Orlando Sentinel reporter Brian Schmitz takes several shots at the Celtics in his latest column:
Here's what the Celtics think of the Magic: They are willing to let creaky Shaquille O'Neal and fragile Jermaine O'Neal battle Howard. Plus, they have Krstic Nenad or Nenad Krstic, who was the big man the Celtics received in the trade, along with forward Jeff Green.
The Celtics are counting on The Big Coattail — Shaq's the league's oldest player at 38 — to stay healthy enough to play, oh, four games in a row.
And when the O'Neals either need oxygen or Ace bandages, they figure Kevin Garnett or Big Baby Davis can bother Howard, which is also an indictment of Orlando's power forwards.
I like the Celtics' trade/gamble a lot — for the Magic.
It's just what they needed, judging from their playoff prospects. Howard already has the advantage against the Heat and the Bulls.
Whether Howard can get his teammates to make shots and stops without threatening their lives is a whole other story.
Nobody is saying that Perkins is Bill Russell. He didn't play major minutes, largely because he was a non-factor offensively.
But Perkins was an authentic tough guy (as opposed to KG) and anchored the Celtics' vaunted defense.
The Celtics have had success against the Magic – we've beaten them 2 out of 3 times in the playoffs – not because of Kendrick Perkins ability to guard Dwight Howard, but because of the team's overrall defensive scheme.They won't double Dwight Howard and that's not gonna change because Perk is gone or a beat writer inserts several unfunny jokes in his column.
The Celtics have enough skilled bigs to pound on Howard. If he gets 30 and 15, so be it. (Dwight torched Perk for 28 and 13 in the Magic's last game vs Boston… a game in which they lost). They Celtics prefer to stay at home on the perimeter… where you'll find the other four Magic players. And even when the Celtics help a bit in the post, they make up for it with swift defensive rotations.
The focal point of the Magic offense is Hedo Turkoglu. Many of the plays run through him. What are the odds Jeff Green will be called upon to guard Hedo in a series? Pretty damn good. And that's why I like the Celtics trade/gamble a lot — for the Celtics.
PS – It takes balls to call KG a phony tough guy when the Magic are the biggest bunch of wussies in the NBA.