After defeating the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night, the Orlando Magic will be back in action when they travel to Boston to take on the Celtics Wednesday night. The Celtics are coming off of a 118-110 loss to the New York Knicks Tuesday that dropped their record to 36-26. The Magic enter with a record of 36-25, tied with the Atlanta Hawks. Since Boston is going to win the Atlantic division, they can’t be seeded lower than fourth. The Hawks will host the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night.
These two teams have met twice this season with the Celtics winning both games. The Magic were defeated 87-56 in Boston, then less than a week later, the Magic blew a 27-point lead and lost to the Celtics 91-83.
The Magic rank 15th in offensive rating (105.1), 12th in defensive rating (103.3) and play at the league’s fourth-slowest pace (89.2). The Celtics are 27th in offensive rating (101.2), first in defensive rating (98.7) and play at the 10th-slowest pace (90.3).
Tip-off from the T.D. Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts is scheduled for 8:00 pm EST and will be shown locally on FS Florida and nationally on ESPN.
As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are James Capers, Derrick Collins and Josh Tiven.
The Line: Boston – 4.5 (177.5)
Ray Allen (sore right ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (sore knee) didn’t play Tuesday in New York while Paul Pierce (sore left big toe) played and scored 43 points. Jermaine O’Neal (left wrist surgery) is out for the season.
Rondo, Pietrus and Allen are out. Pavlovic and Bradley will start in backcourt #celtics
— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) April 18, 2012
Glen Davis, who missed Monday’s win over the 76ers after suffering a knee injury Sunday night, “expects to play.”
“If I had one leg I would go today,” Davis said, probably only half-joking.
Stan Van Gundy said Davis would have to be cleared by team medical staff, but it seems highly likely Davis will play.
The Magic have not even seen Rajon Rondo this year. Rondo’s averaging 12.1 points per game (on just 44.8% shooting from the field and 24.4% from beyond the arc), but is also averaging 11.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. Rondo and Avery Bradley made life difficult for Orlando’s point guards earlier this season by pressuring them in the back court. Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon have to handle that pressure much better this time around.
Paul Pierce is again leading the Celtics with 19.5 points per game and is coming off of a 43-point outing. The Celtics’ resurgence has coincided with the resurgence of Kevin Garnett (and moving him to Center). Garnett is averaging 16.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game on the season.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brandon Bass, Chris Duhon, Dwight Howard, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Jermaine O'neal, Kevin Garnett, Larry Hughes, Mickael Pietrus, Orlando Magic, Otis Smith, Paul Pierce, Quentin Richardson, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Ryan Anderson, Stan Van Gundy, Von Wafer