May 16, 2010, 4:34 PM EDT
The Celtics lead 41-32 at the half of Game 1 behind a defensive performance that was stunning. If you’re going to write a book on playing championship level defense, you want to start by looking at what the Celtics did for a long stretch from the opening tip until about the seven minute mark of the second. They held the Magic to 34% shooting and 0% from three point land. They swarmed over the top on drives for blocks, knocked the ball out of bounds routinely, scrambled for every loose ball, and effectively shut the Magic completely out.
The Magic are really only hanging on account of Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat. The Celtics routinely left Gortat open and he shredded the middle of the lane. Carter on the other hand, simply attacked. But Carter had three turnovers, part of 12 for Orlando.
The Celtics have everything going on offense. In addition to Ray Allen routinely walking to the layup line like it was 1999, Tony Allen has continued his stellar play. Rasheed Wallace put the exclamation mark on the Celtics ridiculous shooting ability nailing a three with a defender standing all up on him. Kendrick Perkins hit spot-ups, for God’s sake.
Everything going Boston’s way, but they’re only up nine. If Orlando doesn’t start getting the ball moving on offense and play sharper, they’re going to be facing a Boston team with all the answers and a captured homecourt advantage.
- World Cup Preview: USA vs. Finland, what to expect 1
- James Harden on Kobe Bryant return: “He’s 20-year-old Kobe” 23
- Chris Paul discusses his signature shoe, hoops with media at launch of his Jordan Brand CP3 VIII (VIDEO) 2
- 67RIEFNS No. 1: Tom Thibodeau managing his bigs 22
- Derrick Rose knows injury questions will keep coming. And coming. And coming. 11
- FIBA World Cup preview: USA, Spain, then who else can medal? 2
- Official ‘Clippers’ Number 1 Fan’ on herself and Donald Sterling: ‘I’ll always feel it’s our team’ 18
- Cavaliers GM admits concerns about rim protection on defense 19