NBA.com: Back from 0-3? If any team can do it, the Magic can
John Schuhmann, one of the most intelligent people covering the league today, explains why the Orlando Magic can become the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series by highlighting "some key statistical difference between the first three games and the last two." Improved offense, Jameer Nelson, stronger starts, better post defense, a dominant showing on the boards, and the decision to push to pace have all contributed, to varying degrees.
Behind the Box Score, where the Magic aren't done yet - Ball Don't Lie
Implicitly, Kelly Dwyer agrees:
Orlando's just that good. They're good enough to ... well, I won't say it. But you can understand it. And while you shouldn't expect it, you should be ready for it. A bit of history, darlings.
Endorsing J.J. Redick - Ball Don't Lie
More from Dwyer, this time on what stands out about J.J. Redick's game.
Orlando Magic tickets: Orlando Magic tickets for Game 7 (if necessary) go on sale Friday at noon – Orlando Magic BasketBlog
The Magic distributed a press release earlier with details for tickets to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, if necessary. The Orlando Sentinel has those details.
Jameer Nelson Continues His Damage in the Pick and Roll | Magic Basketball
Eddy's hookup at ESPN Stats and Information provided this breakdown of Nelson's strong pick-and-roll play in Orlando's wins in Games 4 and 5.
Celtics' worst nightmare comes alive as Dwight Howard takes over - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
Ian Thomsen credits Dwight Howard's resurgence for Orlando's strong performances in Game 4 and 5, and wonders if the Celtics' lack of big men could mean Howard will romp again in Game 6.
Knocked Down, Not Out - CelticsBlog
Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog expects the Celtics to prevail on Friday. Here's part of his take on Game 5:
The Magic won because they are a good team and because they also got pretty lucky. Lucky that the refs did them favors, lucky that a few freak injuries left us reeling (in some cases literally), and lucky that all the shots were falling last night for them.
NBA Playoffs, Celtics Magic: Game 6 or bust for Boston - ProBasketballTalk - Basketball - NBC Sports
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk writes that the Celtics will be in trouble "if they lose Friday night," and that defense will be key in Game 6.
The Potential Contenders in 2009-10 | The Wages of Wins Journal
In a rather interesting post yesterday, Prof. David Berri says the Magic are one of only five teams this year to have "both a 'super-star' and at least one 'star'" this year. He identifies Howard as the super-star and Matt Barnes--the journeyman small forward on his seventh team in seven years--as the star. Prof. Berri's metrics have long valued rebounding, perhaps to too great an extent, which might explain Barnes' elevated rating here.