Magic-Celtics: Big Night in Boston
There is no doubt tonight is going to be a nail-biter in Boston.
Tied 2-2, the Celtics-Magic series has often come down to big plays at the buzzer, the latest one being a clutch three-pointer at the last second of the fourth quarter by Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
By way of Davis's play, the Celtics secured a victory in Game 4 at Orlando and will be playing tonight at home, tempers flaring hotter as the series goes on.
Tonight, the Magic will need to call on their prowess as road warriors to secure a win in Boston. They have to give it their all, needing to win at least one, if not two on the road in order to secure their spot against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
There is no segment of the game that allows error, no time for slip-ups. The two teams are a matchup made in basketball heaven, which means there's a good chance this will be a down-to-the-buzzer game again.
The question is, who will be making the shot?
I'm going to hypothesize that the Magic have to win tonight. Why? The Celtics are 17-3 all time at home in Game 7's.
And, as Magic fans definitely remember, the Celtics were NBA Champions last year.
Both teams seem to be equal as far as intensity, toughness, and resilience go, which makes the series so hard to predict.
The statistic that seems to be bothering Magic fans the most is the missed 22-of-27 three-point attempts in Game 4. Dwight Howard may be Defensive Player of the Year, but the Celtics' defense has been on point.
In Game 4, the Magic shot just 40 percent overall while the Celtics shot 53 percent. This is going to have to change significantly in Game 5 for Orlando to win.
Point guard Rafer Alston needs to get out of his slump in order to assist his Magic—He is a cold 24 percent from the field. Rumors have been swirling that a lineup change may be in order, but as of Tuesday afternoon, head coach Stan Van Gundy wouldn't confirm.
In Game 5, Van Gundy should replace Alston with Anthony Johnson and return Courtney Lee to starting shooting guard, placing J.J. Redick on the bench. Alston's slump has to be redeemed somehow.
For all the answers to these burning questions, we'll return to our couches tonight at 8 p.m. to watch the Eastern Conference Semifinals play out on TNT.
Fourteen years ago this month, the Orlando Magic eliminated the Celtics 3-1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the last game ever played at Boston Garden.
Will the Magic come out victorious against the Celts again?
Here's to an exciting Game 5.
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