ORLANDO, Fla. Doc Rivers doesn't have a crystal ball or a direct line to Miss Cleo, but he knows Thursday's game against Orlando will be significantly different than the C's 87-56 beatdown of the Magic on Monday.
"They came out and just absolutely dominated us with their energy and their defensive intensity," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said following the loss. "That's the most dominating defensive performance I have ever had against me.
Van Gundy added, "It's the first game in my career I've been through where not one guy played well. We didn't have one guy. That was an absolute beat-down, and in most senses it was much worse than the score indicated."
Orlando took the first step in getting back on track on Tuesday by beating Indiana by 19 points, on the Pacers' home floor.
Regardless of when the C's would face the Magic again after Monday's record-setting performance, Rivers would expect nothing less than a tougher battle the second go-around.
"It's human nature," Rivers said. "They're going to come in and they're going to want to show us, I guess."
And Rivers couldn't be any more pleased about that.
To play a game where both teams come in with something to prove - the C's want to show Monday wasn't a fluke while the Magic are determined to show they're a better team than the one that scored a franchise-low 56 points - at this point in the season is embraced fully by Rivers.
"I love that," Rivers said. "I think that's great. I wish every game had that feeling. I think that's how each team should play. They're going to come at us. That's fine by us. We're going to do the same. It's a great challenge."
One of the keys to Boston's win on Monday was the play of Paul Pierce.
He had 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the win.
And like Rivers, he too expects to see a Magic team that will play better.
"You have to expect they'll have some counters to some of the things that they didn't do well," Pierce said. "We have to be prepared for that."