The Magicians' Secret: Can Boston Put a Stop to the Magic's Tricks?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2010

CLEVELAND - MAY 03:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics looks on while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 3, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Boston won the game 104-86 to tie the series 1-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

When you think of past and present magicians, many names come to mind.  David Blaine, Criss Angel, and of course, the legendary Harry Houdini.

However, when you think of basketball magic, one team pretty much knows how to cast a spell like no other in the NBA.

It's the Boston Celtics, and fortunately for us as fans, they promise more excitement than a straight hour of a guy sitting in an underwater box.  Yes, the Boston Celtics are the epitome of potential, excitement, and above all else, hope.

Looking around various professional sports Web sites, I've noticed quite an alarming trend.  Everyone has written the Boston Celtics off.  ESPN has done it, Yahoo Sports has done it, and even trusty, old has become victims to what is the "Orlando Magic spell."

But can we really blame the professionals? 

After all, it is rather hard to argue with an unbeaten playoff run and a roster filled with some of the brightest and biggest names in the entire NBA.

Still, I can't help but feel that Boston has been a little underrated lately.  Sure, we all know they were outstanding for the most part against the Cleveland Cavaliers and their work rate has been tremendous, but what does Orlando have that Boston simply doesn't?

Well, it's fairly simple really—Vince Carter and Dwight Howard. Although Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are at their very best right now, comparing these two guys to Carter and Howard is like comparing Oasis to The Beatles, they simply lack in comparison right now.

It's funny when you think about it, this time two years ago the Boston Celtics were in the Orlando Magic's position and were heavy favorites in the Eastern Conference.  Now, the tides have changed, but fortunately for Boston the all-too-steady boat hasn't been left stranded on the shore.

No, Boston's confidence is sky high and given that Boston's current best player Rajon Rondo simply outperformed LeBron James in five of the six-game series, is there any wonder why the Celtics appear to be motivated and energized?

When you think of the past Boston Celtics, a few statements come to mind.  I'm not talking about Garnett's famous "Anything's possible" line, I'm talking about Boston's mindset.

Dominating is the first word that pops up, and the word "underdogs" simply weren't in the Celtics vocabulary two years ago.

Nowadays, the word "underdogs" are ever so prevalent, and it seems just when fans write Boston off, they come back in a flurry that leaves just about everyone except Lakers fans more than impressed.

Therefore, keep underestimating the Boston Celtics, it keeps the team happy. Rondo likes to be underestimated when shooting, Paul Pierce's defensive abilities like to be overlooked, and Garnett's "old age" argument simply doesn't put him off stride.

Yes, the 2010 Celtics feed off being underestimated.  We all know they are a dominant and an experienced team,  but when they matchup with a powerhouse and ever so promising Orlando Magic outfit, the Celtics become an instant write-off for many people.

An interesting line was once quoted to me before a football game: "It isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." 

Relating the Celtics to a dog may seem a bit harsh to some, but this dog has a whole ton of fight—and a whole ton of pride.

Can Boston draw a rabbit from the hat in Orlando?  Of course they can, but hopefully the magic is weaved early on to avoid any form of failure.

A tough task lies ahead, but the Boston Celtics are magicians when it comes to upsets.