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Cs Look to Throw Counter Punch

1 @ 0
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
8:00 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

The outcome of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was a tough one to swallow for Celtics supporters. Nothing went right in the first half, and that had everything to do with the intimidation factor of Dwight Howard. The Celtics were scared to attack the paint and challenge him, especially Rajon Rondo, and they were so afraid that they didn't earn a single trip to the free throw line by intermission. Not one. The team was out of sync in every way possible, and the only true positive from the first half may have been the offensive surge from Stephon Marbury.

The third quarter was a different story, as the Celtics played desperation basketball while Orlando got comfortable, and the tables turned. Rajon Rondo knocked down 10 of his 12 free throw attempts in the third quarter alone, and the Celtics willed themselves back into the ballgame. Boston came from down 28 to bring the deficit to just four with about a minute and a half to go. Unfortunately, Ray Allen's corner three-ball bounce back out after falling three quarters of the way down, and the Cs were unable to cap off the miracle comeback with a victory.

However, as disappointing as Monday night's loss was, there is plenty of basketball left to be played. On the bright side, this game showed us that the Celtics can indeed beat Orlando in this series. It showed the players that they aren't going to get anywhere if they don't relentlessly attack, and it showed the fans that our guys were right there with Orlando despite a putrid overall performance. Ray Allen put up yet another Game 1 stinker (2-12 FG), Paul Pierce shot just 7-18, and Rajon Rondo was atrocious for roughly three quarters and finished with seven turnovers to go along with a 2-12 shooting clip. I'll be damned if all three of them duplicate those abysmal outings in Game 2.

As crazy as it sounds, we should feel confident after losing Game 1 on our home floor.

Go get 'em, boys, and get 'em with a 48-minute sense of urgency this time, will ya?

Regular Season Record: 59-23
Eastern Conference Seed: 3
Conference Quarterfinals Result: ORL 4, PHI 2

Projected Starters

Series Leaders
PPG: Rashard Lewis (18.0)
RPG: Dwight Howard (22.0)
APG: Rafer Alston (7.0)
SPG: Rashard Lewis (3.0)
BPG: Dwight Howard (3.0)

Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2
Conference Quarterfinals Result: BOS 4, CHI 3

Projected Starters

Series Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (23.0)
RPG: Kendrick Perkins (16.0)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.0)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (3.0)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (3.0)

Injury Report
Jameer Nelson (torn right labrum - out)
Courtney Lee (recovering from sinus surgery - out)
Kevin Garnett (right knee - out)
Leon Powe (torn ACL - out)

Keys to Victory

  • Sense of Urgency
  • Get Back On Defense After Missed Shots
  • Control the Defensive Glass
  • Take Care of the Ball
  • Ball Movement
  • Avoid Foul Trouble

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