BOS 102 – ORL 98: Word Around the Web
Both teams were missing key cogs in their basketball machines, it just so happened that one of those missing keys happens to be named Dwight Howard. Orlando was still missing Dwight, Hedo and Boston was without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. Big Baby continued to play well in his starting role, scoring 27 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Paul Pierce and the rest of the Celtics.
Let’s take a stroll around the blogosphere to see what others are saying about the game…
Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk discusses the Magic having a chance late:
“Orlando had their chances late – they had two great looks to tie the game with just over (and under) two minutes to play, but neither J.J. Redick or Jameer Nelson could knock down an open three-pointer. Despite then falling behind by six, Orlando cut Boston’s once 13-point lead to two on a Davis steal-and-score, but Pierce knocked down a typical Paul Pierce jumper with seven seconds left and iced the game with two free throws about five seconds later.”
Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily discusses the gritty effort and purpose of the team:
“The last few games though have shown a level of effort and determination that it has not been able to show day in and day out this year. This team needs its superstar back. But it needs him while the rest of the team plays with this much urgency and effort and this much motion and grit offensively. That might be the unfortunate truth. The good news is that right now this team is playing hard. It looks like the team has purpose again.”
SB Nation’s CelticsBlog points out that Orlando’s miscues cost them:
“As Orlando covered ground quickly and managed to get within 1 point of the C’s, Pierce took the team on it’s back again with some vintage moves, allowing us to keep a decent lead. Rebounding as a whole however let us down significantly during this stretch, giving the Magic ample opportunity to finish us off.
Luckily, they failed.
Really, Orlando was their own worst enemy down the stretch, fumbling the ball, turning it over and missing open layups. Pierce capitalized, coming up big on the final possessions, scoring and making his freebies, allowing us a 102-98 win.”
Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball.net points out the loss isn’t that bad for playoff seeding:
“If you like to look farther ahead, not only would the Magic draw Indiana in the first round as a No. 6 seed but the Miami Heat loom on that side of the playoff bracket, too. If Orlando were able to get past the Pacers, there’s no question they would have a puncher’s chance against the Heat. But again, that is contingent on Dwight being healthy and able to play.”
It’s another loss without Dwight and Hedo, but the team played tough on the road against a team that they have been terrible against all year. “Moral victory”. The loss essentially ensures Orlando the 6th seed and it’s best overall playoff matchup with the Indiana Pacers.
Next game: Saturday night in Utah against a Jazz team that is fighting to remain in the playoffs.