Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic- 3:30 ET ABC
Though the Celtics-Cavs series didn’t go the expected 7 games, the Magic should be well rested yet again for their third and final matchup in the Eastern Conference. Only the Boston Celtics them back from returning to the NBA Finals for the second straight year with an improved, experienced roster. The Celtics having taken a year off from a Finals appearance look to get there for what could be their last chance at winning a title, at least with The Boston Three Party.
The Celtics aging stars don’t have much left in the tank for being “go-to” players and soon will all transform into Rasheed Wallace type guys where a once all-star turns role player happens. Ray Allen is a free agent at the end of the season and there’s a very good chance he won’t return to Boston, after all, he was being shopped by Danny Ainge throughout the course of this season.
On the other hand, the Magic are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. While Vince Carter play resemble that of Celtics star, the rest of the Orlando key players are blossoming as we speak. One that’s been shining more than ever is point guard Jameer Nelson who’s arguably been the team’s catalyst during this 2010 playoff run. Nelson has been spectacular in the first, two rounds of play torching both the Charlotte Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks.
In Game 1, I’m immediately pointing towards the key matchup of Jameer Nelson and Rajon Rondo. Both point guards have been the catalysts on their respected teams and are key reasons why they’ve been as successful as they have been so far. Whomever tallies the better of the two overall stat lines will help win the game for their team. To me that right there is the key to each and every game we’ll see in this Eastern Conference Finals series. Rondo plays better than Nelson= Celtics win; Nelson plays better than Rondo= Magic win. The Magic may be 8-0 in the playoffs, but today look for Rondo and the Celtics to have other plans in Game 1. Celtics shock the Magic on the road.
Celtics- 108 Magic- 103
This Series Could & Should Get Pretty Interesting