Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 3 of Celtics-Magic

Posted by Bill Koch on May 23, 2010

Orlando Magic

Really, Orlando? Really?

That’s it? That’s the best you’ve got?

That’s the best effort you can muster with your season on the line?

The Magic need to disappear to avoid any further embarrassment at the hands of the Boston Celtics, because the Eastern Conference finals turned into an absolute joke on Saturday night at The Fake Garden. Boston hammered Orlando, 94-71, in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. Bring on The Finals. Bring on the history. Bring on the Los Angeles Lakers after they close out their own glorified scrimmages with the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals. This is the series that everyone wants to see. Let’s go to our five points to see how Boston moved within one victory of its second Finals appearance in three years.

— Orlando’s disgraceful lack of effort could be summed up in one play during Saturday’s second quarter. Boston was already leading by 17 when Rajon Rondo dove for a loose ball in the frontcourt, beating Jason Williams’ weak lunge, and skinned the Magic point guard for a layup. Williams and his teammates were supposed to be the ones playing with desperation, but it was Rondo and the Celtics who were making the extra effort to put the series away.

— Speaking of Rondo, Boston continued its gigantic postseason edge in point guard play on Saturday. The Celtics posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 14-4 in the first half, much of that attributable to Rondo’s steady hand. The Magic were a dreadful 5-11 in the same category, a lack of both concentration and attention to detail that found them staring at a 17-point halftime deficit.

— Leave it to Stan Van Gundy to provide the night’s unintentional comedy. He crumpled into the fetal position on the Orlando bench after one of his own players, Matt Barnes, shoved Kevin Garnett into Van Gundy’s lap while committing a foul midway through the third quarter. Barnes can’t be blamed for taking out his frustrations on someone – he’s had his balls chopped off thanks to his starring role in VH1’s Basketball Wives – but Van Gundy showed very little toughness or mobility with Garnett coming his way. His effort to avoid Boston’s center was as weak as his team’s performance.

— Orlando is proving yet again that jump-shooting teams have no chance to win anything at any level of basketball. The Magic were a ridiculous 8-for-30 from 3-point range on Saturday night and were skunked in the paint, 28-8, in the decisive first half. Taking that many outside shots suggests that Orlando doesn’t have the grit or determination to stand up and face the Celtics man-to-man, and a 3-0 series deficit is the result.

— Is Doc Rivers serious? Paul Pierce, Rondo, Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins on the floor with a 30-point lead midway through the fourth quarter? A quick note, Doc – situations like these were created for a lineup of Shelden Williams, Marquis Daniels, Nate Robinson and every other scrub you can find on your bench. You wouldn’t look like such a genius if Pierce had turned an ankle with the Celtics protecting an 85-53 lead.

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