Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here…
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
Would you believe 27-3?
Yes, 27-3. That's not a typo. That's their mark in a slate in which
18 of the 30 opponents were playoff teams. And before you dismiss the
most recent opposition so easily, remember that the Hawks team they
handled so easily won more games than Boston, San Antonio and Portland
and as many as Denver and Utah. In fact the Hawks beat all of those
teams at least once, as well as the Lakers and Suns, and swept Boston
So the Magic have beat a lot of good teams. Actually, that's an
understatement. They aren't just beating people — they're killing them.
Twenty of the 27 wins have been by double figures, and many were
one-sided beatdowns — such as the wins by 43 and 30 over Atlanta in
Games 1 and 3. Monday's win, by a mere 14, barely moved the needle on
their average victory margin.
See if you can wrap your heads around this one: Orlando has
outscored opponents by a whopping 421 points over its past 30 games. To
put this in perspective, the Lakers, Suns and Celtics — who could be
the other three teams left standing when the conference finals start
next week — didn't outscore the opposition by 421 points over the
entirety of the 82-game regular season, much less in the final 30 games
You want the bright side to these stats? Here goes:
- The Magic are due for a loss(es).
- The Magic haven forgotten what it takes to execute down the stretch of close games.
- Because they've cruised through the first two rounds, the Magic don't have the same playoff intensity as the Celtics who are coming off a grueling series with Cleveland.
How did I do?
On Page 2, the secret to Tony Allen's playoff success.
blue-collar guys and we have to come in aggressive, knowing what the
schemes are that we have for the team and playing every possession hard
like it’s our last.”
“Tom Thibodeau has been great (in) both series,” Allen said of the C’s
assistant coach and defensive whiz. “Every time I listened to him, I was
able to stay on the floor. So I’m listening to Tom Thibodeau as much as
The Celtics will need TA's stellar defensive play again in this series. He's got to stick with Vince Carter, Mikael Pietrus and JJ Reddick, especially on the perimeter.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Perk set for more big stuff | Guarded optimism for Nelson, Magic | Finley says James knows the score | Herald – Cs/Magic matchups | Doc had right diagnosis | ESPN Boston – Formula for success | CSNNE – Magic present new challenges | WEEI – Baby won't look back at 'Shovegate' | Celtics Hub – Barnes on Ray, not Pierce | Celtics Blog – Beware 3rd quarter collapse |