This post turned into a play-by-play breakdown of sorts for which I humbly apologize. However, it’s late, and I’m tired, so I’ll leave it as is for now. Read and be merry!
JVG wants to see Rondo score, Ray hit shots, and Pierce get to the line. I wish Hubie was here to say all that in the 2nd person. You see, Dick? You score on the break. You hit open shots. You get to the foul line. Now that’s just smart.
Happy to see the same starters on the floor for both teams. No Perkins suspension. Yet. And he opens the game with an ugly hook.
Rondo pushing the tempo early. Magic (Barnes) miss their first foul shot. Pierce gets tied up and pretty much travels his way out of it, and Rondo bails the possession out with a three pointer. Celtics have 2 fouls on 3 Magic possessions. Not good. Magic 2-4 at the line. Howard is such a strong rebounder. Holds off Perkins with one hand. Shades of Shaq (and probably Wilt).
They called defensive 3 seconds!
So far the Magic aren’t running their double pick and rolls, and Rondo has been able to fight over the first screen. Howard has got two dunks so far. JVG calls out Boston for allowing the dunks. And Garnett idiotically picks up foul 2 acting tough. Major credit to Dwight for changing ends so well. Howard is beating his defender down floor on every play like he went to Karl Malone college after game 3.
Pierce is guarding Lewis and has no chance in the post. Celts smalls are hitting jumpers off of nice multiple pass possessions. Boston needs to stay away from isolation plays. Pierce just wasted a possession overhandling and throwing pump fakes at Barnes. And Davis in the post makes an offensive foul on his isolation. And the classy Boston crowd starts a classy “bull – shit” chant. They’re wicked smaht.
Davis finally figures out that if you drive into Howard and jump and flail, the refs will give you free throws. Not sure if they just didn’t watch any film from the Bobcats v. Magic series, but they have avoided trying to draw fouls on Howard like he’s got the pox.
Good lord does the Prince of Persia look awful. I mean really bad. Jake Gylenhaagendaz. Ewww!
Davis scores in the paint after throwing the worlds longest shot fake. He must have been in there for 6 seconds. Pierce looks good tonight. He just got up very nice for a layup after getting up very nice for a rebound earlier.
They called a moving screen! It took a flop by Ray Allen, but after watching nothing but moving screens by both teams all series, it’s nice to see.
The Magic offense is really uneven right now. Pretty much all they’ve got going is tossing it towards Dwight and hoping he finishes the toss with a dunk. Boston is up 8 with 1:29 in the first and has a chance to really open it up if they can stay patient on offense. Rondo is keeping them running up and down to get baskets. 10 point lead! And the Cs finally give a strong foul to keep Dwight from tossing it down when he gets it in the paint. Howard BARELY caught the rim on that first free throw. Orlando is 3-7 from the stripe in the 1st quarter.
Oh crap! Crap, crap, crap crap! Rondo just launched himself at the basket, got wiped out by Howard, and landed really awkwardly. I’m hoping he’s pulling a Paul Pierce here and is fine, but that looked bad… After the commercial break he’s up and making free throws. 11 Boston point lead with 30 seconds left. Redick misses a J, and every Celtic is in the paint rebounding. Quarter ends on a missed Rondo jumper. Lead remains 11.
I like what I’m seeing so far. Boston is giving up some interior looks, but they are all over the three point shooters. They are pushing the pace to get some points before the Orlando halfcourt defense can lock them down.
ESPN is still trying to convince me that I care about soccer… wrong!
The embarrassing pre-2nd quarter interview with SVG – We gotta get back on defense. Insight!
Nate Robinson opens the 2nd at PG. Misses a three but Davis gets the board and put back. Boston continues to push the pace. Whew! SVG’s voice is giving out 14 minutes into the game. Get that man a Spell ‘N Speak! Boston is missing layups at one end, and Carter is being aggressive and getting brutally heckled on both ends. I really want to see Nate jump directly over Howard for a dunk contest throw down. And Nate tosses in a three as I type about him! Lead is up to 12.
Rondo is lying on the floor stretching his back. I don’t like that at all. Robinson runs a nice pick and roll with KG for a Big Ticket dunk, and Dwight picks up an offensive foul trying to shoulder through Wallace. Nate called for a questionable call comes down and nails another 3. 15 point lead. He is whining on every call. Badly. Worse than most Celtics even. Particularly since he’s grabbing Nelson on every play. Garnett is cleaning up the offensive boards now that Howard is out with two fouls, pushing the lead to 17 with a tip in, and SVG sends Dwight back into the game.
I’m enjoying Boston’s nice play immensely after Game 5, and the Magic aren’t working their double pick and roll system and showing the hustle and desire that got them back into the series. The Celtics need to push this lead to at least 20 before the Magic get back to the game plan. A lucky fan got to take a layout charge from Redick and Garnett as they dove for a loose ball rebound. And he’s okay! And it’s Boston ball! Pierce converts on a one on one. 19 point lead. Allen pressures Carter into a TO, and Nate Robinson draws a breakaway flagrant foul on Jameer. Bad call. After the free throws Boston is up 46 – 25 with the ball side out. The Celts are definitely getting some homecooking in the first half.
Howard continues to destroy Garnett in the post, and Nate comes back with another jumper! 10 first half points for Robinson. Didn’t see that coming! Rondo is getting wrapped around the hips by the trainers and continues to lie on the floor like Steve Nash does. Wallace stuffs Howard at the rim, and Robinson hits a running fall away in transition. Just about all of Nate’s shot attempts have been ill-advised, but he’s hitting everything. Robinson splits a trap on a pick and roll and challenges Howard at the rim! Howard is called for a push foul, but I think they could just as easily have called a ward off on Nate. 1 for 2 on free throws. Boston up 51 – 32. White chocolate hits a three to bring the lead down to 16.
Rondo back in with 3:30 to play in the half. Carter gets a layup with no contest. 14 point game. Ray gets the two back off a layup with a silent assist to a moving screen by Perk. Looks like Rondo is going to try to get Pierce going. Hits him in the deep post. Foul on Barnes. Lead back to 18. Wow. The Celtics really are a bad influence. Even Ray Allen is disputing obvious fouls that he commits. Carter cans a 3 off a Barnes drive and kick to cut it to 14. Celts miss two more bunnies. Carter bailed out on a terrible fadeaway by a stupid Perkins foul. Carter splits a pair. First half ends Boston 55 – Magic 42.
Awesome interview by Nate Robinson, crediting Jesus Christ for allowing him to come off the bench and hit a bunch of jump shots. Water into wine? Watch Him turn a me-first side show into a playoff hero! Now if he could bring Rasheed’s jump shot back to life, we’d be set!
I’m not comfortable with a 13 point lead after that half. Cs need to push it to 20 in the first couple minutes of the 2nd. ESPN flashes a quick stat: Nate and Rondo combined for 25 points in the first half. Nate’s 13 points are the difference in the game.
Magic start the 3rd with a double screen for Jameer, but the Celtics sniff it out, and Perkins is in position to fight Howard off his spot when the ball swings to the post. KG hits a jumper off a downscreen. 15 point lead. Howard gets 2 off a nice lefty hook. Ray for 3 with no time on the clock. 16 point lead. Howard has a hook rim off. Ray with a corner 3. Lead is 19. This is how the Celtics build big leads. Lock down team defense and one of their perimeter guys getting hot on offense. It’s a difficult system to count on because it requires someone to catch fire, but when it happens they can flat out crush opponents. Think game 6 against LA in 2008. Also Ray Allen’s mom stole Dennis Rodman’s hair.
Allen’s forcing it now. Magic’s only points 6:30 into the second is a Howard lefty hook. Pierce hits a 3. Lead is 22. Pierce forces a 3. Enough with the heat checks! Dwight hits a second lefty shot. Great Boston play at the other end! A KG / Ray high pick and roll draws 3 defenders, and Rondo makes a terrific cut to the hoop drawing a foul. Misses both free throws pretty badly. Redick comes in, gets a steal immediately and starts a play that ends in a Nelson 3. Lead is 17. JJ has really been balling in this series. Playing himself into a nice contract. KG hits another jumper. Bad play by Lewis at the other end. Carter drives and draws the entire defense into the paint. Kicks to Rashard. Rashard turns down the open 3 to try to reenter the ball to Carter who is still covered. TO. Rondo travels at the other end, and Howard gets an And 1 with a dunk as Garnett just waives him. 16 point lead. 5:30 left. Redick rides Ray out of bounds for a foul drawn. Lead is 18.
Nelson is missing shots in Boston that he made in Orlando. What did I say? Those Marbury step-back threes will eventually bite your team. Pierce cans two free throws to bring the lead back to 20. Garnett just had a fantastic defensive sequence. Switched onto Carter on a pick and roll. Forced a pass out to Lewis on a failed drive. Lewis gave it back to Carter who drives again, and Garnett shadows him all the way down and blocks the shot at the rim. Well, I guess it’s a goal tend, but it was still impressive.
Boston fans slip on the class-suits again with a Howard Sucks chant following a hard foul on Paul Pierce. Howard gets a dunk and waives on the boos. 18 point game. Rivers all for time. Garnett cans another jumper off a cross screen out of the time out. The Boston front court continuous to protect the defensive glass with gang rebouding. Pierce has 11 at the 2 minute mark of the 3rd quarter. Perk gets called for a moving screen finally. Doesn’t make a peep.
Boston with incredibly active scramble defense capped by a Davis block on a Nelson runner. Pierce draws a foul in delayed transition. Makes both FTs and the lead is 80 – 58 after a Carter runner. After a mad scramble, Pietrus hits a 3. Lead back to 19. Pierce hits a turnaround archer over Howard. Bass misses at the buzzer. Boston up 82 – 61 going into the 4th.
Kryptonate in to start the 4th, and Pierce cans a 3 on the first possession. 2 quick fouls called on Boston. Magic passing is getting sloppy, but Vince bails them out. Celtics have stopped running offense. Just gunning from the outside. It’s early but Rivers may need a time out. Pierce settles them down with some screaming. Robinson not hitting those threes anymore, but they are good, open shots. Great foul by Nate Robinson (with an assist from Pierce) to stop Howard from throwing it down in transition. Howard misses both free throws. Lewis hits a three off a horrible moving screen from Howard. Lead is 20. Baby gets away with pushing Howard on the next Magic possession. Refs have switched from calling ticky-tacks to letting it get a little rough out there.
Seriously, they couldn’t have found somebody, you know, Persian to play in the Prince of Persia? Or even Asian. Hell, I’d take an Itialian!
Boston playing good d, but having their shots rim out. Magic with a series of turnovers. Rondo comes back, and Robinson leaves to a nice cheer. Looks like Doc wants the offense run a little tighter. Howard back to the line hits 1 of 2. 19 point lead. Pierce with a lazy pass leads to an Allen foul in transition. Redick hits two free throws (I wrote hat before he shot them). 17 point lead. 7 minutes left. Pierce ends a 5 minutes scoring drought for Boston with a buzzer-beating 3. Boston by 20. Premature chants of Beat LA start in the TD Garden and Dwight prepares to split a pair of free throws. Magic score on an offensive board dunk by Howard. Celtics 24 second violation. 17 point lead with 6 minutes left.
Carter misses a 3, and Perkins gets a great rebound while blocking Howard totally out of the play. Celtics are short on their jumpers but hitting the boards on the long rebounds. Another rim out for Ray Allen leads to a Redick 3. 14 point game. Pierce comes back and abuses Vince with a dribble spin move pull up at the elbow. Redick makes a play to Nelson at the other end and then gets a steal. Rondo hits a runner the other way as Carter hurts his leg, or decides to quit. We’ll see after the time out. 16 point lead with 3:30 left in the game. Dwight in the paint. Easily a 3 second call, but he hits another lefty shot. Ray misses a corner 3. Rashard misses a 3. The Seattle Sonics connection!
2:12 Pierce draws a foul up 14. Celts use clock. Rondo misses a J, and Allen runs over Redick for the putback. 16 point game. Magic turnover. Celts run the clock to 1 before Perk hits a short corner J from about 9 feet. 18 point lead with 1:23 left. BEAT L-A starts again. White Chocolate hits a running scoop. Ray Allen dribbles it out for a 24 second violation. The arenas is ready to explode when this thing ends.
Ex-Knicks 1994 NBA Finalists, Rivers and Ewing (Magic Assistant Coach) hug it out at half-court, as the Celtics move onto the 2010 NBA Finals. Pierce credits Nate Robinson with the win while Perkins and Garnett scowl in their EC Champion caps in the background.
Dwight played a great last 4 games. Big time props to him. Nobody else was consistent on that team except for Redick who just isn’t good enough to carry an offense alone. I think this Magic team is championship caliber, but their live by the 3, die by the 3 game needs to add a more reliable easy shot producing component than just forcing it to Howard. Wilt needed a West. Kareem needed Oscar and Magic. Hakeem needed Mad Max and the Glide. Shaq needed Penny, Kobe, and Wade. Duncan needed Elliot, Manu, and Toni. Howard needs that guy, and I don’t think many people really bought that it would be Vince Carter. Maybe 2001 Vince Carter, but not now. Nelson isn’t as effective on the road so it’s not him. But with Boston getting older, the path may clear up some next year all by itself. Or Wade and LeBron could join the Knicks or Heat together and win 6 straight EC Finals.