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Beware The 3rd Quarter Collapse

The data below comes from the Magic blog called Orlando Pinstriped Post (which ironically enough was once called 3rd Quarter Collapse).

There are some very interesting dynamics that take place from quarter to quarter, as you can see.

Team Quarter
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Celtics 89 91 74 93 347
Magic 94 56 106 96 352
Difference +5 -35 +32 +3 +5

One way to look at it is that the teams played evenly after the first quarter. A more relevant way to look at it is that Boston consistently owns the second, while Orlando seems to rally in the third. Those differences aren't skewed by just a few bad quarters, either; the Magic lost three of the four second quarters in this series, and tied the other. The same holds true for the Celtics in the third, losing three outright while tying the other. In a way, I think this bodes well for the Magic. Those second-quarter letdowns came with the second unit in the game. In the playoffs, coach Stan Van Gundy has relied on his starters more. Thus, in this series, the Magic's second-quarter play should improve.

I think this speaks well to Van Gundy's ability to adjust at halftime and make sure his players are on the same page headed onto the court for the 3rd quarter.  In other words, we can't count on another Mike Brown coaching flub to give us an advantage.  Doc will have to be proactive and at his motivational best to make sure the guys are ready to roll out of halftime.

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