Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 4 of Celtics-Magic

Posted by Bill Koch on May 25, 2010

Let’s not put Mickey and Minnie on upset alert just yet.

The Orlando Magic managed to find a way to win Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics in overtime, 96-92. Big deal. Boston is still firmly in command in the best-of-7 series, 3-1, has already won twice on Orlando’s home floor and has a home game waiting should it drop Game 5 on Wednesday night.
With all that said, the Magic still have given us more basketball to watch. Perhaps we should be thankful for that. Let’s look at our five thoughts from a disappointing night at The Fake Garden.

— Dwight Howard was finally able to unleash his trademark athleticism. Howard terrorized Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Big Baby Davis and the rest of Boston’s front line for 32 points and 16 rebounds. It’s the first time in the series that the Celtics really looked like they didn’t have complete control of the paint, and that has a lot to do with our second thought.

— Jameer Nelson finally showed he has a pulse. Nelson was able to drive, draw and dish for 23 points and nine assists, and he hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the overtime that crippled Boston’s hopes of a sweep. Rajon Rondo was saddled with foul trouble and slumped to nine points and eight assists, allowing Nelson to take command of the game’s tempo.

— Rasheed Wallace only needed a couple of minutes to torpedo Boston’s momentum in the fourth quarter. Wallace was hit with a technical foul during one of his usual tirades, and that came on the heels of a J.J. Redick 3-pointer that erased a 68-67 Orlando deficit. Redick made the technical and Wallace followed with a moving screen and a bricked 3-pointer that helped the Magic steady themselves for the stretch run. Wallace finished with a pathetic four points and three rebounds in 13 minutes.

— Vince Carter is an absolute dog. Getting benched in favor of Redick in the fourth quarter should mark the final disgraceful chapter in Carter’s underwhelming postseason career. He finished 1-for-9 from the field, scored three points, grabbed two rebounds and turned the ball over three times in 31 minutes in a potential elimination game. He’s the same gutless worm who slogged his way through Toronto and New Jersey, a colossal waste of physical talent married with an undisciplined and soft mental approach.

— Why does Orlando deserve so much credit for playing hard and extending the series? Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson all sounded shocked that the Magic didn’t just pack it in like they did during their 94-71 humiliation in Game 3. That’s yet another indictment of the NBA and its players in general, where playing hard every night is considered a skill and not a given.

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