|Live from Orlando||05.08.09 at 5:32 pm ET|
I was in the cab for less than 30 seconds when the cabbie turned to me and said, “How come the Magic don’t get any respect?” Yup, Green Street hit the road and is live from the Amway Arena where everyone here wants to know why Orlando gets no love. They also want to know why it’s so freaking hot down here (apparently it’s not supped to be this warm until June.)
I suggested to the driver that if the Magic wanted some props they could get some by beating the champs. “Huh,” he said. “I don’t even respect them that much.” And there you have it.
We’ll be back with updates from the locker room, in-game and postgame analysis.
|Alston suspended for Game 3||05.07.09 at 7:08 pm ET|
Orlando guard Rafer Alston has been suspended for Friday night’s game against the Celtics for an open-hand slap to the head of Eddie House following a House three-pointer late in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 112-94 Boston win in Game 2.
Alston said afterward that his slap was in retaliation for an elbow that House threw to his stomach after hitting the three-pointer. House was not suspended. Alston’s suspension was one of two handed out by the NBA on Thursday at Lakers guard Derek Fisher was suspended for Game 3 against the Rockets for his hit on Houston Luis Scola.
|Doc: Hold off on suspending Alston||at 2:45 pm ET|
While he believes Alston should be disciplined for the open-hand head slap that he gave Eddie House after his third three-pointer of the night, he doesn’t feel that Orlando should be put at a competitive disadvantage for Friday night’s game at Amway Arena.
“You can’t go around slapping people, otherwise all the players will no longer punch they’ll just start slapping,” Rivers began. “And if they say you can get away with it, they’ll just say, ‘I didn’t punch him, I just slapped him.’ I don’t believe in suspensions personally, I really don’t. I know that sounds nuts. I wish everyone got fined and suspended in the regular season. I really don’t like guys getting suspended during the playoffs.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Doc on Manny: That’s shocking and disappointing||at 2:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers is not just an NBA head coach, he is a huge sports fan. And when news broke Thursday that Manny Ramirez had been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enchancing substance, he reacted just like a sports fan.
“It’s disappointing, it really is,” Rivers said before his team’s film session. “It’s the baseball whole thing and that’s obviously a part of it right now. I don’t know. That’s shocking and disappointing.”
But Rivers didn’t stop there. He battles with the issue much like every sports fan does, trying to weigh what matters to fans and what’s in the best interest of the sport. Read the rest of this entry »
|Rondo: I wanted to make a point||at 12:28 am ET|
Rajon Rondo sat in his locker before Game 2 Wednesday night and was asking reporters if he thought he could be more aggressive.
Whether rhetorical or not, the most important answer came from Rondo himself on the court.
Rondo, with 18 assists, 15 points and 11 rebounds, became just the second player in team history to record three triple-doubles in a postseason and the first since Larry Bird in 1986 as the Celtics cruised, 112-94, over the Magic to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal at 1-1.
But still, Rondo wasn’t completely satisfied afterward.
“Probably like a B-plus,” Rondo said when asked to grade his night. “It really wasn’t my ‘A’ game. I really didn’t shoot the ball well. I tried to get guys open. I was trying to do the intangible things on the floor. My offensive game wasn’t flowing for me. Just trying to pick it up defensively and get my guys going early.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Game 2: Third quarter update||05.06.09 at 10:03 pm ET|
And now for some defense. Having blitzed Orlando with a red hot first half in which they built a 16-point lead, the Celtics lead is up to 86-64 after holding the Magic to just 5-for-15 shooting in the third.
The fireworks came late in the quarter after Eddie House dropped a 3-pointer on Rafer Alston and Alston whacked House in the back of the head. The two squared off and were assessed double technical fouls. It was clear the officials didn’t see the play as it developed, but they reviewed it after the quarter and let the call stand.
The Celtics are doing all this despite Paul Pierce playing just 10 minute due to foul trouble. No matter. House picked up the slack for the captain, scoring 11 points and making all five of his shots. He’s 9-of-10 for the game.
Lost in all that was Rajon Rondo recording another triple double. He capped it off with a thunderous dunk right through the heart of the Magic defense. The Celtics have 12 minutes to finish off the split.
|Game 2 update: First quarter||at 8:34 pm ET|
In a complete role-reversal the Celtics have come out and taken it to Orlando in the opening quarter with a 26-21 lead. Rajon Rondo racked up eight points, there rebounds and four assists, while Ray Allen scored eight points to go with five rebounds and Kendrick Perkins–who has more than held his own against Dwight Howard–has five points and five boards. The only downside for the Celtics is Paul Pierce who picked up two quick fouls and also banged knees with Hedo Turkoglu. He was limping noticeably while he was on the court.
The Magic are being bailed out by J.J. Redick. Yes, that J.J. Redick who drained three 3-pointers and scored 11 points. Rashard Lewis, meanwhile, is just 1-for-4 from the floor and Orlando is shooting 32 percent.
There were two interesting subs by Doc Rivers. First, he brought in Brian Scalabrine for Big Baby Davis just two minutes into the quarter. Davis appeared unhappy with the move and he and Rivers had a 15-second chat on the sideline when he cane out. The other sub was when Doc called on Stephon Marbury to replace Pierce. That forced the Magic to guard three guards (hello, Chicago) and forced Turkoglu to chase Marbury around.
Also: McLovin is in the house. Repeat: McLovin is in the house.
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