Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics: Game One Preview

Jonathan MaurerCorrespondent IIMay 16, 2010

ATLANTA - MAY 10:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic shoots against Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic face a rather difficult task as they Take on the Big...Four and the Boston Celtics on May 16 at 3:30 ET on ABC. 

Dwight Howard and the Magic have pretty much steam rolled everybody in their path to this point, starting the playoffs 8-0. They swept the tough Charlotte Bobcats despite both Dwight Howard and Vince Carter struggling.

Against the Atlanta Hawks, the Magic didn't even have to break a sweat to beat them because of the Hawks' lack of effort. People don't take the Magic seriously as title contenders despite going 8-0, being the No. 2 seed in the East, and going to the NBA Finals last year.

But now against the Boston Celtics they will look to get respect by beating the Celtics and going to the NBA Finals a second straight year. 

The Boston Celtics had a pretty disappointing season, despite wining 50 games. Boston has looked at times old, slow, and tired. But the Celtics in the post have shown that despite their struggles in the regular season, that they can still compete for a championship.

Kevin Garnett has looked like the old Kevin Garnett instead of the old-ER Kevin Garnett. Ray Allen has hit shot after shot like he did before in his prime. Rajon Rondo has been nothing less then spectacular and is showing why he is one of the best point guards in the league. Now the Celtics must face a loaded Orlando Magic and must prove that they are still good enough to win the championship. 

Orlando keys to the game 

Give the ball to Dwight Howard: Kendrick Perkins is a good shot blocker with heart and determination. But the problem with Kendrick Perkins is he is 6'10 and we all know what happened when a team put their 6'10 center on the 7'0" Dwight Howard. So, I think if the Magic can keep getting the ball to Dwight Howard then it could be a very long day for the Celtics.  

Use your Bench: One of the reasons the Magic are a loaded team is their bench and the production that they get out of their bench. With guys like JJ Redick, Ryan Anderson, Jason Williams, Michael Pietrus, and Matt Barnes leading, the Magic are almost unstoppable. The Magic bench will have to step it up a notch if the Magic don't want a close one.  


Boston keys to the game

Let Wallace guard Howard: It worked when he was in Detroit, so why not with a Boston? The Celtics are going to need to guard  Dwight Howard well if they want to win this game, and Rasheed Wallace has had the most success on the Celtics team than anybody guarding Dwight Howard. 


Prediction: Orlando 118, Celtics 100


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