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Eastern Conference Finals Game 6: Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics


With a victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, the Orlando Magic can even up the Eastern Conference Finals and bring the series back to Orlando for Game 7 Sunday.

Tip-off from TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. EST and the game will be shown by ESPN. If you can’t watch the game, you can listen to it nationally on ESPN Radio or locally on WDBO AM 580 and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030.

The officials will be Monty McCutchen, Mike Callahan and Ken Mauer.

It appears we will have to wait until Doc Rivers speaks at 7:30 p.m. EST Friday night to learn the statuses of his injured players, Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels.

The Line: Boston – 4.0


Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard

Rashard Lewis

Matt Barnes

Vince Carter

Jameer Nelson

Boston Celtics

Kendrick Perkins

Kevin Garnett

Paul Pierce

Ray Allen

Rajon Rondo

Below, you can find out what to watch for in Game 6.

Boston’s Legs

In each of the last two games Boston has looked tired. After watching Paul Pierce, who scored 32 points in Game 4, come up short on a couple of good looks in the overtime period, you could tell his legs were gone. The Celtics also looked very tired down the stretch in Game 5 and allowed the Magic to absolutely dominate the fourth quarter 29-17 (of course some of that has to do with the absence of Kendrick Perkins, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Marquis Daniels). With only a day off in between games 5 and 6, could the Celtics suffer from tired legs again? It’s no coincidence that Boston’s best performance of the series came Saturday night in Game 3 after the two teams had not played since the previous Tuesday night.  Jameer Nelson and the Magic played a little differently in Game 5, pushing the pace more often than usual to try and ware out the Celtics. Expect to see more of that Friday night.

It’s Going To Be Physical

Besides all of the complaining about the officiating in Game 5, the story of the game was Dwight Howard’s elbow that gave “Big Baby” a concussion. In fact, Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges called Howard a “cheap-shot artist” and thinks the Celtics should hit Howard throughout the game in order to get some sort of justice. Well, the Celtics have already done that. It’s always been the most effective way to defend Howard and it’s the way the Boston big men have always defended him. They are going to continue to be physical and Howard will react with physical play of his own. With tensions rising and Boston having not one but two loose cannons in Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace, tempers could flare.

Can Orlando Get Solid Contributions From Other Players Besides Nelson And Howard?

Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard have been absolutely fantastic over the last two games but after Game 4, all the talk was about who could step up and be that third guy. Well, they had more than just one in Game 5. Vince carter is still struggling but the Magic got solid scoring production from Rashard Lewis (14), J.J. Redick (14), Matt Barnes (9) and Mickael Pietrus (8) on Wednesday night. Can Orlando get contributions like that again and if not, will Vince Carter finally step up?

(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).