Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics Game Six: Celts Win Signals Return to the Old Guard

May 29th, 2010 by Erick Blasco Leave a reply »
After a one-year hiatus, the Eastern Conference crown belongs to the old guard—The Boston Celtics. It’s only fitting, then, that their 96-84 Magic vanishing act was spurred by their backcourt.

Whereas the Magic turned the tide of the series with Jameer Nelson pushing the basketball before Boston’s defense could set itself, Boston regained its stranglehold because of Rajon Rondo’s own transition offense. Beating Orlando down court for layups, making no-look passes on the break, even draining a three-point jumper—by the time Rondo’s dust had settled, Orlando was down double figures.

To combat the staggered screens Orlando had presented Boston with great effect, the Celtics had the defender of the ball handler fight through the screens, the initial screen defender sag off to prevent a roll to the basket, and the second screen defender show as best as possible on the far side of the screen. This allowed the on-ball defender an extra split second to fight back to the ball handler.

While that was the tactical reason why Orlando’s staggered screen game sputtered, the inability of Jameer Nelson and Jason Williams to aggr ...

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