Orlando Magic 96 Boston Celtics 89
TD Garden – Boston, MA
February 7, 2010
A regulation NBA game consist of 48 minutes, today the Boston Celtics came out and played 36 of those. The problem lied in the third quarter. Like they have in past games the C’s jumped out to an early eleven point halftime lead and seemed to be well on their way to a huge win over the Magic. Thanks in part to an embarrassing third quarter effort, being outscored 36-11 in the third, and a 25-2 run the Magic were able to defeat the Celtics by the score of 96-89.
Vince Carter led the Magic with 20 points while all Magic starters finished in double figures. The Magic went to their roots when the game was on the line and finished the night on 11-22 shooting from behind the arc. Rajon Rondo, the all-star, once again led the offensive charge with 17 points and 9 assists. It isnot a coincidence that Rondo was not on the floor for the majority of the Magic’s 25-2 third quarter run.
We have all heard the term “Celtics Basketball” and that is what we saw in the first half, and even in the final quarter. The guys looked and played like the team we expect them to play like. The offense was flowing led by the always surprising Rajon Rondo, and the defense showed signs of being that dominant defense that we have come to know and love.
For the first time since the preseason the core group of players on the team were suited up and ready for action. Paul Pierce, and Marquis Daniels, both got the approval from Doc to play and participated in what seemed to be regular minutes. Pierce tallied 30 minutes on the night while Daniels had 13 off the bench.
The problem, like mentioned above, was the inability to play 48 minutes off great basketball. The third quarter was disgusting to watch, the C’s got completely handled by the Magic and looked like a team destined to get the first pick in next year’s NBA draft. The defense was standing around like a lost child, and watching the offense was like watching paint dry.
Don’t take anything away from the Magic, they played terrific defense during the second half, but there is no reason the Celtics should have lost this game. This game did nothing but create more questions surrounding the mental toughness and focus of this team. Apparently we aren’t the only one’s that aren’t happy. Doc Rivers had this to say following the game.
Via Celtics Twitter:
“We played like crap. I thought we lacked discipline. We tend to be front runners. It’s rare to outscore a team in 3 Qtrs and lose. Orlando is better than us right now. Atlanta is better than us. The Lakers are better than us right now.”
Interesting Doc, maybe you should have gave this speech at halftime to avoid blowing ANOTHER game we should have won. As disappointing as this loss is I still truly believe the Celtics are a much better team on paper than the Magic. Three out of the four games this season the Celtics have had the clear advantage for most of the game, yet couldn’t pull it off when it mattered. If the guys in green can ever find enough focus for 48 minutes I still believe they are one of the top three teams in the league, along with the Lakers and Cavaliers.
The Celtics are now 32-17 on the season and look to get back on the right track Wednesday against the Hornets. For opinion from the winning side visit Howard The Dunk. Also make sure to tune into the Celtics Late Night Show tonight at 11pm for more opinion about the game.
Photos Via Yahoo Sports