Here are some quick and random thoughts on the Magic’s 84-82 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night.
* You could tell right from the start that this one meant a little more to Dwight Howard. He was calling for the ball on offense, while trying to block every shot the Celtics put up. He also did a good job of dominating the boards while staying out of foul trouble.
* How great was it to see Rashard Lewis hit his first shot of the night? It was also good to see him take Paul Pierce into the post early in the second quarter. If the Celtics are going to go with a small line-up, Lewis has to take advantage.
* Stephon Marbury is a bum, despite all the excuses the announcers made about he still needs to “get his legs.” I think his days as a quality player are over. I remember a time when Marbury was one of the most feared players on the court. Now, when he enters the game, I take a sigh of relief.
* The Gortat effect. After playing out of his mind during the first quarter, Dwight Howard sat on the bench for more than half of the second quarter. Why? Because Gortat has improved his play so much.
* Playing the score instead of the game. I had to agree with Jeff Van Gundy when he made that comment toward the end of the third quarter. The Magic got up by 16 and then took a few possessions off. Next thing you know the lead was back down to six.
* When it got down to six, Superman took matters into his own hands. Dwight finished the third quarter with a huge dunk, and followed it up by swatting Rajon Rondo as time expired.
* Bad technical by Stan Van. The Magic turned the ball over when Hedo Turkoglu dribbled out of bounds. Stan didn’t like the call and got the quick T. Not sure what he was arguing.
* We get it, Garnett isn’t going to play anymore. I know every single announcer in the NBA is mandated to say how much they love Kevin Garnett. But after they told us 50 times during the first three quarters that he wouldn’t play in the fourth quarter, did they have to remind us 50 more times when he actually wasn’t playing?
* Too many three-pointers down the stretch. I know some of them went in, but the offense has to go through Dwight Howard in the final minutes of the biggest game of the season. I have no problem with Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu taking shots, but not until Dwight has touched the ball first.
* Terrible next to last offensive possession by the Magic. Once again Dwight doesn’t touch the ball and the possession ends with a deep, contested three-point attempt by Turkoglu.
* Great job on the foul to give on the Celtics last offensive possession. The Celtics had to waste over half of the original 3.8 seconds remaining in the game. Instead of having almost four seconds to create his final shot, Paul Pierce had less than two, and put up an air ball to end the game.
* It’s not over. With the win the Magic are now TIED with the Celtics. They’re slightly ahead because of percentage points, but the season series is tied and the teams are tied in the conference standings. Just because they got the win tonight, doesn’t mean they can take any games for granted down the stretch.