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Orlando Magic Afternoon Notes: Vince Carter Angered, How Dwight Howard Can Get Going


At shootaround earlier on Tuesday, Vince Carter did not take kindly when he was asked about Tuesday’s night game with the Boston Celtics possibly being the last game in the history of Amway Arena.

"Carter grew silent and shook his head, mumbling something.He then left the huddle of media and said, “You think we’re going to get swept?”"

Carter is continuing to show the fire that he showed in Sunday’s game.

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Dwight Howard and the Magic vow to play with more effort and energy Tuesday night.

"“More effort, more energy,” He said after practice Tuesday afternoon. “A loss is always bad in the playoffs, and this is the first loss we’ve had in a while. After we had that last loss to the [San Antonio] Spurs a while ago, we came back with a vengeance. I think it was good for us.”Here’s his takeaway from Sunday’s loss: “We learned a lot on the first half. We know what we have to do and we’re looking forward to the challenge tonight. I think we’re going to have a better start but I think it all comes back to me and how hard I play.”"

George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post explains how Dwight Howard can get going.

"But Howard has neither a face-up game nor a top-flight playmaker to spoonfeed him at the rim. Perkins has a weakness, however, and that is covering the big man rolling to the rim on pick-and-roll plays. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Perkins defended 51 such situations this year, and opponents scored 1.02 points per possession and 51% of the time. He rates from “Good” to “Excellent” in every other play type, meaning Howard’s best bet is to keep running hard to the rim on screen-and-roll plays. Marcin Gortat, Howard’s backup, has proven lethal in these situations against Boston. Remember, he shot 11-of-12 against the Celtics in last year’s Conference Semifinals, with teammates setting him up for 10 of those field goals. Boston pays him no mind.Interestingly, Perkins’ next-biggest hole defensively is defending the small man on the pick-and-roll, so even if Howard’s teammates can’t deliver him the ball on the roll, they can still try to attack Perkins."

You can read that story here.

The Magic now they must improve their perimeter shooting from Game 1.

"But when the Magic converted just 5 of 22 attempts from behind the arc Sunday, missing nine in a row before Jameer Nelson knocked down Orlando’s first trey 25 seconds into the second half, it had become apparent there would be little inside threat from Howard, who had to fight his own battles underneath, without much help from the perimeter players.“The thing is, it’s not about shooting the three or anything like that,’’ said Nelson in anticipation of Game 2 tonight at Amway Arena. “It’s a big part of our game, but we just want to play aggressive. I think we played on our heels a little bit and we were letting them attack us.’’"

Michael Vega of the Boston Globe has that story here.

The Magic remain confident.

"Mickael Pietrus, who advised his teammates to “keep smiling” following the loss, feels like this team’s head is still in a good place.“We’re still going to fight, it’s not over yet. We want to try to even the series on Tuesday. We’ve got great guys, a great locker room and we just have to stay together no matter what happens,” he said."

Alex Kennedy of has that story here.

The Celtics want to keep their intensity up on defense.

"“I just think the focus is definitely up and the sense of urgency is definitely there,’’ Paul Pierce said. “We are able to maintain our focus, our intensity level for 48 minutes and I think that was a problem with us throughout the course of the season, since it’s such a long season, a lot of mental fatigue had a lot to do with it.’’As the playoffs approached and the Celtics realized they were an afterthought behind Cleveland and Orlando, Rivers’s message began to resonate. The players were kidding themselves if they believed they could get by the Heat and Cavaliers with strictly an improved offensive approach. The Celtics had to lock down opponents as they did two years ago."

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has that story here.

The Celtics continued their excellent play on the road Sunday.

"“I like quiet arenas,” Pierce said. “That’s my age kicking in, I guess. I like it kind of quiet. There’s no better feeling than looking up and seeing the looks on their faces changing. I love that.”This is what Doc Rivers has to deal with. The Celtics might be a maddening team at home. Their Game 3 loss to the Cavaliers was so dispiriting, the crowd booed."

Mark Murphy of the Boston Globe has that story here.

Despite being a role player, Rasheed Wallace took center stage in Game 1.

"“If it’s fouling somebody hard, I’m going to foul your (butt) hard. If it’s screening, I’m going to screen you hard. Whatever. I know I’m not major no more.”It was suggested that he might actually enjoy this wrestler bad guy thing because he is, well, kind of a (jerk). To this, Sheed laughed and reached for his code.“The difference is, I’m clean with it,” he said. “You know, some guys who do that, they’re dirty with it. They’re like walking under you when you’re taking a jump shot. But I don’t dirty-play. It’s just all tough. I don’t do dirty play."

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has that story here.

The Celtics must prevent another big Magic run.

"The second and not so obvious reason that Orlando has been able to go on these periods of dominance in games against Boston this year, has been Doc’s usage of timeouts. Being that the Celtics are a veteran team, it has been Doc’s strategy to let the C’s play through tough stretches this season. But, encouragingly, he has slowly changed his philosophy and position during the post season on how to best use the team’s timeouts.Rather than waiting until a lead completely dissimilates, or allowing the Celtics to see a close game slip out of reach, Doc has been judiciously using his timeouts to stop runs by the opposition and regroup his team before opponents pick up too much momentum. In the past, Doc would rely heavily on the leadership of KG, Ray, and Pierce to iron out any turmoil or tense situations on the floor."

Matt Ribaudo of North Station Sports has that story here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and on Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here