Game 2 ECF Preview
8:30 PM ESPN
From the Orlando Magic press release:
The Orlando Magic will try to utilize their Game 1 defeat to the Boston Celtics as a wake-up call and a reason to exert even more effort at practice as they gear up for Game 2, which tips off on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Game 1 obviously didn’t go as planned for the Magic, but as this team has proven all season long, they are driven to bounce back from adversity.
Sunday’s loss was the first defeat for Orlando since April 2. It had won 14 consecutive games, including an 8-0 start to the postseason.
“Our team has responded to everything,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Our guys aren't going to fall apart.”
The best news from Game 1 was that the Magic battled back from a 20-point deficit, 17 in the fourth quarter, to close within two in the final 10 seconds. They showed tremendous determination and resilience, but Boston managed to hit its free throws to seal the victory.
“It's going to be a battle,” said Vince Carter, who led Orlando with 23 points. “It’s going to be a war.”
The outcome of this series may come down to how well Dwight Howard, the league’s best defensive player, performs. The four-time All-Star didn’t find his offensive rhythm in Game 1, finishing with 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field.
“I just have to come back in Game 2 and not try to force anything,” Howard said. “But at the same time just still be aggressive.”
Many NBA critics and spectators are already blaming Orlando’s meager shooting performance (5-of-22 from 3-point range) on the extended layoff. While the Celtics just came off an exhilarating series triumph over the top-seeded Cavaliers on the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Magic earned rest for their dominant performance against the Hawks.
But, Orlando doesn’t think rust had anything to do with it.
“We were just anxious,” D12 said. “I think they did a lot of good things on defense.”
Game 2 now sets up to be the most important contest of the year for the Magic. It’s extremely rare for teams, especially when they started the series at home, to overcome a 2-0 deficit and advance.
Here is the complete preview from Yahoo! Sports.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports details in his column about how tough the Boston defense really was in Game 1.
Here is a column from cbssports.com columnist Gregg Doyel that is very harsh on the Magic's Dwight Howard.
Bleacher Report writer Adam Davis writes how the Magic showed their toughness in the Game 1 loss.
The Magic are 7 point favorites at -330 odds to win Game 2.