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NBA Playoffs Celtics Magic Game 3: Celtics somehow manage to outdo themselves

May 22, 2010, 10:50 PM EDT

Rondo.jpgThere is no point in playing Game 4. None. If there was any way, I think the Magic would actually be okay with a mercy rule and just calling it a three game sweep. Because they clearly have no interest in trying at all.

It’s a struggle to find a hook to explain this game. The Celtics were better. Are better. Are superior in every way. Smarter, stronger, more aggressive, more physical. The Celtics shot better, rebounded tougher, made smarter plays, kept with it, executed, and totally dominated the Magic 94-71 in Boston to take a 3-0 lead. The series is officially over, if it wasn’t after Game 2.

Paul Pierce was deadly, adding 15. Rajon Rondo was still the best player on the floor, at one point outracing Jason Williams who had a five step lead on him, taking the ball, then scoring on Williams. Glen Davis put in huge minutes, actually leading all scorers with 17 points. . Kendrick Perkins held Dwight Howard to 7 points on 3-10 shooting.

And oh, the Magic. Vince Carter was the player he’s always talked about being, in the bad way. He seemed willing to accept being just another guy on the floor. Jameer Nelson had 1 assist and 4 turnovers. The lead was 20 in the second, 30 in the fourth, and wound up as 23 from the scrubs.

The playoffs? They have sucked. Horribly. We haven’t had any competitive games and the teams that barely tried the second half of the regular season have shown they could have given us greatness and chose not to for four months. But they’re giving it now.

Game 4 is Monday. You have to wonder if Orlando will even show up. They haven’t so far.

The legacy effect of this game is that Dwight Howard is still not an elite player, despite finishing third in the MVP voting, that Rajon Rondo may be the best point guard in the NBA, that defense still wins championships, and that you have to wonder the effect of this game on Stan Van Gundy, as great as he’s been.

You can go ahead and pen over the pencil for the Celtics side of the Finals. Expect LA to finish out the rest shortly.

  1. ED - May 22, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    They kept telling us to wait for the playoffs. It was hard to swallow however they were right on.
    How about that Rondo dive on the floor play from behind?

  2. Mr.Banner (#18) - May 23, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    You’re right Matt. Where are those great analyst
    and sports writers now? I recently read a guy who picked Orlando in 7 before the series started.Since Boston milked the Cav’s the hand WRITING WAS ON THE WALL.I Guess They’ll be Underdogs against the Laker 2…My what big dogs they are.

  3. Hill - May 23, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    The Rondo diving on the floor play was the best of the night. I’ve never seen anything like it!
    The Celtics are better than Orlando not because of talent: The Celtics are just nastier.

  4. Hill - May 23, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    The Rondo diving on the floor play was the best of the night. I’ve never seen anything like it!
    The Celtics are better than Orlando not because of talent: The Celtics are just nastier.

  5. Drew - May 23, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson hit on it during the broadcast – Orlando just doesn’t have any toughness and leadership on their roster. They have a bunch of skilled, talented players with no killer instinct and no will to win. Dwight Howard is big and strong, but not nasty enough and a poorly developed post game. Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis have never exhibited the kind of heart and determination against feistier competition. Much like Cleveland did in Game 6, the Magic just quit and are hanging their heads with sour faces looking at the officials like it’s their fault.
    Orlando needs a roster shake-up to get to the next level and Dwight Howard needs to seriously expand his offensive repertoire.

  6. Wadya - May 23, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    Suffocating defense, team offense and hustle from Celtics broke the will and back of Magic players (We can not call them TEAM!). The Coach is probably demoralized and is out of options!

  7. kw - May 23, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    celtics will demolish lakers too

  8. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 23, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Impressive DOMINATION by Gang Green over the hapless Magic. Makes you wonder if this Magic Team is just a “One-Hit Wonder” after getting the EC Title last year. That being said, the Celtics played like a well-oiled synchronized machine in both ends of the floor. This is Celtics ball game at its finest with Rondo making everybody looking good. Now, demolishing the Lakers is a stretch there. Our Lakers are no Magic. It would be a tough fight between these two teams with a sweep from any of them highly unlikely.

  9. SNAPPA - May 23, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    The problem with Orlando is they have no respect for their coach. With the calls he was making on the sidelines I could see the faces of the players, rolling their eyes making comments under their breath I could see their lips moving. Like in game 2 when it was down to the wire and Orlando had like 3.1 seconds and they had possesion of the ball what does the coach do? He calls for a time out, I could see the disguest on the players faces, the unbelievable call the coach had made.

  10. kwc - May 23, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    Excellent comments. It’s exactly the head game that so many teams with physically talented players, making huge salaries, lack to an embarrassing degree. The analysts often overlook this factor, much to their discredit. Howard, Carter and Lewis – how could they be worth their salaries when they have yet to learn how to win, or at least give a “winning” effort? Stoudemire’s absent defensive effort disqualifies him from being a great all-around player and painfully shows he’s not yet championship caliber. LeBron James is being touted as the best player, even given his less than championship effort in playoffs. He certainly hasn’t earned the best player moniker, and the meaninglessness of hyping such players until they’ve demonstrated the psychological development of a champion is simply another embarrassment. The playoffs this time around have clearly outed some of the “all show no go” players.

  11. Brian D - May 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Doesn’t Doc Rivers deserve just a LITTLE credit? Talk about a coaching clinic on how to stop your opponent. After a slow start in the Cleveland series the team has turned on that playoff switch and have sped away from the pack. Is there anyone who can beat this team now? Not one from L.A. That’s for sure. In this version of the C’s there’s a level of commitment and assasin’s mentality that I didn’t see in 2008. Baby and Rasheed have been nasty off the bence and Rondo, well it’s already been said.

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