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The Eastern Conference Semifinals continue on Tuesday night from Amway Arena, as the Orlando Magic duke it out with the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic (-7.5)
Tuesday May 18th, 2010
8:30 ET, Amway Arena
Boston Notes: The Celtics are on fire right now, as they have both won and covered four straight NBA playoff betting lines dating back to Game 4 of their series with Cleveland. In Game 1 against the Magic, they never trailed and really dominated some of the key statistics in the matchup. Boston won the fast break points battle 20-6 and enjoyed an 18-15 turnover edge as well. F Paul Pierce had his best effort since Game 3 of the first round of the postseason in Game 1 against the Magic, scoring 22 points on 6/8 shooting from the floor. He and fellow G Ray Allen led the way, as Allen scored 25 points and knocked down some clutch free throws down the stretch to ice the game. The only bugaboos that HC Doc Rivers can really point at on an individual basis are the performances of G Rajon Rondo and F Kevin Garnett. KG only shot 4/14 from the floor and was often really harmed by the presence of the Magic big men. Rondo, who averaged over 20 points and 11 assists per game against the Cavaliers, only scoring eight points and dished out eight helpers.
Orlando Notes: HC Stan Van Gundy can point to the fact that his team never gave up hope that it could win in spite of the fact that it trailed by 20 points late in the third quarter for motivation to carry into Game 2. He can also assure his squad that, regardless of the fact that it is facing an 0-1 series deficit, that it hasn’t been beaten the game following a loss since the middle of January, a stretch of 50 straight games! However, on the court, things are simply going to have to improve from Game 1 to Game 2. C Dwight Howard only shot 3/10 from the field, and in spite of the fact that he had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) and blocked five shots, his seven turnovers and poor shooting percentages were killers. F Rashard Lewis only shot 2/10 from the floor as well. G Vince Carter led the team in scoring with 23 points to go with five boards. G Jameer Nelson ripped down nine rebounds of his own to go with 20 points.
Trends of Note: The Celtics have now covered three of their L/4 NBA wagering wars against Orlando in this series dating back to the regular season. The C’s are also 17-7 ATS in their L/24 games as dogs of 5.0-10.5 points and are 57-28-2 ATS in their L/87 games as road underdogs overall. The Magic are a stunning 65-32-3 ATS in their L/100 games following an ATS defeat and are 66-32-2 ATS in their L/100 following an SU defeat. They’re still 7-2-1 ATS in their L/10 home games and were 12-2 ATS in their previous 14 before dropping Game 1 to Boston on Sunday.
The Final Word: It’s time for a turnaround for the Magic. Boston played arguably the best game that it could possibly play on the road and still only won by four points. Look for Orlando to play inspired basketball and to put this series back on level terms with a comfortable win in Game 2.
Prediction: Orlando 95 – Boston 83