Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No sweep for Boston: Orlando wins 96 - 92 in OT.

I am not a sage, basketball egg head but I think I got lucky calling it in my last post (prior to game 4);

This next game SHOULD be the best game of the series. It SHOULD be a closer game, akin to game two. Overtime is not completely unlikely. Orlando beat this Celtics team in the regular season, so it SHOULD be in the Magic's sphere of attainability. If victory is unattainable the game SHOULD be fought hard regardless. This Orlando team SHOULD feel like their back is against the wall.

I actually hit it on the head. Especially that bit about the overtime. But that is not the point. The point is we finally have a ball game and a series.

But for how long?

Orlando are too good a team to get swept in four. I really wanted Boston to win this game, believe me I am not vouching for the Orlando Magic to win the series. I just believed they had a victory in them. Unfortunately, a sloppy game by Boston in relation to their serious dip in field goal percentage (46.6 in game 3 down to 42.1% in game 4) and failure to execute when it counted led to this loss. Rondo being contained to 3 of 10 is not a good sign either. 

The fact this game went to overtime is significant for each team; Boston played badly because of missed opportunities, but is everyone missing the fact that Orlando needed to get to overtime to earn the win shooting a very average 44.6 % from the field? Peirce lost the ball on the last play, if he had hit the shot it would all be over now. Boston cut down the Magic's lead on the back of a substantial run before the final botched play in regulation that led to the Orlando overtime win. I would be more concerned if it was a regulation victory by 10 points.

But this victory has only served to give the Magic a glimmer of hope that Boston should extinguish in game 5. The Celtics will sharpen up their rotations and enter that Magic home court with purpose and need for retribution. Doc Rivers won't let them forget the simple mistakes they made that let Orlando take game 4 and the players being aware of their own part in that loss. Boston needs to go in mad, and take it all away from the Orlando Magic. It doesn't need to be a beat down like game 3, but it needs to be decisive and smothering.

Green and white for life.

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