Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
“They really have [stolen the
momentum],’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “They stole [Game 4] in Boston,
which we had a chance to close out but didn’t do it. They played better
than us tonight, no excuses. We’re just going to get on the plane and
hopefully everybody gets their rest, and we’ll show up and be ready at
our place. We need to win one game. And let’s hope it’s the next one.’’
But it won’t be up to Rivers. The fate of
this season is on the players. The Magic weren’t as mentally weak as
they appeared in Game 3, and maybe the Celtics weren’t as strong. Their
strength will be further tested with how they respond from this jarring
turn of events.
A lot will
be determined today. Davis and Daniels will have to pass neurological
tests in order to be cleared to play. The NBA will review Perkins’s
technicals — both called by much-maligned Eddie F. Rush — and could
rescind one or both, allowing Perkins to play.
Anyone else still as confident as me? The Celtics will close out this series on Friday night… provided they have enough bodies.
The league says it plans to review both of Perk's technical fouls and have a decision by this afternoon. I'd be stunned if one wasn't rescinded (which still means Perk needs to be on his best behavior for the remainder of the playoffs).
route for the exit. "I'll be back next game. [Expletive]. That's all you
need to print."
Concussions are tricky. We might not know about Davis' status for Game 6 until late Friday. He also lost a tooth from the elbow.
Rasheed Wallace tweaked his back. I'm guessing he'll be ready to go.
Why am I confident? The Magic still need TWO more wins. And the Celtics look pretty pissed off right now.
On Page 2, JJ Redick says the Magic have "figured out" the Celtics.
"Just another great effort, and obviously offensively we were a lot
better," Redick said. "We've played the last six quarters very well
offensively; we've pretty much figured out what works against them and
what doesn't, so that makes a huge difference."
Orlando had its best 3-point shooting game of the series, going
13-for-25, with Jameer
Nelson leading a more balanced attack than the Magic had in any of
the first four games with 24 points. Dwight
Howard added 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, even knocking
down half his free throws when the Celtics began intentionally fouling
him with about seven minutes left in a last-ditch effort to climb back.
I'd like to think the Magic success over the past two games is more about effort than scheme. Sure, they have become more effective getting Dwight Howard the ball in pick-and-rolls, but like Doc has said repeatedly, they aren't doing anything different.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Big problems may leave large hole | Pierce took a pounding | Herald – Howard gets physical | Perk's Ts a big issue | Beating earned in full | CSNNE – Magic potion to success | Cs may be without Davis, Perkins, Wallace | ESPN Boston – Celtics say they'll be alright | WEEI – Howard's elbows a problem | 3 things that went wrong and right |