Celtics Clown Magic
An unprovoked Jason Terry came into Saturday’s contest proclaiming that Boston needed one win to solidify the 7th seed in the East and went out of his way to say that the Magic were “terrible” and that tonight was a must-win game. The ‘Jet’ was left out of action by Doc Rivers probably because he didn’t enjoy his player’s comments. However, the Magic didn’t disprove Terry’s opinion. Boston annihilated the Magic 120-88 inside Amway Center behind 20 points from former Magic man Courtney Lee as 7 of their players reached double digit scoring. Orlando never had the lead and were down by as many as 37 points.
In a bit of a surprise, Jacque created his 28th starting lineup of the season by replacing Nicholson with O’Quinn in the starting lineup and once again benching the struggling E’Twaun Moore in favor of sliding Harkless and Harris to the SG and SF spots. Boston sprinted to a 9-0 run to open the contest as the Celtics were flat out dominating both ends of the court from start to finish. It didn’t help that Orlando began the evening 1-of-9 from the field. The Magic would eventually settle into the game and trailed 23-17 after one quarter.
Coach Vaughn on Magic’s struggles: “I think just the aggressive nature that Boston came out with put us back on our heels, and we talked about that at the beginning of the game is that they were going to come out with an approach that was very serious, very business-like and they did. Great lesson for us going forward.”
Orlando hung around despite thirty-two percent shooting from the field. What the Magic wouldn’t survive was the second period 15-0 run from the visiting Celtics. Vucevic hurting his left wrist didn’t help matters as the Magic went down 19 with 2:02 remaining in the half by the time Nik returned. Orlando trailed 57-37 at the break.
Coach Vaughn on how his team can put together consecutive wins: “Just realizing that every game is a game within itself and you have to prepare yourself and that starts at the beginning of the day, thinking about your matchup, thinking about game plan and that way when things don’t go the way you want them to, maybe shots don’t go in, you have a place of calm because you’ve prepared yourself.”
Boston just refused to miss from anywhere as evidenced by their 56.5 FG% shooting that would only bump higher in the final period. Orlando trailed 85-64 heading into those last 12 minutes. The situation would’ve been more hopeless had Tobias not gone off for 16 points and Vucevic ten in that third period. No reason to view any of the ugliness of the last quarter other than Doron Lamb tallying 11 points. Orlando now has one last home game on Monday against the Chicago Bulls in what is known as ‘Fan Appreciation Night’. Nothing but pride at stake as 20-60 Orlando has lost at Amway Center eight times by 24+ points this season.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.