BOSTON - MAY 22: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics defends against Rashard Lewis #9 of the Orlando Magic at TD Banknorth Garden in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic's season is on the line tonight when they take the TD Garden court to face the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. A loss, and they're finished until the fall. A win, and they come back to Orlando for Game 5 on Wednesday. Surprisingly, most of you prefer the Magic face the indignity of a sweep than the indignity of potentially losing Game 5 at home; the lesser of two evils, I guess, is the sweep. I'm not sure. At this point, Orlando doesn't have any adjustments to make. Play harder, play smarter, play better. No strategy is going to force the Celtics to double-team Dwight Howard, for instance. Boston's extraordinary defense has dictated everything in this series. And on the rare occasion where the Magic's offense manages to get someone open, like here, when a Rashard Lewis screen frees Vince Carter coming off a curl? Nothing happened. Because the Magic have, for the most part, checked out. Carter says he expects the Magic "to go out there and fight" tonight. And maybe over the last few days the Magic found some fight, in which case the series could indeed return to Orlando.
|2010 Eastern Conference Finals|
|Boston Leads, 3-0|
|May 24th, 2010|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Rajon Rondo|
|Vince Carter||SG||Ray Allen|
|Matt Barnes||SF||Paul Pierce|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Kevin Garnett|
|Dwight Howard||C||Kendrick Perkins|
|May 16th: Celtics 92, Magic 88|
|May 18th: Celtics 95, Magic 92|
|May 22nd: Celtics 94, Magic 71|
You'll forgive me if I have difficulty focusing on this game. A bulk of the chatter in the comments here, and in my email box, has revolved around the offseason, so I've already shifted into that mode. CelticsBlog is playing the "It's Not Over" card, but let's be serious: Boston will win this series sooner or later. The issue is when, not if.
Anyway, discuss Game 4 here.