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What They're Saying Before the Orlando Magic Face Off Against the Boston Celtics

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  • The Magic's Dwight Howard has piled up 12 technical fouls this season, trailing leader Rasheed Wallace.
    Brian Schmitz states that there's going to be a lot of chatter taking place at the TD Garden.

    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls — well, maybe not boys and girls under 13 — we give you Orlando vs. Boston, i.e., The Great Debate IV.

    The game features the top three league leaders in technical fouls. Plus, there are two stand-up comedian coaches — Boston's Doc Rivers and Orlando's Stan Van Gundy — who already have been heavily fined for remarks made about officiating.

    There's Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace, of course, a serial referee-baiter from way back. He currently leads with 14 technical fouls. He's definitely on his game.

    But coming up to challenge Wallace's sharp tongue is young Magic center Dwight Howard, who has 12. He and Wallace are neck-and-neck — tech-and-tech? — down the stretch.

    Not to be denied is Celtics center Kendrick Perkins. He has 11 technicals, for crying out loud, which he obviously does often.
  • The Magic have a tough week ahead of them: Boston, New Orleans, Chicago and Cleveland
    The Magic will have a challenging schedule - starting with today's game with the Celtics - heading into the All-Star break, which will include two back-to-backs.

    The Magic won't see the Celtics again after today unless they meet in the postseason. Orlando leads the season series 2-1 and a win today can give them a potential playoff tiebreaker in the Eastern Conference.

    "This would be a big stepping stone," SF Matt Barnes said. "It's one of 82, but it's definitely a big game."

More after the jump.

  • Paul Pierce has plan of action
    Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald notes that the Celtics are in need of a quality win against one of the elite teams in the NBA.

    Their three-game winning streak aside, the Celtics are still in desperate need of a quality win.

    Today’s game against Orlando - the last of the regular-season series against the Magic - certainly qualifies.

    The degree of importance depends on who is doing the talking.
  • Pierce 'good to go'
    Frank Dell'Apa of The Boston Globe has updates on the statuses of Marquis Daniels and Paul Pierce - two players who may suit up and play against the Magic.

    The status of both Marquis Daniels (left thumb surgery) and Pierce will be determined before the 2:30 p.m. tipoff.

    "Marquis looked pretty good, actually, besides not knowing any of our stuff," Rivers said. "Paul, I'm more concerned -- if he's hesitant at all, we'll pass on the game with him tomorrow. I would say 50-50 with both of them."
  • There is still time for Magic formula to work
    Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes a lengthy but excellent article on the adjustments Orlando is still trying to make on the court with its new players.

    With so many changes in the offseason, [Otis] Smith is not inclined to make any moves before the trade deadline. He is still waiting for his adjustments to come to fruition.

    "It’s kind of hard to write the conclusion of the book without getting to the end,’’ he said. "If we win, we can say the changes were good, but if we don’t, then we can probably look back and say the changes were bad.

    "The objective is to compete for a championship year in and year out. So by making some of the changes, it was to have the opportunity to compete for a title, and I still think we have that chance.’’
  • Give them failing marks on these boards
    Rebounding is an area of improvement for Boston.