|05.12.09 at 8:47 pm ET|
Credit the Celtics bench, particularly Eddie House and Brian Scalabrine with getting them back in the game. Trailing 33-23 and shooting just 29 percent from the floor, the Celtics closed within five after Scalabrine knocked down a 3-pointer and House came up with a steal on the wing and a layup.
It’s been a struggle for Boston to get its shots off. The Magic are double and triple team everything that moves and the Celtics haven’t been able to make jump shots. Coming out of the timeout the Celtics have a small lineup on the floor–Rajon Rondo, House, Ray Allen, Scalabrine and Davis.
|05.12.09 at 8:31 pm ET|
What can you say about a quarter in which the home team shoots 6-for-22 and the visiting team’s All-Star center grabs nine rebounds and scores zero points? The operative word here is “bizarre.”
The Celtics came out with a lot of energy and seemed a step ahead of Orlando, but after getting an early 8-4 lead, it’s been all Magic. Orlando has been aggressively helping on any and every Celtics drive to the basket and that has let to a lot of kick-out jump shots. Make that a lot of kick-out jump shot misses.
Ray Allen’s cold shooting has continued (0-for-4) and Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce are each 1-for-4. The Magic, meanwhile, have relied on Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu who scored 14 points and combined to go 7-for-9 from the floor.
|05.12.09 at 8:20 pm ET|
The Celtics came out with great energy and then Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy called a timeout three minutes in and things have slowed to a standstill. At the 4:45 mark the Magic have a 10-8 lead but this game is more notable for the number of misses (17 combined) then makes (eight).
It is also notable for a lack of calls on both sides. The refs have called just four fouls and there has been an awful lot of clutching and grabbing. Speaking of clutching a grabbing, they just showed the Bruins scoring a goal on the Jumbotron. Maybe that will liven things up a little.
|05.12.09 at 7:46 pm ET|
If there is one thing Rashard Lewis has learned about Ray Allen, it’s that he doesn’t stay cold for long.
‘Man, that’s the thing. Ray may struggle but he’s always going to get back on his game the very next night,’ Lewis told WEEI.com prior to Game 5. ‘Hopefully that’s not the situation tonight, but Ray’s a true professional. You can’t count him out. You never can count him out.’
Lewis would know. The two played nearly five years together on the Seattle SuperSonics. During that period Allen led the league twice in three-point shots made. He also ranked as one of the league’s top ten scorers in four consecutive seasons.
‘I don’t care if he has a bad first half,’ said Lewis. ‘He can go and get 20, 30 points in the second half alone, or he can have one big quarter and score 15, 20 points. That’s just the type of player he is, so you’ve just always got to pay attention to him regardless of if he’s missed his shots.’
Allen has missed his shots against the Magic. He is shooting 34% from the field in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, down from 45% in the previous round. More staggering, Allen has made only three of 24 attempts from long range.
Lewis doesn’t pay attention to the box scores. He knows Allen’s 0-for-5 three-point performance in Game 4 has no bearing on Tuesday night.
‘I know he had a bad game last game. The thing that scares me about that is that we lost the last game by a buzzer beater and Ray didn’t play well,’ Lewis said. ‘Tonight is going to be a night where both teams need to win and I’m sure he’s mentally ready to play and he’s going to come out shooting the ball, I think, well tonight because of the fact that this team needs him to win the ball club and he’s the key to their winning, so I’m sure he’s going to be ready to play.’
Whether or not Lewis is right will be determined in Game 5. Maybe once the series is over, Lewis can share his prediction with his friend.
‘We speak to each other before and after the game, but it’s kind of hard to talk to each other when you keep competing against each other,’ Lewis said. ‘I’m sure after this series is over that we’ll get back to being the good friends that we are.’
|05.12.09 at 7:26 pm ET|
About an hour before Game 5 was set to tip off Brian Scalabrine was out on the floor shooters jumpers, which is his regular pregame routine. That was a welcome development for the Celtics after Scalabrine missed this morning’s practice with the flu, but he is feeling better and he will play tonight.
“He’s feeling lighter,” Doc Rivers joked. “No, he’s feeling better. He really is. He’s been able to hold food down for the last couple of hours so that’s good.”
Rivers was then asked if Scal’s condition would cause him to change his regular substitution pattern.
“No. We’re just going to play him,” he said. “Obviously if he’s out there and you see that he’s struggling we’ll react. Athletes have that ability at times. You just don’t know, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
As for Kendrick Perkins, there isn’t much of an update. His shoulder is sore, but he’s going to play. “His injury is what is,” Rivers said. “It’s not going to improve. He’s going to play with it. He has to. We need him.”
Other pregame miscellany
The mood in the Celtics locker room was business like. A few players checked in but no one made themselves available.
Doc on Game 5’s: “Obviously they’re big but you can recover from them. I’ve always thought people had it wrong–that it’s a must-win for the road team. I’ve always thought it’s a bigger game for the home team because if the home team loses you have to go to a close-out game on the road.”
On the rotation: “Right now I like our rotation, so we’re going to stay with that. It’s a small rotation but I like it and it’s gotten us where we’re at. If we need other guys, they’ll be ready.” That would seem to leave Tony Allen out for now, along with Bill Walker and Gabe Pruitt.
|05.12.09 at 1:19 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Sunday night was just another ho-hum crazy, buzzer-beating, phenomenal finish for the Celtics and their head coach Doc Rivers, who has seen more than his fair share of playoff thrills in the last three weeks.
“It has been emotional,” said Rivers, who punched the air wildly after Glen Davis hit his game-winner at the end of Game 4 in Orlando. “It’s been a wild playoff run for us. We kind of anticipated it. I didn’t know it would be like this, I don’t think anyone did. Not having Kevin then losing Leon. We knew this would be tough. We knew every game would be a grind.”
Rivers said he suffered an ’emotional hi-jacking’ at the end of Sunday’s game but he has freed his psyche long enough to prep for tonight’s all-important Game 5 with the Magic, with the Eastern Conference semifinal tied, 2-2. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.12.09 at 12:28 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine missed this morning’s shoot-around/practice in Waltham with flu-like symptoms and was told to stay home and get ready for tonight. Meanwhile, Kendrick Perkins did practice but is nursing a sore left shoulder. Perkins will start tonight and Rivers expects to have Scalabrine available off the bench.
“Perk’s shoulder’s pretty good,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday morning. “Obviously, it’s not 100 percent but it’s good enough to play. He’s doing alright. Scal’s not here. He’s got the flu. We’re hoping he can make it to the game tonight.”
Perkins said he would prefer holding off until the off-season before going in and intensively examining the shoulder, which has been chronically sore for the last two seasons. No MRI was ordered to look at the shoulder.
“He didn’t need it,” Rivers said. “They know what it is. He’s got shoulder problems. No need to look at it. They might find something. That’s why we didn’t do it. We didn’t want to find anything, smarter that way.”
If Scalabrine weren’t available, it would have serious and unpleasant ramifications.
“If Scal’s not available, it puts us in a bind, obviously,” Rivers said. “It would force us to go small, at times with Paul (Pierce) at the ‘4’, and that’s absolutely not what we want to do. We would play Mikki (Moore) a little bit more, might even play Billy (Walker) some and Tony (Allen) at the four, clearly those are the things we don’t want to get to but if Scal is injured, someone else has to step up.”
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