Recap: Defenseless Celtics burned by Magic bench | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Defenseless Celtics burned by Magic bench


With a win tonight in Orlando, the Celtics had a chance to leapfrog Atlanta and Chicago into the 3rd seed in the East. But after a promising 1st quarter, the C’s parlayed poor shot selection and shaky defense into a 119-114 loss.

The Celtics started red hot (7-12 from 3) in large part because the Magic were content with going under screens for Isaiah Thomas. Orlando might want to rethink those bonuses for the scouting department. Not to be outdone by this All-Star teammate, Marcus Smart closed the quarter with 3 straight 3s and the Celtics led 32-24.

The long range shooting dried up in the 2nd quarter (1-8 and I’m holding Mike D accountable) but the Cs maintained their lead thanks to the mid-range game of Evan Turner and Orlando’s inability to, what’s the word I’m looking for… score.

Boston stretched the lead to 13 with a 10-2 at the start of the 3rd quarter but fortune faded fast. Aided by the Celtics shaky shot selection, Orlando ripped off a 16-2 run. Simply put, the Magic were out-hustling and out-executing the Celtics. The C’s took the ball to the hoop with a bit more consistency at the end of the quarter and finished knotted at 81.

C’s rediscovered their 3-point range early in the 4th, mostly due to penetration and crisper passing. But the success was short-lived because Orlando’s offense exploded. Evan Fournier (24 pts) and Mario Hezonja (17 pts) triggered a 21-5 Magic run that put this game away. Seven straight points by Marcus Smart made this a one possession game (117-114) with 14 seconds remaining, but 2 FTs by Nikola Vucevic iced the game.

This is one of those games where you wish the C’s had that one guy who could take over the offense, either by getting hot or getting to the line.


Marcus Smart scored a game high 26 points on 8-16 shooting. His scoring came in bunches: 9 straight to end the 1st and 7 straight to end the game.

Amir Johnson worked his ass off on the boards (11 rebounds, 6 offensive).


Orlando scored 72 points in the 2nd half.

Jae Crowder (5 points, 1-6 3 FG, game high -15) had one of his worst games. Felt like he rushed just about every shot.

I’ve had a few days to digest Elfrid Payton’s hair still looks absolutely ridiculous.


Smart’s triple to beat the 1st quarter buzzer


  • The Celtics made a season high 16 threes
  • The Celtics took a season high 46 threes
  • Evan Turner picked up 2 quick techs late in the 4th and was ejected

Box score

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  • art

    Another poor coaching job by Brad Stevens. In the 2nd half, three after three after three after three. Miss after miss after miss after miss. And this happens with just a few seconds gone on the shot clock. Like playground hero-ball basketball. Where were the defensive adjustments against opponents with the hot hand like Fournier. The Magic have been mightily struggling but Brad Stevens seems to be having coaching issues against bad teams or teams that he plays back-to-back. Especially regarding the ebbs and flows and the pace of professional basketball, areas that your team needs to control. Orlando had 72 in the second half. A gigantic red flag. They really do need Tom Thibodeau.

    • forever_green

      I like Brad and the loss isn’t all on him, (we’re just not that good) but Thibs would be a blessing.

      • art

        There are things Brad can control such as shot selection and the overall pace of his team’s play. It was not pretty starting in the 3rd quarter. The struggling opponent scored 72 in the second half.

        • forever_green

          I agree with that.

      • adam

        Thibs not as a head coach, the guy doesnt make too many substitutions.