ESPN’s NBA Shootaround crew looks ahead to Game 5 of the Celtics-Magic Eastern Conference finals (video above), another must-win for Orlando as the series shifts to Florida with Boston leading 3-1.
“The same type of intensity I saw from Dwight Howard in Game 4, I want to see in Game 5,” Magic Johnson said. “I don’t want to see half-court shots. I don’t want to see him smiling. I want to see him come out and dominate the paint the way he did in Game 4 [32 points, 16 rebounds]. His teammates will follow him if he comes with that type of intensity.”
Jon Barry also liked what he saw from the Magic in Game 4.
“The Boston Celtics have to do a better job with Jameer Nelson on the pick and roll,” Barry said. “He was aggressive. He said he was going to be aggressive, get to the basket, he did that. Even if you’re missing shots and there is no body on Dwight Howard, that’s good offense [for Orlando] because he is going to get that rebound.
“They have to feel great. Vince Carter goes 1 of 9. Mickael Pietrus 0 of 4. They didn’t shoot the ball particularly well and yet they found a way to win. Now they go home. They have to feel real good about themselves, and this thing could go a little bit longer than most anticipated.”
How much longer?
“All of a sudden the Orlando Magic are feeling good about themselves,” Johnson said. “I guarantee this: There is going to be a Game 6.”
ESPN's Avery Johnson also picked the Magic to win Wednesday's Game 5 (ESPN, 8:30 pm. ET). Check out his prediction here.