Archive for May 25th, 2010
Orlando Magic had to pull out their best arsenal, but they pushed the Boston Celtics into overtime and won game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series 96-92. No matter who you cheer up for, at the end, you really need to give it up to head coach Stan van Gundy and the Orlando Magic for working their way back from a 3-0 deficit. They knew all along that no team has made a successful comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Even more, they were playing at Boston and not much was expected from Orlando’s starting cast. But it really didn’t matter much.
Dwight Howard finally woke up from his lethargic performances early in the series and just kept on attacking in the paint. He recorded 32 points, and 16 boards and 4 blocks. Jameer Nelson finished with 23 points and 9 assists, including back to back three-pointers in overtime to secure the Orlando Magic’s Victory.
Now, we are still to know what how handicappers in the sportsbook industry are going to react to Orlando’s Comeback. As of press-time most books are still to put up their lines for game 5. And there is an explanation for the delay: Orlando’s comeback was quite a surprise. We can’t forget that the Boston Celtics were a -7 point favorite in game #4. The Celtics had been so dominant during the series that the fans in the Celtics stadiums were already chanting “Beat L.A.”.
Now, let’s take a look at the Boston Celtics numbers. Sure, Jameer Nelson and Howard buckled up and really guided the Magic. But that wouldn’t had been a problem had Boston played well. Now, Paul Pierce came in with 32 points and 11 boards, while Kevin Garnett hit 14 points and 12 rebounds. Ray Allen was capable of completing consecutive 3 pointers in overtime. But Paul Pierce missed two consecutive shots from the three-point line. He was a bit short on both. He was just a bit too exhausted to perform at his best. And it was as if the Celtics just couldn’t keep attacking.
Rajon Rondo was nowhere to be seen in the offensive end during the 4th quarter and overtime. He did not attack the rim. And the team suffered from it. Sure he had to get some treatment late in the first half, because of muscular spasms. So we could assume that his low numbers were due to Rondo not been in his best shape ever. Still, one would expect a bit more then 9 points and 8 assists from such a talented player.
The Boston Celtics should have sweep the Magic. They didn’t. Now they have to face the Magic, who is still to make it back from a very 3-1. No other NBA team has made it, taking game four is the 1st step. Now they have home-team advantage for game 5. So all there is left is to wait and see if the Magic can keep up with their good performance, and if they could be the first NBA team to recover from a 3-0 deficit and make it into the NBA Finals.