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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic Look To Avoid Sweep


Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. EST Monday night in Boston.

The Magic have one last chance to win a game in this series.

"The Magic unraveled in the first quarter when shots didn’t drop. Turnovers mounted and players decided to go one-on-one instead of patiently making the extra pass. The mass frustration spilled over to the defensive end.In other words, they played into the Celtics’ hands.“We got to have more mental toughness and discipline,” Van Gundy said. “Our offensive frustration mounted into not playing well defensively and then we were done."

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Sean Deveney of The Baseline thinks the Magic need to win Monday to restore some pride.

"Comebacks from 3-0 deficits are not impossible, as the sports fans of Boston are acutely aware. But the way the Celtics crushed the Magic on Saturday — on the scoreboard, mentally, spiritually, in every way imaginable — pretty much renders a comeback out of the question.Still, Game 4 has to be looked at as an important game. This group, with Dwight Howard in the middle surrounded primarily by Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis, is going to be together again next year, with just a handful of meaningful free agents (J.J. Redick and Jason Williams, plus Matt Barnes can opt out of his contract) and probably the year after that, too. What we saw last year from the Magic in the conference finals win over Cleveland was a resiliency that got them through difficult moments."

You can read that story here.

A sweep would put the Magic in company they don’t want to be in.

"In 1989 after sweeping through the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers met the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. But with Los Angeles’ Byron Scott and Magic Johnson out with hamstring injuries, the Bad Boy Pistons won the championship in a four-game sweep.That win avenged a Pistons Finals loss to the Lakers in 1988 — the last of the Showtime Laker championships.The Pistons’ sweep was the only time since the current 16-team format, that a team that was previously playoff perfect was swept. In fact, no team since has been swept after coming off a sweep."

Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Vince Carter called this a “painful position to be in.”

"Magic guard Vince Carter was asked about Dwight Howard’s comment Saturday night that the team’s heart wasn’t in the game. Carter was asked where the Magic are now.“It’s definitely in it,” Carter said. “It’s now or never. This is a very painful position to be in, being that this team is very capable. But somebody has to believe, and I’m not going to quit on this team. I don’t expect anybody else in this organization or on this team who steps on the floor to do the same.Fairly or unfairly, the personal stake in this series is huge for Carter. Down 0-3 to the Boston Celtics after a 94-71 loss on Saturday, the Magic face the possibility of failing to match last season’s NBA Finals appearance or, worse, getting swept out of the Eastern Conference finals."

Ganguli also has that story here.

Dwight Howard says the Magic are keeping their cool.

"Magic C Dwight Howard said his team is continuing to be upbeat, adding there has been no screaming among teammates frustrated by the turn of events in the playoffs against the Celtics.“There’s no need for us to be sad. We’re playing the sport that we love. We’re not going to come in here and change our attitude,” Howard said. “It’s easy to do it when you’re winning and everything is going your way.“We have to continue to be ourselves and there’s no need for us to be down. There’s no need for us to come in here with attitudes and go at each other. We’re not going to be the team that does that.”"

You can read that story here.

Shaun Powell of criticizes Rashard Lewis’ contract.

"Not surprisingly, Rashard Lewis‘ contract has come up for discussion and debate. That tends to happen when a player is perceived to be worth quite a few pennies less than he’s getting.In Lewis’ case: $118 million. That’s a lot of pennies.He’s been good for roughly 3 baskets a game in this playoff series with Boston, and while I would try to attach a monetary figure per basket, my mind isn’t that sharp. Let’s just say Lewis could change his jersey number to 118 and folks would know the deal."

You can read that story here.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald says Kevin Garnett’s improved health has made a world of difference.

"Lewis averaged 16 points during the Magic’s first eight playoff games – all wins – but has averaged just five during these three games against the Celtics. He’s made only two baskets in each and has attempted only two free throws – both in Game 1. Lewis is also 1-of-13 from his preferred 3-point range.“One of the greatest defenders to ever play the game is guarding him,” Paul Pierce [stats] said.But Garnett isn’t simply playing straight-up defense. As in 2008, when his help defense was the lifeblood of an NBA title, Garnett is again covering the hardwood like a free safety. He’s back to defending against the pick-and-roll and recovering on time to deny Lewis a good shot."

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).