|Starbury to the rescue||05.13.09 at 1:05 am ET|
On Tuesday night, Glen Davis felt like he was back in high school, watching one of his NBA idols tear it up on the floor.
Only this time, Davis had a much better view than on TV. Davis was playing next to Stephon Marbury as the reserve guard came off the bench to re-energize his Celtic teammates at the most crucial point of the playoffs so far, helping deliver a stunning 92-88 come-from-behind win over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 at the Garden.
“I grew up watching Stephon Marbury,” Davis said. “And there’s no doubt, I know he can play this game. Everyone’s seen Stephon Marbury play this game. He’s just got to get into the rhythm and the flow of our team. It’s hard to come from a (place) where he dominated the ball when he played as a star in this league and to come to where there’s a system and you’ve got to pass and create.”
Marbury scored 12 points in 14 minutes and helped the Celtics finally find their groove against an Orlando defense that looked solid, if not dominant, for three quarters. Read the rest of this entry »
|Game 5: Third quarter update||05.12.09 at 9:53 pm ET|
After three, the Magic have a 67-59 lead. We’ve played 36 minutes and the Celtics have yet to get into any kind of a groove offensively outside of Paul Pierce, who has scored 17 points and looks like the captain of old. Fortunately for the Celtics, the Magic have not been able to pull alway despite holding Boston to just 36 percent shooting.
It’s been a strange game to say the least. Rafer Alston is having his best game of the series by far with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists and Rashard Lewis has been able to score at will, and still Orlando can’t get any distance between it and the Celtics.
Other notes: With 6:32 left, Rajon Rondo picked up his fourth foul on a drive to the basket when Marcin Gortat stepped in to take the charge. Stephon Marbury replaced him but after missing two shots (including a wide-open 3-pointer) Doc Rivers subbed in Eddie House. Pierce was the nominal point guard, but it was another missed opportunity for Marbury.
The Celtics were able to get untracked a little after Dwight Howard went to the bench with his third foul. Howard has scored only six points, but he has 16 rebounds and has been a hulking presence in the lane. He has essentially been operating as a floating zone. He’s back out there to start the fourth.
Outside of Rondo, Rivers didn’t go to his bench once in the third quarter. Brian Scalabrine is in for Glen Davis, but Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Ray Allen have gone the distance. Allen is still struggling (2-for-9).
|Game 5: Energy shift||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.
|Game 5: First quarter update||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.
The second unit is for the Celtics. Kendrick Perkins and Pierce are the only starters to start the second quarter with Brian Scalabrine, Stephon Marbury and Eddie House.
|Game 5: Early update||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.
|‘Wild run’ continues for Celtics, Rivers||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 »
|Scal misses practice with flu||at 12:28 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Already down Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, the Celtics are dealing with two more health concerns to their front court.
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.”