The Celtics' Kevin Garnett put Carlos Arroyo and his Magic teammates in their place on Sunday night in a 103-91 victory for Boston.
Photo by Brian Babineau, NBAE/Getty Images
Orlando had no answer for Boston's three-headed monster of Ray Allen (22 points), Kevin Garnett (21 points), and Paul Pierce (24 points) as the Celtics defeated the Magic by a final score of 103-91. Rajon Rondo became the second second-year Magic opponent in as many games to set a career-high in scoring, chipping in 23 points and his first two three-pointers of the season to help his team. Here's the boxscore.
The Magic showed heart and hustle, to borrow a term from the franchise's past, in last night's game. Even down double-digits in the third quarter, they refused to mail in the rest of the game; that is to say they continued to play hard. That much is admirable. However, Boston showed its superiority by outclassing Orlando in nearly every phase of the game.
We just don't have what it takes to match up with an elite team like Boston. We're a second-tier team. We don't have the offensive weapons to overcome allowing four of the opposing team's starters to score 20-plus points. And it wasn't like we were playing poor defense; sure, we left Ray Allen a little too wide-open a few times, but most of the shots the Celtics hit came with an Orlando defender running right at them.
I'm at a loss. Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis continue to play poorly, and the Dwight Howard/Hedo Turkoglu tandem can only carry us so far... like, say, the first round of the playoffs, maybe? It's clear that this team is not nearly as good as its 16-4 suggested it would be, and changes need to be made. Seven losses in nine games is cause for concern.
Thankfully, we have a fairly light schedule ahead: New York (8-19, last in the Atlantic Division), Miami (8-19, last in the Southeast Division), Charlotte (10-15, second-to-last in the Southeast Division), and Chicago (9-16, last in the Central Division) are our opponents in the next week. With a good showing, we can go 4-0 and recoup some of the games we lost in this past stretch, during which we went 2-4. However, that's what we said when we saw Indiana, Atlanta, and Memphis on the schedule two weeks ago, and that didn't turn out well at all.