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THE MAGIC HASSLE

Have fun storming the castle!

It’s Amazingly Blaine to see, that Orlando has Copped out and Doug a hole, but they aren’t Angels yet — They could still join the exclusive club of 3 teams who have survived a mauling, by pulling a Houdini after getting Lanced in Games 1 & 2 in their own Penn

Is the Magic about to disappear?  The favored Orlando Magic failed to produce a victory in HOME Games 1 or 2, leaving them down 0-2 to the Boston Celtics in the Best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals.  Once again, Boston outplayed Orlando for most of the game, building a double-digit lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter.  But, once again, Orlando made a frenzied, late push.  The Magic took a 1-point lead with about 3 and a half minutes to play, but then the Celtics got a neck back in front as they came down to the wire.

Down by 3 with about half a minute to go, Orlando’s new addition Vince Carter, who was supposed to put them over the top this year, missed two Free Throws.  Boston ran the clock down and then Kevin Garnett missed a shot with 6 seconds left, giving Orlando one last chance to tie with a 3.  But Duke Grad J.J. Redick made a non-Phi Beta Kappa mistake — Instead of immediately calling Time Out, he dribbled away a couple of precious seconds, and then called Time while still in back court.  That meant that the Magic had to inbounds the ball from back court, instead of being allowed to ADVANCE it, if he had called the T.O. immediately.

With about 3 seconds left, they got it in to Jameer Nelson, who is young, and did NOT time his approach correctly.  He COULD have gotten five feet closer to the hoop before shooting, but instead, launched the shot a full second too early, from near halfcourt.  The shot was straight, but grazed the net harmlessly as the Celtics started celebrating their 95-92 win and their stranglehold on the Series.

After the game, Paul Pierce, who led the Celtics with 28 Points, Tweeted something about getting out the BROOM.  I can’t stand how low class and arrogant he is, as he proved during the Laker Finals two years ago.  But with the next two games of this Series in Boston, the demoralized Magic may not make it back to Orlando, so in this case, Pierce’s arrogance may not be punished.

The player who gave Pierce the most support was not Garnett or Ray Allen, but Point Guard Rajon Rondo.  Rondo scored 25 and added 8 Assists, 5 Rebounds, and 2 Steals.  Rondo has improved quite a bit since the last time the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals, and with Andrew Bynum not expected to be at 100%, again, the Celtics might have an edge.  Again.

Boston certainly has an edge in their present Series.  In the NBA Playoffs ALL-TIME, only 14 teams have overcome an 0-2 deficit, while 209 of them have not.  And of the 14, only THREE have done it after losing the first two games AT HOME  (The other 11 lost their first two games on the Road).  The other 22 teams who lost both Game1 and Game 2 at home went on to lose their Series.

On top of that, the Celtics have NEVER blown a 2-0 Series lead.  Not only that, but even in all thier Glory years, Boston has never started a Best-of-7 by winning Games 1 and 2 on the Road.

The Magic had won 14 straight before facing off with the Celtics, and they hadn’t lost two straight at Home since last year to the Lakers.  That means that the Celtics are not taking advantage of a patsy.  Orlando’s best player Dwight Howard did HIS part, scoring 30 on 9-of-13 shooting and grabbing 8 Caroms.  Unfortunately for Orlando fans, no other Magic player who took more than one shot, shot better than 33% from the floor.  Even Bruin Forward Matt Barnes struggled, going 2-for-9 from the field, for 6 Points.  He also grabbed 7 Rebounds in the losing effort.  At least he did better than Boston’s ex-trojan:  Yes, Brian Scalabrine actually made the Roster for this Round, but he hasn’t gotten out of his sweats yet, due to “Coach’s Decision.”  Smart Coach.

And now, just a few photos of some Magical girls, casting their spell…

“I see the Magic in your eyes.”

“She’s a Black Magic Woman and she’s tryin’ to make a devil outta me.”

“Oh, oh, oh, it’s Magic!  You know.  Never believe it’s not so.”

“Why don’t you come with me little girl, on a Magic Carpet ride?”

Last one for today’s Magical Mystery Tour.  Lots more will magically appear very soon. 

"THE MAGIC HASSLE" was published on May 19th, 2010 and is listed in Non-Rivalry News.

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