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Celtics go up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals

05/19/2010

Rajon Rondo showed why he has been the best player in the National Basketball Association playoffs this season.

In front of a hostile crowd at Amway Arena in Orlando, he put the game away when he made a pull up 20 ft jumper over Dwight Howard, who was more Clark Kent then his nickname Superman.

Rondos actions once again led Boston to a narrow 95-92 victory over the Magic. It was the Celtics fifth straight postseason win, allowing them to snatch a two-games-to-none lead over the defending Eastern Conference champions. But the key was simply looking at it as one win.

“Maybe as a young team you get pretty joyous with the way we beat Cleveland or when we come here and win two games,’’ Boston forward Paul Pierce said.

Pierce, who scored 28 points, 12 in the fourth quarter before fouling out, tweeted immediately after the game, “anybody got a broom.”

Dwight Howard – when questioned about it after the game had no comment or reply.

Rondo finished the game with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assist.

Boston is simply a better team than Orlando. Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins are more than capable of guarding Howard one on one in the paint. This allows the big three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Pierce to play their game and Rondo is the one of the two best defenders at his position.

With all their players healthy and the bench playing their best basketball at the best time (Tony Allen, Glenn Davis and Wallace), the Celtics are playing their best basketball and are poised to meet the Lakers, who are in total control of the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

The Magic are their own worst enemy. This is not the same team that went to the Finals last season. For starters, Rafer Alston and Hedo Turkuglo are gone – enter Jameer Nelson (who was injured halfway thru the year but played in the Finals) and Vince Carter via free agency. Nelson is a scoring point guard. This is good until you consider he is going up against Rondo, who is bigger, quicker, and shuts other guards down.  Vince Carter is not a Turkuglo type player that can handle the ball and get the team out of bad situation.

The Magic are being pushed around physically and mentally. In the final seconds, Orlando’s J.J Reddick, who scored 16 points, got a rebound and instead of calling a time out right away which would give the ball to the Magic on their side of the court he dribbled then called timeout. This meant that Magic had to go almost the length of the court for a final shot. Carter had a Nick Anderson moment when he bricked two free throws. Even their coach is losing it.

Stan Van Gundy has no answers for Howard after he got his third foul and no answer for the Celtics in this series. It looks like a sweep.

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