The Celtics played extremely well last night. Great defensive intensity. Crisp ball movement (34 assists on 41 baskets). Pounded the paint (40 points, and one fantastic effort by Perk). And most importantly, they never let up. They didn't allow Orlando to creep back and take one morsel of optimism from this game. All this with minimal output from the Captain.
But this was a must-win game for the C's. So all those green pom-pom waving fans (I couldn't believe the over-reaction by callers and hosts on WEEI this morning) need to keep their enthusiasm in check. Dwight Howard will be better in Games 3 and 4. The Magic will shoot better at home. Odds are, this series will be tied 2-2 coming into Game 5 (tickets on sale today).
I remain adamant that Rafer Alston should be suspended for slapping Eddie House. Here's Alston's explanation:
"Eddie made the shot," Alston said. "I'm standing out of bounds, letting him run by, he runs by, shoots an elbow at me. "It was just a natural reaction. I tried to get to him, grab him before he ran back down the court."
I never saw House's "elbow." But the Globe's Julian Benbow says it's "visible in replays, but the intent is debatable." Losing Alston would be a major blow to the Magic. Anthony Johnson cannot check Rajon Rondo for 30+ minutes.
Today's Links: Globe – C's Stand Tall with Pierce Sitting | Nice Rebound for Celts | Looking Like Old Selves | Rondo Revs Up Early | Magic Rested on Defense | Herald – House Party | House Howlingly Good | Rondo Slams Point | Successful Inside Job | Orl. Sentinel – Loss Leaves Scar |Fanhouse – Desperation Fuels C's Fire