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Magic vs. Celtics: Boston hopes to stretch Orlando's defense

The Orlando Magic enter Friday's game against the Boston Celtics with a surprisingly strong defense: according to NBA.com/stats, Orlando's defense allows just 94.8 points per 100 possessions and 34.8 paint points per game. Both of those figures are third-best in the league.

How has Orlando succeeded on defense? Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered an explanation before tipoff.

"They leave those guys down there [in the paint], for the most part, and they really pressure you with their guards," he said. The way to counter that defensive style is to "stretch 'em with your bigs," according to Stevens.

"I think your bigs have to make shots to beat 'em," Stevens said.

Boston has at least one big man who can shoot, and he's familiar to Orlando fans: Brandon Bass, who spent two seasons with the Magic, has developed into an elite mid-range shooter at power forward, and he's converted 52.2 percent of his shots from that range through five games of the 2013/14 season.

Friday's game tips off at 7 PM Eastern. Orlando Pinstriped Post will offer full coverage in this StoryStream.

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