|Game 3: Early update||05.08.09 at 7:26 pm ET|
At the first media timeout, the Magic are running the Celtics off the court and have an early 14-6 lead. Orlando has clearly been the aggressor, making seven of their first 10 shots, while the C’s are shooting just 2-for-10 and settling for jump shots. J.J. Redick picked up two quick fouls, which brought in rookie Courtney Lee who missed the first two games of the series.
There’s been a lot of contact early, but few calls and this crowd is energized. As my can driver so presciently pointed out there is a feeling that the Magic aren’t getting the proper respect, and the fans around us have been helpfully pointing out how much the Celtics are getting away with off the ball.
|Game 3: Setting the scene||at 7:10 pm ET|
The Magic gave out a bunch of those clapper things to fans and they are up and ready. One of them even took the time to tell Rajon Rondo how little he thinks of him during the national anthem. The Magic mascot, who appears to be a mammal of indiscriminate genus and species, descended from the rafters and there were some fireworks to cap it all off, which have left a haze over the court. The fireworks were much like the ones the Celtics used to use until the commissioner urged them not to.
So, we’re ready to go.
|Live from Orlando||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|
WALTHAM – If you think that Celtics coach Doc Rivers thinks Orlando’s Rafer Alston should be suspended for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semis Friday night, think again.
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 »
|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.