By By Travis H. Singleton, BASN sports writer
Updated: January 26, 2012
BOSTON, MA—The Boston Celtics are coming off a win against the Washington Wizards on Sunday, beating the Wizards (100-94). The one thing people keep saying is that the Celtics haven’t beat a quality team yet all this year. With the Orlando Magic rolling into town with the second best record in the eastern conference the Celtics had a chance to prove all the doubters wrong. Also the Celtics welcome back Glen”Big Baby”Davis to the TD Garden, Doc said before the game ” It feels like every week were playing someone that I have coached and I hate seeing them when I’m not coaching them anymore”.
The Celtics would have a huge task to try to stop Dwight Howard in the paint as he has recorded back to back games with plus 20 in points and rebounds. In Doc Rivers pre game interview he noted that if they were going to win it was going to have to be a team effort on the court and not an individual effort. The Celtics already banged up on the roster played the Orlando Magic another man down as Doc said ” Pietrus is out with a shoulder injury that had occurred during the Wizards game”. The Celtics went into a battle with the Magic without Pietrus,Rondo,Allen,Dooling,and Wilcox and yet they still were out to show the world what talented players they still had on the roster and they did that.
The Celtics started Sasha Pavlovic and Avery Bradley in this game and they made their presence felt in this game. Avery Bradley’s defensive energy on the ball had make a huge impact on the game. In the first quarter his defense had let to offense for the Celtics as Paul Pierce dropped 8 points in the first, but it looked like on the other end they would be in for a long night as Dwight Howard had 12 in the first quarter too.
Heading into the second quarter the Celtics paid tribute to Glen”Big Baby” Davis on the jumbo screen as the Boston faithful cheered for him and while that was happening the man that replaced him Brandon Bass felt like it was time to ruin that moment as he recorded 11 points off the bench in that quarter. The Celtics defense started to buckle down on the Magic having them shoot 25% from the field and it was starting to look like the Celtics had this game in a headlock. Going into halftime the Celtics were up 46-36 over the Magic with Pierce and Bass leading the way for them. The Magic only had Dwight Howard in double figures going into the second half and they were shooting about 28% from the field which is very low for this team of shooters with all there depth.
In the second half there were two huge plays that got that championship defense pot brewing again and it was when Jermaine O’neal and Dwight Howard got into an altercation on the court, it refueled the Celtics in the game and got them working harder on the defense side and got them more feisty. The second big play was when Avery Bradley stole the ball from Nelson and he dove on the court for it followed by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Those were huge plays that got the Celtics back into the swing of things and it set the tone. The Celtics had the Magic shooting 18% from the field that third quarter and kept on rolling over the Magic after no one gave them a chance without Rondo,Allen, and Pietrus. The Celtics were up 69-46 heading into the fourth quarter and didn’t take their foot off the gas as Pierce and Bass lead the way.
The Celtics went on to win and held Dwight Howard to 18 points and 14 rebounds but let it be known not even superman was able to save the day with the Celtics defense. The Celtics shut the Orlando Magic down holding them to 24% from the field on the night and held them to 56 points as the Celtics scored 87 points.
The Celtics will play the Magic in Orlando on Thursday night and I’m not expecting to see the same Magic that played on Monday night there either. Stan Van Gundy has to come up with a better scheme to try to stop Bass and Pierce because they were the main two that killed them on monday. Going into this next game against the Magic you can tell that the Celtics as a whole are starting to get their legs back because they were running the court and moving on defense.
The Celtics finally got the monkey off their back about not beating a contender so let’s see if this win can lead to another on thursday night and on friday night. This was an impressive team win without Allen,Rondo, and Pietrus and if they play that good without them when they come back it will be even better. The Celtics have to get back to the 07-08 season defense in order to gain some respect in the league again and with the defensive effort on monday they showed signs of that coming back.
I got the chance to check in with Dwight Howard, Glen Davis, and Kevin Garnett below ENJOY
Glen Davis Tribute Video
Glen “Big Baby” Davis Interview
Talk about the Celtics defensive game plan?
There defense was on point we didn’t have anything to adjust at all and we didn’t change anything we kept doing the same thing. As a team we have to get better with the match ups in the games.
What were your emotions when you saw the big screen during the game?
It was good remember all the memories I looked really big like really big I looked chubby and now I’m leaner now and it was good to see things like that and memories you never forget and the fans showed love I appreciate that.
What’s the big difference with Orlando and Boston?
Different system different guys and coach a lot of different things as a player you have to adjust and its gonna take a lot to get used to the system and its a process.
Dwight Howard Interview
What Happened Tonight?
It was a tough game they pressured us a lot and we rushed shots and it wasn’t a good night overall for us , we have another game tomorrow and we’ll bounce back and we will be better and I told the guys its over with now. We can’t come back and get this game but we can get another game and they got in our heads and won the mental battle for a couple years some times and we’ll get better.
Surprised you at all you set franchise lows for points and field goals?
After the first quarter it went down hill for us but theres no need to hang our heads we have played good basketball and we have to continue to get better and we can’t let a team beat us physically and it wan’t like they did anything special they just played regular basketball and we have to keep are heads and stay together.
Howard ” There’s no way KG should be beating me up and down the court, theres a couple plays he beat me no way he’s 40 and I’m 25 I just can’t allow it to happen I have to step up”.
Kevin Garnett Interview
Are you feeling good after a win like this?
Yeah, hell yeah we worked hard in this game and after a back to back it was a tough game. We had a game plan and with all the people missing from the game it was a grind game and everyone knew there assignments and I can say we carried the assignments to perfection.
At any point could you tell this game was coming tonight?
When you go into a fight under maned it’s not the weapons its more so the fight and tonight we were all fight and Bradley’s pressure throughout the game was tremendous and the pressure on the guards. Everyone had to carry a load and that starting with me and Paul. As I told you we have been working and we are a team its the hard work that pays off as we won tonight.
How did you approach Dwight Howard?
When players get the whistle players are very talented and athletic and your at his mercy to be honest. You have to do dirty work to get him off his sweet spots and contest his shot he is strong and powerful and explosive and you at his mercy. Dwight try to contest shots and match his aggressiveness and there’s no one that looks like him, plays like him and thats why he’s Dwight Howard.
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