|05.04.09 at 2:24 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers will have to wait until after Game 2 of this series against Orlando to reap one of the hidden benefits coming to him.
Rivers calls Orlando his home when he’s not coaching the Celtics. So, when the Celtics hit the road for Games 3 and 4, he’ll be going home.
“I get to go home and sleep in my own bed,” Rivers said Monday morning. “I’m in bed every night in my own bed, that’s not bad in a series. It’s rare that you can say that.”
But as for coaching in the playoffs against the franchise where he cut his NBA coaching teeth for four-plus seasons, including NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2000, Rivers said there’s no extra motivation. Rivers was fired after a 1-10 start to the 2003-04 season. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.04.09 at 1:32 pm ET|
Wondering what will work for the Celtics against the Magic and what won’t? We garnered the opinion of one scout who has seen both teams extensively to break-down what Orlando has to offer:
“He’s a really good three-point shooter so you you’re going to want to put the pressure on him because he’s not a great finisher when he drives. He will look to pass more than he looks to score when going to the hoop. I think (Rajon) Rondo can keep him under control. He isn’t Derrick Rose.”
“You have to limit his dunks. It sounds stupid, but you have to make him make offensive moves and score and not just give him dunks. I think you can attack him defensively because he is at his best when he is off the ball. That’s where he gets most of his blocks.”
“He’s the key to the whole series. It’s going to be tough for Big Baby (Glen Davis) to guard him because he can stretch the floor. That’s where (Brian) Scalabrine comes in. He’s going to play a big role. You have to limit his three’s but he is also a tough match-up for the bigs, that’s why using (Kevin) Garnett on him was so valuable. I thought Philly did a good job on him with Thaddeus Young.”
“He’s a very good three-point shooter who can get into foul trouble. He could have trouble trying to guard (Paul) Pierce. He’s really been able to make that transition from starter in Golden State to a valuable guy off the bench who can post-up and drive.”
“A three-point shooter, that’s all he is. You can really attack him defensively. He’s terrible defensively.”
“He comes in for Howard and supplies a lot of energy. He won’t hurt you with his shooting but he is good on the pick-and-roll, and gets garbage buckets. You just have to match his energy. He’s not a great shooter, and not a good post-up player, but he is a good rebounder. He’s one of the biggest reasons they beat Philly in that series’ last game.”
“He’s a solid backup point guard who is a pretty good penetrator and can hit an open three. He isn’t, however, a very good defender.”
“Very good three-point shooter who will also take you off the dribble. He’s a really solid player. Bigger guards can post him up a bit.”
“He’s just a very good player, and has done a good job with Pierce. Paul has some trouble guarding him because he has a very good first step and he’s a big guy who can shoot over you.”
KEY TO THE SERIES
“Two things: You have to limit the Magic’s three-point shooting, and limit the number of dunks by Howard. They aren’t going to move the ball like Chicago, but they will spread you out with guys outside and look for Howard inside.”
– ROB BRADFORD
|05.04.09 at 1:07 pm ET|
WALTHAM -Everyone knows this will be a different challenge for the Boston Celtics.
From the style of play to the expectations, this series with the Orlando Magic figures to be a different set of circumstances altogether for the defending NBA champs.
Another thing that will be different right out of the gate will be the intensity level, at least for Game 1 tonight at the Garden. Just ask Kendrick Perkins.
“It’s hard because you try to keep the same focus or you try to approach the game like you did in Game 7,” said the Celtics center in charge of managing Dwight Howard when he’s in the game. “I don’t care what you say, Game 7 is way different from a Game 1 because you know you have another day. With a Game 7, you know if you lose, you go home. The approach to the game is different, the intensity level is different so you just try to keep the same focus.”
|05.04.09 at 12:40 pm ET|
WALTHAM – The Celtics have all the excuses working for them tonight but their coach wants to make sure they don’t need them.
After a seven-game series against Chicago that left them tired and exhausted, they had exactly one day of rest (Sunday) before opening their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Orlando Magic tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.
The satisfaction of surviving the Bulls had not yet dissipated on Saturday night when the players got in their vehicles and found the scouting report book on the Magic waiting for them, courtesy head coach Doc Rivers and the coaching staff. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.04.09 at 12:24 pm ET|
WALTHAM -Kendrick Perkins knows the mission before him as the Celtics get ready to take on the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.
Make life tough on NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. And don’t get caught up in the stat sheet if Howard is putting up video game numbers, especially in the rebounding column.
“He has to work for it, 20 and 20,” Perkins said at this morning’s shootaround at the team’s practice facility. “You know one thing, he’s going to grab every (rebound). He’s the only guy that rebounds on their team. So, he’s going to grab all the defensive rebounds. He may grab 15 to 17 defensive rebounds so you can’t get caught up in that. If you can make 20 points on 20 attempts, that’s pretty good.” Read the rest of this entry »
|05.04.09 at 10:54 am ET|
LeBron James will be named NBA MVP today, according to Brian Windhorst of Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. Citing league sources, Windhorst reported the announcement will be made this afternoon at the St. Vincent – St. Mary High School in Akron, the same gym where James announced his decision to enter the NBA. James averaged 28.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.6 assists this season. He will be the first Cavalier in franchise history to win the award, which will be presented prior to Game 1 of the Cavs-Hawks series on Tuesday night in Cleveland.
|05.03.09 at 11:07 pm ET|
The second round match up between the Boston Celtics (62-20) and Orlando Magic (59-23) has been in the makings for months. After the Cleveland Cavaliers ran away with the best record in the East, both clubs knew there was a strong chance they would meet again in the playoffs. The Celtics and Magic split the season series 2-2. This time, they will play until one team comes out on top.
December 1: Celtics 107, Magic 88
The Magic tried to beat the Celtics from long range … and failed. The Celtics shot 6-for-13 (46%) from behind the arc while the Magic shot themselves out of the game (5-26 3PG, 19%). Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter as the Celtics outscored the Magic 59-42 in the second half. Rashard Lewis led all scorers with 30 points. Emotions ran high in this game, prompting eight technical fouls. Sam Cassell, in his most memorable moment of the season, was ejected from the sidelines for arguing a call. Jameer Nelson (hip) did not play.
Related Story: Sounds of the Game
January 22: Celtics 90, Magic 80
The Celtics cut Dwight Howard’s night short by drawing six fouls on the big man in 38 minutes. Howard shot just 4-for-10 from the field and finished with 11 points and 11 boards. The Celtics extended their winning streak to seven games behind 27 points from Paul Pierce. They got a boost from Glen Davis, who scored 16 points off the bench. The Magic outscored the Celtics 21-0 from three-point range.
Related Story: Are the Magic a Threat?
March 8: Magic 86, Celtics 79
Already banged up without Kevin Garnett (knee) and Rajon Rondo (ankle), the Celtics watched Glen Davis leave the game with a sprained ankle. The depleted Celtics squad could not fend off 18 points and 15 rebounds from Dwight Howard as the Magic won in Boston. Without Rondo in the lineup, the Magic posted seven more assists (17) and steals (9) than the Celtics. Ray Allen led all scorers with 32 points (12-25 FG).
Related Story: Magic a Problem Without KG
March 25: Magic 84, Celtics 82
The box score painted a different picture than the final score. The Celtics outshot the Magic 43% to 37% from the field and outscored them 20 to 14 in the fourth quarter. But ultimately it was Dwight Howard’s stat line that won the game. He posted 24 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 blocks (including a swat against Pierce with four seconds left) that gave the Magic the edge over the Celtics. Kevin Garnett (knee) was limited to just 16 minutes and Leon Powe (knee) did not play.
Related Story: Magic Not Ready for Prime Time
Game 1 will get underway at 8pm EST on TNT and WEEI. Follow Green Street for all the latest information and updates from the TD BankNorth Garden.