Sunday, February 7th, 2010
The Jungle – Boston, MA
2:30 PM ET Tip
Seen on: ABC
The Magic come in to today’s game reeling a little from their 1 point loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night. After being up 15 at the half, and 21 at one point in the game, they blew the lead in the 3rd quarter and it was a struggle the rest of the way. Caron Butler knocked down a tough shot from the corner for the game winner that disappointed the Magic and their fans. Today they will be looking to combat that tough loss, and will likely not let off the accelerator. The Celtics on the other hand have won 3 in a row against mediocre teams. I hope they are not thinking that because they have a little win streak going, that they can cruise through this game today. Orlando holds a record of 33-17 and Boston comes in at 32-16.
On the season series, the Magic lead 2 games to 1. The first game between the two this year was at the Garden, and the Magic jumped on the C’s quick. They got out to a huge first quarter lead, that the Celtics demolished in the 2nd quarter. In the end, coming back from as far down as they were proved to be too much work, and they lost the game in the 4th quarter. Then on Christmas Day, the Celtics went down to Orlando and beat the Magic in every aspect of the game. Boston walked out with a very respectable 86-77 win. Just a few weeks ago, the teams met for the 3rd time. In this game, the Celtics were instead the aggressor and got up big on the Magic. They held a 15 point lead late into the game, before the Magic slowly but surely pecked away at it and won on a Rashard Lewis drive by Kevin Garnett.
Today should be the first time the entire team for the Celtics is available to play. Paul Pierce participated in practice yesterday and is likely to get the nod so the entire starting 5 will be in tact. Then for the bench, it is still questionable as to whether or not he will get any playing time, but Marquis Daniels will be suiting up as well. Now let me warn you Celtics fans, that this does not mean what we see today is the final product. Obviously Daniels needs to get back in the flow of things before he can show us everything he will provide. Also, Pierce will likely be limped up still from his foot injury, and should be a little rusty. Last but not least, remember that KG has not fully got his legs back under him yet either. Therefore, I wouldn’t call this game a measuring stick by any means, since Boston will not be the same team they will be in 2 months.
As interesting of a schedule as it as been, the Celtics and Magic are done playing games against each other in early February. That is interesting because they C’s were also done playing the Hawks as of late January. Splitting the season series with the Magic will be a great thing as far as confidence, because the team knows they had their number in every game played this year. Visually, it is just much easier to take in 2-2 than it is 1-3. Also, it would be better to look back on win against Orlando, going into the playoffs, since these teams are probable to face each other in a nice 7 game series in early May.
Today’s game is a bigger game for: The Celtics – They need to prove their worth against these upper class teams of the East. 1-7 against the Magic and Hawks combined isn’t aesthetically pleasing.
For an opposing viewpoint on today’s game visit Howard The Dunk.
(Photo Via NBAYahooSports)