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C’s mission for Game 2: Defend the corner 3

ORLANDO — The Magic took 22 3-pointers in Game 1 and made just five of them. Part of that was the active Celtics [1] defense and part of that was just Orlando missing makeable shots.

“They’€™re going to play harder, they’€™re going to play with more energy and they’€™re going to be better,” Doc Rivers [2] said Tuesday before the team’s shootaround. “They’€™ll shoot the ball better. What we’€™ve focused on in the last 48 hours is showing all the open shots that they did have. They were rushed but they were open and we can’€™t allow those. They did a lot of good things. Some of it was their doing and some of it was us and we have to get away from what we allowed.”

One of the keys to defending the Magic is taking away the corner 3-pointer, which is one of the most efficient shots in basketball, and they makes good use of the shot, averaging almost eight attempts per game. Orlando shoots 41 percent from the left corner and 43 percent from the right corner (hat tip to Celtics Hub, which has a nice breakdown [3]).

“For them it’€™s huge,” Rivers said. “For the league, that’€™s our spot. We have the ‘No corner 3’ rule. We’€™ve had it for about five years. It’€™s true. It’€™s the shortest shot for the 3-pointer and it’€™s the one that they take the most.”