Ray Allen sucked in this game. In fact, everyone sucked for 3 and a half quarters. But the C's scored 33 points in the 4th quarter… led by Stephon Marbury's 12 points and Ray Allen's clutch 3 with 1:20 left. The C's had no business winning this game. If I was a Magic fan, I'd be registering "FireStanVanGundy.com" right now.
so we get this straight: Magic go up 14, House hits a big three, Pierce
hits an And-1, SVG timeout, C's win by 4. Sound about right?
He sent that in the 1st quarter. Then the Magic went up by 14, Marbury hit the big 3 instead of House, Pierce narrowly missed the And-1, and the Celtics won by 4. Freaky.
Alright… let's not fool ourselves here. The Celtics flat out sucked for 3 and a half quarters. They have resorted to flipping a switch, which just tells me they're tired. They're pushing it as far as they can go before turning it on. It's the basketball version of "the choking game", and eventually it will cost them.
There are two parts to a 14 point comeback in the 4th quarter: great play from the comeback-er… and poor play from the comeback-er. The Orlando Magic were controlling this game in the early 4th quarter because they were going to the basket and being deliberate. Then, as the Celtics started to make their run, Orlando became Orlando again and started to go for the knockout 3. It never fell. And as the Celtics continued to ride the momentum, Orlando continued to play in their hands by getting passive, and settling for the first partially-open jumper they could find. For some reason, no one on their team or coaching staff caught on to the fact that the Celtics simply can't stop Orlando from driving to the basket. I thank them for their poor short-term memory.
On the plus side, Paul Pierce might have had his best game of the playoffs. 19 points, 9 reb, and 8 assist. It made up for a very poor game from Rondo (6 pts, 9 reb, 5 asst). Pierce carried this team. I'm surprised he only had 19. Big Baby led the way with 22.
There's not much else to say right now. Enjoy this win, Celtics fans. We didn't deserve it. The Celtics spent 38 minutes playing some of their worst basketball of the year. Luckily, we were playing the Magic. We're up 3-2, and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals looks good. Right now, I'd savor these moments. Playing like they did tonight, I don't know how many of these moments the Celtics have left this season.
After the jump, some photos from tonight's game.