
  • Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie comments on Lewis’ viral infection.
  • John Schuhmann of NBA.com chimes in on whether or not the Celtics will adjust to the Magic’s pick and roll offense.
  • Boston is treating Game 5 like a Game 7.
  • Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated looks at Orlando’s chances of making a comeback in the series: “The foundation for any extended Magic comeback in this series will be provided by [Jameer] Nelson and Dwight Howard, who had a magnificent 32 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks and could put a huge scare in Boston by maintaining that intimidating level of play. They’ll also continue to rely on sixth man J.J. Redick, who has played in high gear while averaging 11.5 points and shooting 53.8 percent from the arc in these finals.”
  • Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk thinks that Van Gundy needs to mix it up with his rotations and 5-man units if the Magic want to win three more games against the Celtics.
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider: “Should they survive Game 5, 36.7 percent of the home-court-advantage teams facing Game 6 elimination have prevailed. Combine the two probabilities and you get about a 1-in-4 shot for the Magic to become the fourth team in league history to force a seventh game after being down 3-0. And although no team has won after trailing 3-0, the same isn’t true for the Magic’s current 3-1 deficit. Six of the 60 home-court-advantage teams that trailed 3-1 came back to win; when trailing 3-2, which might be Orlando’s deficit after Wednesday night, the odds improve to 14.5 percent. Not anything you would bet on, perhaps, but still a grand improvement on zero. That’s where Orlando can hang its hat entering Game 5. Comebacks from 3-0 have been far less common than one might believe just from modeling the situation mathematically, but apparently the first step is the hardest. At some point, as Van Gundy noted, the law of averages dictates that an NBA team will win a series after trailing 3-0. After shaking off the negative psychology of 3-0 to win a road Game 4, the Magic have at least given themselves a chance — albeit a small one — of making history.”
  • Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference examines which teams remaining in the 2010 NBA Playoffs uses their best lineups the most: “The Magic like to play with a lot of different combinations outside of their Nelson-Carter-Barnes-Lewis-Howard (+10.22) core, but some need to fall by the wayside. Williams-Redick-Pietrus-Lewis-Howard (-17.36) has been horrible even during the Magic’s 8-0 playoff start, as has Nelson-Carter-Redick-Lewis-Howard (-11.96) — although the latter has played better in recent games, and Redick has had Orlando’s best raw +/- mark vs. Boston. Boston has largely played well against the Magic starters and have even neutralized the vaunted Gortat lineups (Gortat had a +13.73 APM during the regular season), so there isn’t much Van Gundy can do beyond what he’s been trying so far, but he might want to swap Redick (positive +/- in every Celtics matchup except game 3) for Barnes, who’s been negative in every game of the Boston series (he was even -8 in Orlando’s win on Monday).”

May 26

Video Analysis: The Orlando Magic’s Pick and Roll Offense

Since the conclusion of Game 4, a lot of smart people have chimed in on the Orlando Magic‘s pick and roll offense that was wildly successful against the Boston Celtics. Even though there’s no guarantee that the Magic will beat the Celtics later tonight, it’s clear that Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard will, once again, be the focus offensively for Orlando. The key, more than anything else, for head coach Stan Van Gundy is to keep Howard moving on offense because in Games 2 and 4, Howard scored 30 points or more due to the fact that his athleticism and speed was being utilized correctly, particularly in the pick and roll. As for Nelson, he needs to stay in attack mode offensively and play with the same aggressiveness he displayed two nights ago.

May 26

J.J. Redick’s Positive Impact

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Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Via ESPN Stats and Information:

In his 33 minutes off the bench in Game 4, J.J. Redick was a game-high +14 in the plus/minus. Redick’s plus/minus of +20 for the series is by far the highest for any [Orlando] Magic player – no one else has even a positive rating.

Orlando is outscoring opponents by 8.6 points per 48 minutes with Redick on the floor this series (+20 in 112 minutes), compared to getting outscored by a staggering 26.0 points per 48 minutes (-46 in 85 minutes) with him off the court.

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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