5 greatest Orlando Magic postseason killers

The Orlando Magic make their return to the postseason this year in what promises to be the first in a long run of new Playoff moments. As the Magic return, we look back at the players who still torment Magic fans.
Chauncey Billups is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame after making a career torturing the Orlando Magic.
Chauncey Billups is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame after making a career torturing the Orlando Magic. / KIRTHMON F. DOZIER, Detroit Free Press
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5 greatest Orlando Magic postseason killers

Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics (2009-10)

Paul Pierce is one of the great villains in Orlando Magic history not just for the two series Orlando had against his Boston Celtics during the height of Orlando's powers, but for the talk and chatter Pierce had against the Magic. Pierce hounded the Magic and seemingly had zero respect for them even after they beat his Celtics in 2009.

Orlando got the first shot in the battle winning the second-round series in seven games in 2009. He averaged 18.9 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game as the Magic deposed the defending champions.

That was a tight series and everyone can recognize that Kevin Garnett's absence was meaningful.

But it was what Pierce said after the Magic lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals. After the Lakers beat the Magic in five games, Pierce took to Twitter and called the Magic poodles going up against the pit bulls that were the Celtics.

Considering Orlando won the series and were among the best defenses in the league at the time, it seemed like an odd flex. But everyone knew the Celtics would be back in 2010. The Magic would have to measure themselves against the once-defending champions after eking by with Kevin Garnett out in 2009.

Paul Pierce backed up those words, completely outdueling the Magic's new acquisition in Vince Carter as the Celtics took a 3-0 series lead and made quick work of the magic in six games to return to the NBA Finals in 2010 -- and send the Magic to an offseason of soul-searching and questions they never really recovered from.

Pierce averaged 24.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting a scorching 44.8 percent from deep. And everyone knows he was talking the entire time as the Celtics got revenge in that series.

Orlando had the size to deal with him. But the Celtics' tough defense completely bottled up the Magic's offense.

They were able to neutralize Dwight Howard (21.8 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game in the series) and the Magic's 3-point shooting (33.8 percent for the game including 21.1 percent from Vince Carter).

What makes Pierce a killer is that while the Magic were probably not whatever he perceives a poodle to be, but they could not measure up to the toughness the Celtics showed in that series. Pierce unfortunately proved prophetic.