This game was intense on both sides of the ball. KG got chippy early and the rest of the two teams picked it right up from there. The Celtics jumped out to an early lead on some hot shooting, building it to double digits in the first quarter.
Then the subs checked into the game. Ryan Anderson had a mini run pretty much by himself against Glen Davis and Luke Harangody. From then on the game was the back and forth affair that you'd expect from the last two Eastern Conference representatives in the Finals.
My final note before the jump, I missed watching KG play on this team. My favorite player is Paul Pierce, but the team just plays differently when KG is out there. He made a huge steal and got it up court to a streaking Ray Allen, that steal essentially won the game by milking 10 seconds off the clock and getting Ray Allen at the line up 3.
More notes and my thoughts on the Magic/Celtics match up after the jump.
- Dwight Howard is a lot scarier prospect when he shoots 72% from the free throw line. He's on a bit of a hot streak from the line and hopefully for the rest of the league he regresses to his career mean. If he can hit 70% that's a lot more points for Orlando from an already efficient scorer.
- Despite Howard's guady stat line Shaq does a very good job on him in single coverage. Solid game from the Big Shamrock
- Ryan Anderson is a solid offensive player. He abused the Celtics early for 14 quick points in the first half, as Doc noted in a time out the broadcast shared most of those were from Celtics mistakes. After that torrid start they held him to little offensive impact beyond some big offensive rebounds.
- Gilbert Arenas is playing like the Orlando's version of Nate Robinson, except he is paid like an all-nba player. I still don't understand that move from the Magic. They could have just benched Rashard to play Anderson/Bass more.....
- Jason Richardson was a major defensive liability against Ray Allen and overall. Late in the game in particular he gave up several open jump shots to Ray, fouled KG on a legal screen giving the C's 2 FTA, and in his worst possession fouled Paul Pierce on an upfake that resulted in a three point play.
- The Celtics shot 60% from the field, and Orlando only shot 46%. But the eFG% was much closer because Orlando hit 8 more threes than Boston. eFG% for Boston was 62% and 53%. A much smaller margin which when combined with +7 offensive rebounds and +5 points from the free throw line (in 10 more attempts) kept Orlando in the game.
- I still don't think Orlando can beat Miami or Boston in a seven game series, not if everyone on both sides is healthy. Kendrick Perkins allows us to keep Gody on the bench all game and shores up some of those offensive rebounds. We can't get him back soon enough with Jermaine potentially gone for a long time.