Celtics vs Magic Potential 2012 Eastern Conference Playoff Preview
Amway Arena in Northern Florida will be the site for game one of an NBA double-header on TNT, as the (7-9) Boston Celtics [+10] and the (12-5) Orlando Magic [-10] meet in a potential 2012 Eastern Conference Playoff Preview. This game’s opening tipoff is slated for tonight at 8 PM ET. According to NBA Odds makers, the Celtics and Magic are projected to combine and score an OVER/UNDER total of 174.5 points.
For the Celtics, this season hasn’t gotten off to the start everyone envisioned, but it hasn’t been all due to bad play. Injuries to key players has also hindered Boston’s ability to play up to the level so many Bostonians have been accustomed to through the years.
Nevertheless, the C’s appear to be on their way to bigger and better things, as they come into tonight’s showdown with the Magic winners of two straight and looking for more. One of those two victories came on Monday night against these same Magic, 87-56, in which Orlando was held to franchise lows in points and field goal percentage despite missing five players.
“Defensively, that was as good as you can get,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
“Hopefully it’ll funnel over to the guys that were out. There’s no more excuses,” added longtime Celtics leader, Pau Pierece.
For the Magic, they were able to bounce back from that loss with a thrashing of their own. Looking like a completely different team a night later, the Magic followed the Celtics’ loss with a 102-83 thumping of the Indiana Pacers. Dwight Howard led the way for the Floridians with only 14, but boy were they significant.
With his 14 points, Howard became the Magic’s all-time leading scorer with 10,657 career-points, which is second among active centers only to a guy he will see tonight in the Celtics’ Jermaine O’Neal who currently has 12,463 points for his career.
“It’s a humbling experience,” he said of the record. “It does mean a lot. Not too many players in this league can say that they were their franchise’s leading scorer. Our intensity picked up at the defensive end, we did a great job of moving the ball on offense. It was a really good win for us. It shows a lot for us to be able to bounce back from (Monday).”
What’s going to happen in the rematch of this game? I like the Celtics to keep this game closer than the projected 9-point spread. I like the Celtics at +9, but don’t take my word for it, and certainly don’t go against the bookies by yourself! Sign up right now and get Free NBA Picks first and become a winner over night!!!