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Celtics Come Home Looking for Series Lead

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gamethreadrd2 by celticsblog.


Orlando Magic (2-2,6-4) at Boston Celtics (2-2,6-5)
Round 2, Game 5
Postseason game #12 Home Game #7
Tuesday, May 12
8:00 PM ET
TV: TNT
Pre/Post Game: CSN HD 7:00 PM ET, After the Game
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

With the talk and emotions still swirling from the Celtics' win on Big Baby's last second shot in game 4, the Celtics prepare to host the Magic in what is sure to be an emotional game 5.

Rashard Lewis felt that the Celtics celebrated the win too much and feels that the Celtics' behavior after their win will be motivation for the Magic. The Celtics came very close to being down 3-1 and instead are coming into this game tied looking to take a 3-2 lead in the series themselves.

The Magic will certainly be motivated and the Celtics will need to match their intensity. They have home court advantage back courtesy of their last second win in game 4 and they must make that work for them. The need to feed off the energy of the fans and play defense for 48 minutes. Defense will be the key to winning this game.

A big question mark in this game will be Perk's shoulder. He is determined to play in this game in spite of tweaking his shoulder in game 4. He refused an MRI because he didn't want to take a chance on them telling him he can't play. Hopefully it was just a tweak and he will be fine to play.

The Celtics have shown a lot of heart in this series and will need to show a lot more before it is over. If they play their game today, the Celtics should finish with a 3-2 lead. Git 'er done!

Probable Starting Matchups

Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Rafer Alston

vs

Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Courtney Lee
[image] vs


Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu
[image] vs[image]

Power Forward
Big Baby Davis vs Rashard Lewis
[image] vs [image]

Center

Kendrick Perkins vs Dwight Howard

vs


[image] Reserves
Stephon Marbury
Mikki Moore
Eddie House
Gabe Pruitt
Bill Walker
JR Giddens
Brian Scalabrine
Tony Allen

Injured
Kevin Garnett (knee) out

Leon Powe (knee) out
Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) probable

[image] Reserves
Courtney Lee
Tony Battie
Marcin Gortat
Adonal Foyle
Jeremy Richardson
Anthony Johnson
Mickael Pietrus
Tyronn Lue
JJ Reddick


Injured
Jameer Nelson (labrum) out





Key Matchups
vs
Rajon Rondo vs Rafer Alston
As it has been in every game, as goes Rondo, so go the Celtics. He must be aggressive and set the tone for the team. If Rondo comes out flat, so will the Celtics.

vs
Kendrick Perkins vs Dwight Howard
Perk strained his shoulder in the last game but came back to play the last 2 minutes with some key stops on Howard to help give the Celtics the win. Perk is refusing an MRI and says he will play in game 5. Perk is the key to winning this series plain and simple. His ability to cover Howard one on one and make him take shots that are out of his comfort zone, along with limiting his offensive rebounds and put backs is crucial. Hopefully Perk's shoulder will be fine and he will be effective in this game.

vs
Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu
Paul Pierce started game 4 strong and set the tone for the team throughout. When Pierce is aggressive and looking to take the ball to the hoop and not settling for contested jumpers, good things happen. He also made the assist that led to the game winner by Big Baby showing his trust in his teammates. The Celtics absolutely need another big game from Pierce.

vs
Ray Allen vs Courtney Lee
Ray has been pretty much missing in action in this series. He was 0-5 from beyond the arc in game 4 but shot 6-13 overall for 12 points. He will be putting up a lot of shots between the end of game 4 and the beginning of game 5 to try to get himself on track. The Celtics need his offense and hopefully he can get back on track in this game.

vs
Big Baby Davis vs Rashard Lewis
The Celtics have struggled to defend Rashard Lewis this entire series. Both Big Baby and Scal have struggled to try to contain him. At times they have been successful and other times they have been burned. Big Baby came up big for the Celtics in game 4 with key baskets down the stretch and the game winner. His ability to hit that 15-20 foot jumper has been a key for the Celtics all series long.

Bench vs Bench
The Celtics bench once again struggled to score in game 4. Eddie House who has been on fire was held to just one shot in game 4 because he was smothered by the Orlando defense every time he touched the ball. To his credit, he didn't force up contested shots. The Celtics need to figure out how to get Eddie some open shots in game 5. The only basket from the bench was a runner by Marbury early in the game. The Magic bench has been big for them all series and pitched in 31 points in game 4. Pietrus has especially been effective for them off the bench. The bench players for the Celtics must step up on both ends of the court. They must get more from their second unit.

to the Game

Defense
The number one key to the game has to be defense. When the Celtics commit to defense and make the Magic take tough shots and keep them out of the paint, they win. In the Celtics 2 losses, they allowed the Magic to shoot 51% but in the 2 wins, the Magic averaged only 42%. The Celtics offense keys off of their defense and in the 2 wins they averaged 52% from the floor while in the two losses they shot only 41%. The Celtics must focus on defense and play it from start to finish. The only game they did this was game 2 and they won in a blowout.

Ball Movement
The Celtics must trust the pass. They have to move the ball and find the open man. When they resort to too many iso's and too much dribbling, they struggle to score. When they move the ball, they keep the Magic defense off balance and their offense clicks on all cylinders.

Don't Settle for Jumpers
The team that has shot mostly jumpers in each game has lost and the team that focused on getting the ball inside and was aggressive in getting to the basket won. The Celtics must take the ball inside and either get the score or the get free throws.

Rebound
It is key for the Celtics to continue to crash the boards and win the rebounding battle. They need to keep the Magic from getting second chance points and put backs, which is how Howard gets most of his points. They also must give themselves extra possessions by getting to the offensive rebounds. The team that wants the game most will battles hardest on the boards.

Focus and Hustle
The Celtics must come out focused from the opening tip and they have to keep that focus throughout the game. They can't afford to get into a hole and have to dig out of it. They also can't let up if they get a lead because the Magic can put up points in a hurry. They have to hustle for loose balls, rebounds and especially on defense. They can win this series, they just have to want it and focus on getting it, one game at a time.

X-Factor
Home Court Advantage
The Celtics regained home court advantage with their win in game 4. They fought hard for it and now they need to make it work for them. They need to feed off the crowd which is sure to be up for this game.