|Game 3: Halftime Update||05.08.09 at 8:33 pm ET|
Just as the Magic have a tendency to do, the Celtics fell into the trap of outside shooting in the first half of Game 3. Rather than attack the paint like they have done successfully so many times, the Cs are settling for jumpers. They’re not making them either. The Magic are outshooting the Celtics 56% to 41% from the field, while the Celtics have attempted 11 three-pointers and made just two.
The surprise of the night so far is the performance by Anthony Johnson. The Celtics were expected to gain an advantage with the suspension of Rafer Alston but it’s Johnson who is leading the Magic offensively. He has hit a game high five field goals (5-7 FG, 11 points).
None of the Celtics, on the other hand, have posted in double figures. Rajon Rondo scored a team-high nine points.
Foul trouble will be the key to the second half. Brian Scalabrine already picked up four personals and Glen Davis has been called for three. None of the Magic have more than two fouls. They shot 13-for-16 from the line.
|Magic get backcourt help||at 2:02 pm ET|
The Orlando Magic suffered a blow when starting point guard Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 against the Boston Celtics following his actions against Eddie House. But their backcourt will have help, head coach Stan Van Gundy told the media after Friday’s shootaround. Shooting guard Courtney Lee, who has been out of the lineup with a fractured sinus, will be back in the available tonight. He will not start. Lee is averaging 8.4 points per game and shooting 45% FG in his rookie season.
|Game 2: Final Wrap||05.06.09 at 10:38 pm ET|
The Celtics didn’t need Paul Pierce (15 minutes, 4 PF) to take care of the Magic in Game 2. The Cs won, 112-94, in a game that ended with Stephon Marbury, Mikki Moore, Tony Allen, Bill Walker, and Gabe Pruitt on the court. Eddie House led all scorers with 31 points (11/14 FG) in 27 minutes. J.J. Redick was ejected from the game. Check back later for more from both locker rooms on Green Street …
|Game 2: Second Quarter Update||at 9:14 pm ET|
The Magic wanted to play this game from outside … and paid the price. The Celtics have built a 15-point halftime lead thanks to aggressive play at the basket, outscoring the Magic 32-14 in the paint. They have also outshot the Magic 56% to 41% from the field.
Kendrick Perkins leads all scorers with 14 points (6/7 FG) and has been called for just one foul. Ray Allen, who had a quiet night in Game 1, has added 13 points. J.J. Redick is the high scorer for the Magic with 11 points.
|Garnett, Rondo receive All-Defensive honors||at 2:22 pm ET|
2008-09 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
2008-09 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
|Pierce: Two matches for Jasmina||at 11:36 am ET|
Earlier this year Paul Pierce joined the fight to find a life-saving bone marrow donor for Jasmina Anema, a six-year-old leukemia patient. Since Anema is adopted, finding a donor match to combat the rare and deadly form of the disease was difficult. Pierce campaigned for blood drives in the Boston area and pleaded for help on his website, PaulPierce.net. Other athletes and celebrities, including Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, and New York Knick Chris Wilcox, also reached out to help. Nearly five months after she was hospitalized, two near-perfect matches have been found for Jasmina. Click here to read a message on Pierce’s site.
|Kenny Smith: Why Rondo can’t be dared to shoot||at 12:04 am ET|
Rajon Rondo had a breakout performance in the first round of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. 19.4 points per game weren’t too shabby for a player once considered hampered by a jumpshot. As TNT analyst Kenny Smith explained on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, he believes Rondo’s early struggles away from the basket have become an advantage for him.
Said Smith, “Well I always thought that when I was playing as a player, I thought that when you played against guys who you thought really couldn’t shoot from the outside and you backed up off of them, I thought that played to his advantage because then one, you gave him passing lanes, two you gave him the ability to take up the space and come at you and put you on your heels, and three how does a guy practice when he really doesn’t shoot the ball well by himself? They feed him the ball and no one’s there. So you’re actually feeding into the things he’s good at and then you make him a stronger player. And I think that teams at times have made him really, really good and then all of a sudden he starts to play good and he becomes great … I think now he’s gotten to a point where he understands how to do this and play at this level. But I really think a lot of times teams play into his hands because they give him shots that dare him to shoot and no one gets to this point in this league, especially at the point where Rondo is, and you can dare him to shoot and they’re not going to make it.’
Rondo scored 14 points against the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Game 2 will be played on Wednesday night in Boston.