Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The Boston Celtics have the best record in the Eastern Conference in part because of their ability to remain poised under pressure.

It is a quality trait that Orlando center Dwight Howard recognizes not only in the Celtics, but his own club as well.

They certainly played that way on Christmas when they rallied from six points down to start the fourth quarter before defeating the C's 86-78.

In that game, Orlando kept the Celtics without a field goal for the final 3:21.

"We know how to win," Howard said. "With the guys we brought back, Hedo (Turkoglu) and the new guys, we just know how to play. We didn't get frustrated that we were down. We just played. That's what good teams do."

One of the keys to tonight's game will be how Howard handles Shaquille O'Neal.

When the two teams met on Christmas, O'Neal was a non-factor with just two points in 13 foul-plagued minutes.

Howard had foul problems of his own, but still managed to play 33 minutes and score six points to go with 11 rebounds.

"He's a big guy," Howard said of O'Neal. "You have to meet him early, don't let him get good position. That's about it. He doesn't move like he used to. You just don't want him to catch it under the basket."

If O'Neal can play more and the Celtics get Kevin Garnett back following a nine-game absence because of a lower right leg injury, the C's will be well-positioned to exact revenge on their Christmas day loss.

"It should be a good game," Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu told CSNNE.com. "They have a lot of experience, good players. It won't be easy beating them again."

Howard echoed similar sentiments.

"They're a great team," he said. "They're smart; they're veterans. They know how to win. That's the challenge right there. You never see those guys flustered or worried about what's going on around them. They just continue to do what they do."

Boston is hoping "to do what they do" with Kevin Garnett in the lineup.

Garnett has missed Boston's last nine games with a muscle strain in his lower right leg. He was able to go through all of Boston's practice on Saturday, which was among the things head coach Doc Rivers was looking for.

Following practice, Rivers said Garnett would probably play unless something unexpected happens with his body.

Although the C's have managed to win without Garnett, it was clear that the injuries were starting to take a toll on the team.

"Kevin's our it's like losing your best defensive player, your best talker and your quarterback," Rivers said.

He quipped, "outside of that, it's not that big a deal."

The same isn't necessarily true about when these two teams meet.

While Rivers acknowledges that it is just another regular season game, "there's history between us and all that stuff; you always want to win. The games don't literally have meaning, but guys get fired up for games like this or at least I hope they do. I like games like this. It's good for us."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Bean: Nobody should ever compare Love Actually to the Warriors

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Bean: Nobody should ever compare Love Actually to the Warriors

I’ve never met Jemele Hill. I think she and Michael Smith are great and I completely respect her bravery in voicing the unpopular (but correct) opinion that “Bad and Boujee” is good, but not great. This isn’t about Jemele Hill. It’s about a question she asked and an attempt to answer it. 

Hell no it is not. Know why? Because the Warriors are awesome. Know what’s not awesome? Love Actually. 

All that these two things share is that they’re both loaded with stars. The Warriors have Steph, Draymond, Klay and Durant. Love Actually has Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thornton, a child who kind of looks like Satan, etc. They’re both loaded. 

Yet the Warriors won and there is no debating their greatness. There is absolutely debating Love Actually’s greatness, since it isn’t great.  

It’s at this point that I should disclose that Pete Blackburn and I had a collective two-hour meltdown about all the reasons why Love Actually is terrible. There were lots. That’s why it took two hours. 

Here are some things about the Warriors:

- They won their second NBA title in three years. 

- They went 16-1 in the postseason. 

- Steph Curry made 56 more three-pointers than anyone else in the playoffs.  

- They led the NBA with 115.9 points per game. 

Here are some things about Love Actually:  

- The movie starts with a weird 9/11 reference. 

- Casual homophobia is rampant. 

- A widower gets mocked for his sexual inactivity very recently after his damn wife died. 

- The movie likely birthed thousands of eating disorders. 

- A guy decides to cross his best friend and make a run at that guy’s wife just so he can break it off immediately. The much coveted lose-lose-lose to ensure a weird life for everyone. 

- Somebody whose job it is to be a people person sexually harasses every woman in his office. 

- The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has a woman fired because he wants to have sex with her. 

- The writer whose wife cheats on him storyline is literally the most boring thing in the history of the world. It makes The Steps of Knowledge in “Legends of the Hidden Temple” look like “Mad Max: Fury Road.” 

So no, Jemele Hill, “Love Actually” is not the Golden State Warriors of romantic comedies. Know what is? “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” That movie also has a loaded cast (and a better one, at that) with outstanding execution. 

Steph Curry is Cal. Six teams passed on him, but he made them rue the day. Draymond Green is Jacob, as he pulls a lot of stunts but he’s as lovable as lovable gets. Kevin Durant is David Lindhagen: He’s got his detractors, but he’s what makes the team the best. 

Love Actually stinks. 

Ray Allen to Celtics fans: ‘Get over it’

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Ray Allen to Celtics fans: ‘Get over it’

Regardless of what you think of Ray Allen, the man has a point. 

On his 42nd birthday, Instagram account BostonCeltics4ever posted a picture of Allen in a Celtics uniform saying to like the post to wish Allen a happy birthday. 

As you might expect, a lot of Celtics fans didn’t want to do that because he left the team for the Heat and has since seen teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett talk about him in a less than flattering light. 

As such, fans politely and impolitely commented “no,” leading Allen to respond. 

Said Allen: 

“Y’all need to get over it!!! where were you all when the team tried to trade me. It’s a business, we go where it’s necessary just like you all do in your jobs!!!!I will always be a Celtic no matter what any of you say. Get over it!!!!

“Oh and Thank you everyone for wishing me a happy birthday!!!”

Allen is right. Later in Allen’s tenure, the team tried to trade him to Memphis and Phoenix before he eventually departed in free agency. 

The UConn product spent five seasons in Boston before playing the final two years of his career with the Heat. The C’s gave his No. 20 to Gordon Hayward this offseason.