Let me begin by apologizing for not recapping the Celtics' win over Washington on Sunday. In fact, let me do that now. Paul Pierce was good. The Wizards are craptastic. End of summary.
On to tonight, where the Celtics strutted out a lineup that I'm pretty sure included Huey, Duey and Louie. They then proceeded to absolutely embarrass the bejesus out of the Orlando Magic on their way to a 31-point victory, which is what everyone pretty much expected, right? Boston even did something really cool and used this little thing call defense to suffocate Orlando and disrupt all of their offensive sets.
Jameer Nelson will be waking up in cold sweats tonight because he'll probably be having nightmares of Avery Bradley stalking him in the backcourt. Bradley's constant pressure on Nelson made it impossible for the Magic to set up their offense before the shot clock was down to 15 seconds, and that was when Nelson was actually able to get the ball across half court. Bradley's defense was contagious and it completely set the tone for the night. The result was a defensive effort of historic proportions.
You think I'm exaggerating? The Celtics held Orlando to 25 percent from the field. 25 percent. The Magic made 16 shots all night, including going 5-27 and putting up 20 points in the second half. They turned the ball over 23 times. Yes, Orlando missed some open shots but you can thank the majority of their issues to an energized, focused Celtics squad that looked determined to shut down their opponent. They were active, disruptive and a nuisance all night long.
And in true Celtics form, the defense created offense. There wasn't one player in particular that stole the offensive spotlight and nobody scored 20 points, but they were able to put pressure on Orlando's defense, move the ball, get to the line and hit open shots. It's exactly what the Celtics have done over the last five years and what we've all been looking for this season.
Maybe we're finally seeing the Celtics come around. Maybe it was a flash in the pan. Either way, the Celtics get to head down to Disney World on Thursday and meet up with this same Magic team that I'm pretty sure will be a little angry about what went down tonight. Who knows what the Celtics will throw out on the floor for a lineup but if they can play team defense like they played tonight, it won't really matter.
7-9. Baby steps.