|2009 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals|
|Series tied, 3-3|
|May 17th, 2009|
|TD Banknorth Garden|
|Rafer Alston||PG||Rajon Rondo|
|J.J. Redick||SG||Ray Allen|
|Hedo Turkoglu||SF||Paul Pierce|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Glen Davis|
|Dwight Howard||C||Kendrick Perkins|
The Orlando Magic face long odds today against the Boston Celtics, where they'll try to become the first team to ever beat Boston after facing a 3-2 series deficit. Additionally, the current Celtics squad is 3-0 in Game 7s in the last two seasons. Meanwhile, the Magic haven't played a Game 7 since
1995 2003. Almost everything favors the Celtics.
None of that bothers the Magic, though. Here's the wit and wisdom of coach Stan Van Gundy, who was at his comedic sharpest after his team's Game 6 win Thursday night:
"There are a lot of things that have never happened before until somebody does them."
Van Gundy is also on the record as saying his team "should" win the series. Howard and his mentor, Patrick Ewing, have separately guaranteed wins today. Dwight, the league's leading rebounder four years running, is known for cleaning the glass. If the Magic lose today, he'll have to demonstrate a different cleaning skill: scrubbing egg off the City of Orlando's figurative face.
At stake today is the right to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. Some people, like Michael White, would argue that it's the biggest game in the Magic's 20-year history. It could also be the last game in a Magic uniform for Hedo Turkoglu, Marcin Gortat, and Tyronn Lue; it could also be the last game of Adonal Foyle's career. But don't focus on the negative. The Magic are one win away from the Conference Finals despite losing their second-best player, and best leader, just more than halfway through the season. Win or lose, it's been a tremendous season. The team deserves your respect, and your attention from 8 PM to 11 PM tonight.
... and hopefully every other night for the next few weeks.