This wait between games 2 and 3 seems to be an eternity. I know that it will help the Celtics to rest their bumps and bruises, especially Perk's knees. But I worry about how they will come out after all this time off. This season the Celtics are 5-4 when playing after 3 days rest. And, they are 0-2 in the playoffs when playing after 3 days rest. The Magic, on the other hand, are 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the playoffs when playing after 3 days rest. Let's hope that whatever switch the Celtics flipped after game 3 stays flipped and they come out ready to play in game 3.
The Delonte/Lebron's mom story is taking a bizarre twist with Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy coming out on ESPN radio to confirm that it is true. So, now, the Cavs not only lost because of LeBron's phantom elbow injury but also because he was so distraught over finding out about his mom and Delonte. Maybe that's the reason Delonte thought he needed all those guns. Just sayin'.
I'm a little worried about the refs for game 3. We are due for another Salvatore officated game. The only game that was truly officiated terribly one sided was game 3 of the Cavs series when Salvatore did everything he could do to take the Celtics out of the game early. If the league wants to extend this series for any reason, I expect Salvatore and Bavetta to be on the officiating crew. Tim Donaghy had this to say on his facebook page:
Dwight Howard's elbow to the face of Paul Pierce was a flagrant foul. If Orlando was up 2-0 in the match-up, Howard would be suspended for game 3. But with being down 0-2 it's a whole different marketing plan with the hope of Orlando getting some wins to extend this thing moving forward.
I just have this horrid feeling that Salvatore, Bavetta and Mauer are going to be the officials and the Celtics will truly be playing 5 on 8.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Defense will win this series. The Celtics have to continue to play their game on the defensive end. They have to limit Howard with single coverage and they have to stay at home on the 3 point shooters. The Magic are scrambling and they are going to be changing some things to try to get going. Barnes is talking about stopping Pierce and calling him a flopper, which should serve to fire up the Captain even more. Problem with that is that Vince on Ray could get him going. With the Celtics it's always pick your poison.
Perk was upset with Howard's 30 points in game 2, but what could the guy do when he fouled out in only 15 minutes while Howard got away with the same stuff that Perk was given fouls for doing. I'm a bit leery of the officiating in the game coming up, but I am hoping that the greed over a Celtics/Lakers final will overcome the greed of wanting this series to go longer. Hopefully Perk will get the benefit of a few more calls in this one and can stay on the court longer.
I hope that Doc has the Bruins' recent playoff collapse posted somewhere in the locker room. Up 3-0, they were thinking sweep too. Then, they just collapsed and allowed the series to slip through their fingers. The Orlando Sentinel is saying that the Magic shouldn't give up because there is a good chance that the Celtics could fold, just as the Bruins did. A lot of the Magic fans are pointing to the Celtics struggles on their home court this season as reason to still believe that they can still win this series. The Celtics must come out focused and get game 3 no matter what refs they get and no matter what the Magic do to change their strategy. If the Celtics lose game 3, it will give the Magic hope and that is dangerous. There is a reason that the Magic had the second best record on the NBA this season and there is a reason that they swept their first two opponents. And there is a reason that they were heavily favored over the Celtics going into this series. They are good and if the Celtics let up in the least, they are going to show it. No let ups. No mercy.