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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic Ready For Game 2


Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was critical of the team’s effort on Sunday. The Magic know they have to raise their energy to win Game 2.

"Fresh off of their first defeat since early April, all Magic starters pledge they’ll work harder tonight in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals than they did Sunday in the series opener.“We just didn’t play hard,” power forward Rashard Lewis said. “They played harder than we did and we made a lot of mistakes. But it comes down to who played the hardest, and they played the hardest.”"

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Dwight Howard hopes to change tactics against Boston’s big men.

"Howard believes he needs to change his tactics when he faces Perkins, a 6-foot-10, 278-pound bruiser who has the bulk and strength to keep Howard away from the hoop.“I’m going to have the same outcome against him if I play his game,” Howard said. “His game is to be physical and try to fight me. But for me, it’s not [best] to try to fight him to score. There’s other ways around it.”Howard has said in the past that he needs to utilize his quickness and force Perkins to move his feet."

You can read that story here.

Magic Center Adonal Foyle says the Celtics threw the first punch.

"Our intensity was lagging, but more important than that, we were stubborn. Boston is a team that can close down the paint and force you to run more than just one play. We did not do a good job with our pick-and-rolls and our three-pointers were constantly being contested (we ended up going 5-for-22). We had 18 turnovers, which was the most problematic for us because that resulted in 21 points. That’s 18 possessions where we didn’t have a chance to shoot the ball. We didn’t set a lot of screens, we didn’t move the ball from side to side and Boston came up with about 20 fast break points. When you play against a good team and make as many mistakes as we made, you will get beat every time.When we play well, our opponents never know who is going to score and have a great night. The fact that we were so predictable and didn’t move the ball well in Game 1 allowed the Celtics to clog up the paint on one side and we didn’t get easy shots. We’ve been very good all year where if you do things to us, we can give other people opportunities to beat you. In Game 1, we just didn’t play the type of game we could have played."

You can read Adonal’s story here.

George Diaz explains how the Magic can counter-punch.

"Boston fired the first haymaker. Now Orlando needs a counter-punch.Drives to the basket are open because the defenders are tight on Orlando’s shooters, fearful of the jump shot. Howard can use his athleticism and quickness to punish Boston offensively. Better defense will lead to a more up-tempo game, which favors Orlando and its younger legs."

You can read that story here.

Rashard Lewis talked about bouncing back in Game 2.

"We just need to shake that rust off real quick and get back to playing our style of basketball. We have to get back to moving the ball side to side and make them work on defense. They’re not going to give you your first option. Against Charlotte and Atlanta, we could get Jameer a layup on pick-and-rolls or dunks to Dwight, but a good defensive team like Boston is going to make us work harder for points. So we just have to be patient and work harder to exploit them."

You can read Lewis’ blog here.

Dwight Howard agreed.

"Magic fans, we’ll be fine. We showed great heart in the fourth quarter coming back the way we did. We might lose a game from time to time, but this Magic team will never quit. We’re going to fight to the final horn.I think we learned some things in the fourth quarter that will enable us to be a lot better on Tuesday night. We talked as a team in the locker room and nobody was down at all. We’re an upbeat group and one loss doesn’t rattle this team.We’ll bounce back because we always do. I have faith in my team; we’ll be ready to go. We know what kind of nasty, physical series this is going to be, and we’ll be ready for it."

You can read Howard’s blog here.

Josh Cohen of previews Game 2.

"Game 1 obviously didn’t go as planned for the Magic, but as this team has proven all season long, they are driven to bounce back from adversity.Sunday’s loss was the first defeat for Orlando since April 2. It had won 14 consecutive games, including an 8-0 start to the postseason.“Our team has responded to everything,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Our guys aren’t going to fall apart.”"

You can read his complete preview here.

Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook takes a look at Orlando’s first half 3-pointers here and their poor clock management in regards to when to foul here.

In case you missed it, Kevin Arnovitz and David Thorpe broke down Dwight Howard’s Game 1 performance here.

The Magic had just 10 assists on Sunday. John Schuhmann of lists three reasons why the number was so low.

"1. Rajon Rondo pressures the ball, making it difficult for Jameer Nelson to make a pass that penetrates the defense. With ball pressure, if Nelson does make a pass to initiate the offense, it’s likely going to the wing, a step or two beyond the 3-point line."

You can read that story here.

Vince Carter told the media, “It’s a long series.”

"“It’s a long series,” said Carter. “We’re trying to win every game. Every time we step on the floor we’re trying to win. I don’t believe in putting pressure on myself. We’re a veteran team, we’re a very capable team, and we know what needs to be done. I think putting pressure on yourself, sometimes you go out there and do things you don’t normally do. We want to get back to our brand of basketball and play that. Because we’ve seen it. We’ve accomplished so much by doing it, so we’ve got to stick to it.”"

Gary Dzen of has that story here.

Kendrick Perkins likes physical play.

"Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Monday that there’s no question that Howard is the league’s best defensive player. But Rivers gave Perkins credit.“He’s the tackling dummy,” Rivers said. “He’s getting hit. He’s getting punched. He’s getting knocked down. And all he gets is a pick-up from a teammate off the floor, but he does it. He doesn’t mind doing it.”Perkins looks forward to physical games and facing guys such as Shaquille O’Neal and Howard."

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Perkins certainly isn’t lacking confidence.

"“Anytime I step on the court, I feel like I’m the best defensive guy out there,” Perkins said Monday before practice in preparation for Game 2 Tuesday night. “I anchor our defense the right way. I might not be the most athletic big man, but I get the job done.”Perkins, who often plays basketball with the anonymity of an offensive lineman, has become a key player in the Celtics’ surprising quest for another NBA title.“Just as much as he (Howard) is anchoring their defense, I’m anchoring ours,” Perkins said. “That’s just how I feel (about who’s the best in this series). Whether it’s pick-and-roll defense, or low-post defense, I’m there.”"

Tim Povtak of NBA Fanhouse has that story here.

Perkins is one reason Boston plays excellent defense but it all starts with Assistant Coach Tom Thibodeau.

"“He’s a workaholic. I always catch him watching film,” Pierce said. “He’s very active in his role. A lot of coaches don’t let assistant coaches do a lot, but he runs practice 15-20 minutes. There’s constant interaction with our group of coaches, especially Tom.”Wherever Thibodeau has gone — his stops also include the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets — upgraded defensive statistics have followed. And at those outposts, he didn’t have three future Hall of Famers (Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen) like he does in Boston.During his 18 seasons in the NBA, his teams have finished in the top 10 defensively 15 times. When the Celtics won the title in 2008 against the L.A. Lakers, they gave Kobe Bryant fits."

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Gary Dzen has a report from Celtics’ practice here.

Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub pointed out a key moment in Game 1.

"On the extra possession, Jameer Nelson missed a three-pointer. The rebound came out to the foul line, and Barnes sprinted across the court to grab it in mid-air. Another extra possession for Orlando, and you could feel a big three coming. Nope. Rashard Lewis threw the ball away, and Paul Pierce picked it up in transition. He felt Jameer Nelson make contact with him from behind and launched the ball in the direction of the basket.And guess what? The refs gave Pierce the charity shooting foul call, a call Rajon Rondo can’t get no matter how hard he tries (or how well he acts) in the same situation. And Pierce knocked down all three foul shots.What a huge swing, right? And the sort of swing you forget about when all sorts of crazy stuff happens at the end of a game.The lesson: The margin between these two teams is so, so slim. And also: The referees have no clue what to do when players chuck the ball toward the rim after feeling contact. To me, Pierce doesn’t deserve the shooting foul call there. He was not planning on shooting the ball, and he didn’t start his shooting motion until after Nelson made contact with him."

You can read that story here.

Paul Flannery of Green Street thinks the Celtics have room for improvement.

"The Celtics allowed 15 offensive rebounds in Game 1 against the Magic and they know that can’t continue.“That’s real disturbing,” Paul Pierce said. “That’s something we gave up mostly in the second half.”Pierce is sort of right on that count — the Celtics allowed eight of the 15 in the second half — but the problem became more noticeable in the fourth quarter when the Magic made their run. As is often the case, a decent number of the Magic’s second-chance points came off dribble penetration and freelancing from their defensive system."

You can read 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).