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May 16, 2010 4:00 AM

Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics

magic.gif vs. boston celtics.gif

Series Facts
Season Series: Magic won 3-1
Last Playoff Match-up: 2009 Eastern Semifinals - Magic 4, Celtics 3

PREDICTIONS

Kyle Adams
Celtics 4, Magic 2

The Magic are undefeated in the playoffs, having demolished the Bobcats and the Hawks. They're the defending Eastern Conference Champions, and they boast the best center in the game. What could go wrong? Unfortunately for Orlando, Boston is back in championship form. And instead of the "Big Three," it's the "Big Four" now, with Rajon Rondo putting on a frightening display at the point guard position. Keep in mind that last year the Celtics took the Magic to seven games -- without Kevin Garnett. This year, a healthy Boston team will prevail in another tight series that will see the reemergence of the wilt-under-pressure Vince Carter we all know.

Robbie Gillies
Magic 4, Celtics 2

Sure, Rondo has been amazing but don't forget about Jameer Nelson. He's the Magic's leading scorer at over 20 points per game. But what really separates the Magic from the Celtics (and just about any other team) is they can win so many different ways. They can win in a halfcourt game and they can win by scoring in transition. They have deadly three-point shooters and the best big man in the game. I'd say the Magic in 5 but the Celtics are playing too good right now to let that happen.

Tanner Munroe
Magic 4, Celtics 2

The Celtics pulled off a monster upset when they eliminated LeBron and the Cavs, and it seems like some people think they'll carry that momentum into their series against the Magic. While Boston was impressive, I didn't think the Cavs were making it to the Finals anyway, so I'm not that shocked that they lost. I do think that the Magic are a much different team than Cleveland, and the Celtics will find that out the hard way. Opposing teams are scoring about 84 points a game against Orlando during the playoffs, which is one of the main reasons why they're undefeated. With the Defensive player of the year Dwight Howard plugging up the middle, the Celtics will be forced to shoot more often from the outside than they'd like. That means Rondo will basically be non-existent in the scoring game considering he's shot 24% from behind the arc throughout his career. Sure they have arguably the best outside shooter of all time in Ray Allen, but I don't think he'll have many opportunities with either Lewis or Carter marking him.

Jeff Briggs
Magic 4, Celtics 3

The Celtics have surprised everyone with their play this postseason, looking much more like the champion team from two years ago than the aging team that struggled down the stretch this season. But the Magic have too many weapons to be shut down, even by the vaunted Celtics defense. The biggest question mark for the Magic is who will take over in crunch time of a close game. Dwight Howard has routinely shied away from big moments and Vince Carter is a notorious choker. Jameer Nelson will likely be the player who wins or loses this series for the Magic if enough games come down to the wire. Ultimately I think the Magic will pull out the victory in an epic physical seven game series.

Samuel Chi
Magic 4, Celtics 2

Yes, the Celtics did beat the Cavaliers in six games, after trailing 2-1 against the team that ran away with the NBA's best regular-season record. But upon closer inspection, Cleveland was hardly a championship team. The Cavs essentially quit in Game 5 and put up a somewhat feeble effort in an elimination game. Mike Brown is always outmaneuvered whenever he faced a topline NBA coach. And there's LeBron. Do you ever remember Jordan, Magic, Bird or Kobe ever played or acted like they didn't want to be there? OK, that's enough about the Cavs. The Magic aren't the Cavs.

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