Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Magic still don't scare me
So the Orlando Magic held on last night against the Boston Celtics, 84-82 at the Amway Arena.
It was a big win for the Magic (53-18) as they are now tied with the Celtics (54-19) for the second spot in the Eastern Conference with two games (not one like I last said) in hand.
Call it excuses, grasping for straws, whatever but after watching last night, it only further solidified my view that Boston should beat Orlando, if they meet in (most likely) the second round of the playoffs.
I'm not a complete idiot, Dwight Howard (24 points, 21 rebounds, 4 blocks) is a beast but watching him brick shot after shot in the fourth, while his teammates failed to put away a shorthanded Celtics team made me think that we are still better than them (provided KG, Leon Powe and Tony Allen are healthy).
Paul Pierce had a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds but head coach Doc Rivers and Pierce reverted back to the losing days for the Green. Repeatedly down the stretch, Pierce forced tough shots, none more so than the 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it.
Three defenders jumped out at Pierce. He hit some big baskets to help the C's comeback from 16 points down but Eddie House and Ray Allen were also on the floor.
Ray Allen added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists while Kendrick Perkins had 11 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in a decent job against Howard.
Boston survived a big scare in the game when Rajon Rondo (9 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) rolled his ankle. Luckily, he stayed in the game and while he didn't play particularly well, the injury turned out to be much worse than it seemed at first glance.
Orlando loves their 3-pointers, huh? Rashard Lewis (21 points), Hedo Turkoglu (13 points) and Courtney Lee (11 points) all finished with respectable point totals but they were useless in the fourth.
And if you think Rafer Alston at point guard will lead the Magic to a title, you must live in one of the five boroughs. The guy is a scumbag and not a good player when you take him off the And-1 mix tour.
Kevin Garnett scored four points and grabbed eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action. It was painful to watch him helplessly sit on the bench in the fourth but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he uses it as motivation. Doc plans to give KG some more time next week as the playoffs get closer.
In one of the last meaningful games of the regular season, the Celts travel to the ATL tomorrow night to face the Hawks.