As I do believe that the Magic and Celtics will play a long competitive series, the Magic looked flat and for long stretches of the game looked ineffective on offense.
It is no secret that the Magic rely on the attention Dwight Howard’s draws inside, especially off pick and roll action in which Howard is the roller, to free up room on the perimeter for Orlando’s host of three point shooters.
It is also no secret that Boston’s Kendrick Perkins is the ‘kryptonite’ to Dwight’s ‘superman’ and again made the D12 look pretty ordinary in Game One (3-10 fg, 13 points). To be fair, the Celtics also used Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis to cover Dwight, but the ability of Perkins to single cover Howard and make him take tough, contested shots, now makes Boston’s perimeter defense that much stronger.
In the series of clips that follows, take note of the way Perkins battles Howard, even though in some cases Dwight has already deep position established. Kendrick is using his strength to drive Howard as far away from the hoop as he can. Once Dwight goes into his move, Perkins does a great job staying rooted, not going for any ball fakes and simply makes himself big with his arms up and makes Dwight shoot his shots over his outstretched arms.
You’re going to see some ugly post play from Howard. I would love to see him get a face up move and attack Perkins that way, but for now, its just not in him. This is going to be an adjustment the Magic will need to make going forward.
Enjoy the clips below:
Justin DeFeo is a contributor to SirCharlesInCharge.com.
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