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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Can The Magic Bring It Back To Orlando?


The Orlando Magic will attempt to even their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Boston Celtics at three games apiece Friday night in Boston.

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel calls Friday the biggest night in Orlando since 1995.

"If the Magic win Game 6 against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, they will have a chance to play their next three games at Amway Arena — an improbable Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, plus the first two games of the NBA Finals.Yes, the championship would go through Orlando, just as it did 15 years ago.The Magic emerged with home-court advantage in the playoffs because they have the best regular-season record of the four remaining teams."

You can read that story here.

George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel calls for a Magic victory.

"But as coach Stan Van Gundy keeps reminding everyone, somebody has to be first.It will be his team.It will be his team because the Celtics are suddenly old, beaten and battered. Even though Kendrick Perkins will play tonight after having one of his technical fouls rescinded, he is no longer the smooth veteran frustrating big man Dwight Howard.He is the guy getting Lex Luthored by Superman, who has unleashed a controversial People’s Elbow on the Celtics. Perkins isn’t the only one feeling the pain train. Howard has left skid marks on others considered an arch-nemesis, like Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis."

You can read that story here.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel likens the Magic to the Philadelphia Flyers.

"Teams can absolutely feed on the synergy and psyche of another team in town. Especially when that other team — the Bruins in this case — own and play in the same arena you play in.The seats in Boston’s TD Garden are painted Bruins gold and black, not Celtics green and white. The ushers and concessionaires in the arena are employed by the Bruins. And up in the rafters, the Bruins banners hang side by side with the Celtics banners.Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, a Philly guy, says he’s excited today about dressing in the same locker room the Philadelphia Flyers dressed in when they completed their classic comeback from 0-3 to beat the Bruins in Game 7."

You can read that story here.

Dan Savage and Josh Cohen of debate the biggest key to a Game 6 victory for Orlando here.

Doc Rivers compared J.J. Redick to one of the all-time greats.

"For the second consecutive game, J.J. Redick has sparked Orlando’s bench and outpaced Vince Carter on offensive production churning out 12 and 14 points in the past two games.“We didn’t know he was going to be Pistol Pete coming into this series,” Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked. “Everybody is talking about Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson, but J.J. Redick has been the most consistent player.”J.J. Redick is averaging double figures in the Eastern Conference Finals (10.8 ppg) playing an average of just under 27 minutes a game.It’s no coincidence, however, that J.J. Redick’s offensive production has soared in two games where Jameer Nelson has been decidedly more aggressive in attacking the paint causing the Celtics’ defense to collapse inside and create more open outside shots."

Shannon Owens of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald details the Boston injury report here.

Paul Pierce has taken a beating.

"Pierce’s reputation hasn’t been quite as clean since Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Lakers. Pierce went down with a knee injury in that game and was famously taken off the court in a wheelchair. Pierce’s return to the game a short time later — and his subsequent performance as Finals MVP — led many to question the severity of the injury and caused some to label Pierce a drama queen.One sign last night called the Celtics captain “RuPaul Pierce’’ after the celebrity drag queen.It didn’t matter that after Game 1 of those Finals, Pierce could be seen hobbling down the steps of the makeshift podium for each of his press conferences after the first two games of that series. To opposing fans, it didn’t matter that Pierce was named MVP. And despite the fact that he’s been the best player for the Celtics in this series, Pierce can’t seem to shake that reputation among Magic fans that not all of his injuries are as serious as he makes them appear."

Gary Dzen of the Boston Globe has that story here.

Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe thinks Boston is losing their edge.

"And speaking of defense, where has it gone? The defense that smothered the Magic in the first three games of this series may still exist on video, or in memory, but aside from creating turnovers on the first three Orlando possessions it did not materialize for very long at Amway Arena last night. Either the Celtics have lost their commitment or the Magic have simply figured something out, but the last two games couldn’t have looked more dissimilar than the first three.The Magic have rediscovered their 3-point game; there’s no denying that. They got five threes from four people in the first quarter, and then finished by making a dazzling 13 of 25, with six people sinking at least one. Here’s a sobering thought: No one can defeat the Orlando Magic if they are raining down threes. No one."

You can read that story here.

Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe agrees that Orlando’s three-pointers could be the difference.

"The Magic turned Amway Arena into bombs-away arena last night, connecting on 13 of 25 3-pointers, their highest 3-point percentage in the playoffs, as they shot the Celtics into submission with a 113-92 win. Last night’s long-distance display came on the heels of Wednesday night’s near-miss for the Celtics, a game in which Orlando buried 10 treys in 28 attempts, the last two of which were overtime daggers by Jameer Nelson, who followed up his 23-point night on the parquet with a 24-point evening in front of the home folks.This sequence sums up the state of the series. In the third quarter, with the Celtics having trimmed a 12-point lead to 71-65, Nelson drained a 28-foot 3-pointer with Rajon Rondo in his face as the 24-second shot clock expired.After Nelson’s shot you knew the momentum possession arrow in the series belonged to the Magic.“Huge, huge,” said Orlando forward Matt Barnes, who had three 3-pointers in four attempts last night. “Big-time players make big-time shots. We got a team full of shooters, and we’re starting to play our game.”"

You can read that story here.

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald says the Celtics must beat the Magic to the punch.

"Since the officials have decided to leave it up to the players then it is time for the Rambis-ing of Howard. All Celtics fans remember Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals when Kevin McHale took down Kurt Rambis on a breakaway as if he was in the calf-roping competition at the National Finals Rodeo. Rambis got up spoiling for a fight but his team didn’t, and what had once seemed like a Lakers blowout turned out to be a Celtics victory. They tied the series at 2 and ended up winning it in seven games.At the time, Cedric Maxwell explained what resulted when he said, “Before Kevin McHale hit Kurt Rambis, the Lakers were just running across the street whenever they wanted. Now they stop at the corner, push the button, wait for the light and look both ways.”Now it’s Howard’s turn to learn physical play is a two-way street. It’s time for him to eat some bloody chicklets."

You can read that story here.

Former Celtics player and current announcer Tommy Heinsohn is upset with the calls against his team (huge surprise, right?)

"“The officiating in that game was incompetent,” he said. “Somebody as incompetent as Eddie F. Rush should not be officiating in these games. Pick the eight best guys and have the same crew on every game in a series. That way they’ll get used to what’s going on. Ed F. Rush is incompetent, and so is Tom Washington. What were these guys doing refereeing a game as important as this?”Heinsohn has taken issue all series with Orlando center Dwight Howard, who has been called for two flagrant fouls and caused Glen Davis’ concussion Wednesday when he caught him in the face with an elbow.“I don’t know what’s going on,” Heinsohn said. “They’ve got to look at this. Howard’s hurting people out there. He threw (Paul) Pierce down, and he threw Perk down in Game 4. (Matt) Barnes pushed KG out of bounds. The ref was right there and didn’t call anything.”"

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has that story here.

Despite all of the complaints, Doc Rivers is mixed on the NBA’s decision.

"Rivers also admitted during a conference call yesterday to being worried that his emotional, physical center has been legislated into the trap of playing self-consciously against the Magic’s Dwight Howard.“I’m very concerned with that,” Rivers said. “Kendrick has to be allowed to play. He’s always in foul trouble, and he’s not even the most physical player on the floor – Dwight Howard is.“So I’m going to try to get Perk to try and be Perk out there. But that’s not going to be easy.”Rivers again questioned the proliferation of double technical fouls. Four of Perkins’ six techs resulted from double-tech situations involving an opposing player."

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald has that story here.

Speaking of pain, Brian Scalabrine knows all about Big Baby’s pain.

"Dealing with the injury so extensively last season, Scalabrine has a good amount of knowledge about concussions.“Things that go down from blood types to genetic disorders to all these other types of things that affect how severe a certain concussion can be,” Scalabrine said. “Some people are susceptible to certain concussions, while others are not susceptible.”Scalabrine isn’t a doctor, but offered a firsthand account of how Davis might recover.“This was probably his first one, so his body will probably respond very well to it,” Scalabrine said. “He’s a tough kid.”"

Zach McCann of the Boston Herald 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).