The Orlando Magic seemed to have trouble playing the part of the poodle Friday night. A poodle is what Paul Pierce claimed the Magic were when facing the so called “German Shepherd” Lakers. Pierce went on to claim “the rottweiler Celtics will be back in 2010.”
A lot of big talk for a bitter player sitting at home tweeting during the finals, don't ya think? Pierce had his first chance to back up all that talk in the first meeting between the Magic and Celtics. Never happened.
During the playoffs, Kevin Garnett sat on the sidelines in his pretty little suit helpless as can be but barking as he usually does. I recall Garnett pointing at his wrist signaling it's about that time. Really Kev, what time is it? Garnett couldn't help but watch as his teammates suffered a defeat in Game Seven against the Orlando Magic. In Boston, nonetheless.
On Friday night, Garnett witnessed the wrath of the Magic first hand. Garnett's bark proved louder than his bite.
The Orlando Magic refuse to back down from any team in the NBA. The Orlando Magic continue to play chameleon. Known to be an high powered three-point shooting team, the Magic nevertheless won on stifling defense. Many people probably don't realize that last season, the Magic finished first in defensive efficiency in the NBA.
On Friday Night, the Celtics wanted to play hard nosed defense and keep the score low. The Magic played “Celtic basketball” and came away with the victory on Boston's home court. The Magic'sdefense held Boston to a incredible 34.5 percent from the field and 10.5 percent from three-point land.
The 34.5 percent shooting is the lowest Boston has shot since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined the team in 2007.
The Magic can adapt to any style of offense or defense teams want to play. They'll match teams in a shoot out like it did when it recently beat the Suns 122-100, and they can grind it out on the defensive end like it did against the Celtics.
Last season, teams were quick to overlook the Magic. And the Magic relished the opportunity to fly under the radar. This season, teams would be smart to not overlook a team that won 59 regular season games, defeated the then NBA Champions in the Conference Semifinals, and sent King James and his Cavs home early in the Conference Finals.
This is a notice to the NBA that the Eastern Conference champs are back. They are on the move. The Magic are not German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pitbulls, and they most certainly are not Poodles. However, the Magic will be more than happy to play the role of the underdog once more.