The Boston Celtics will face the Orlando Magic once again on Wednesday night and, while the consequences aren't exactly enormous for the loser since both teams' spots in the playoffs are pretty well solidified, the game should still be worth watching with an eye on the NBA postseason.
Even though Dwight Howard is slated to be out for the foreseeable future with a back injury, it isn't crazy to surmise that the Magic might be able to jump the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. If that happens, it'd set up a meeting against the Celtics in the first round, a matchup the Magic probably wouldn't be looking forward to ... especially considering Boston would have home-court advantage.
If one doesn't remember the first two meetings between the two clubs, well, they were ugly. The Celtics defeated the Magic 87-56 on Jan. 23 and then turned around and handed the Magic another loss in Florida just a few days later. Considering Howard will be out once again -- leaving the middle of the lane open -- CelticsBlog's recent comments about Boston's flourishing offense hold some merit as a sort of preview for Wednesday night's matchup.
In the past, I envisioned this team post-Big Three as this running-and-gunning dynamo with Rondo at the point of attack, but the more I see this team flourish in the half court, the more I fall in love with the ball movement and finding the open guy. Hasn't it been refreshing not seeing Garnett and Pierce back their man down on the box and watching the offense stagnate?
The Celtics have been executing quite well on the offensive end as of late, a streak that should continue considering the Magic will be missing their best defensive player.