Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics Game 4 Preview and Pick to Cover the Spread

Orlando Magic (59-23 SU, 45-33-4 ATS) vs Boston Celtics (53-29 SU, 48-34 ATS), 8:30 p.m. EST, Monday, May 24, 2010, TD Garden, Boston, Mass. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Magic +7/Celtics -7
Over/Under: 188

As if it wasn’t enough of a statement for the Boston Celtics to win each of the first two games on the road, the Celtics absolutely slaughtered the Orlando Magic in Game 3 in Boston, 94-71. From the opening tip, when the Celtics took a 7-0 lead out of the gate, they destroyed the Magic offensively and defensively. Down 3-0 in the series, it’s virtually impossible for the Magic to come back and win the series. After all, it’s never happened in NBA history. But the Magic will try to at least get one win in Game 4 in Boston and force the series to go back to Orlando for Game 5. The Celtics, meanwhile, have a sweep and an appearance in the NBA Finals on their mind, both of which they can accomplish with a win at home in Game 4.

After taking that early 7-0 in lead in Game 3, the Celtics allowed the Magic to score the next six points. But the Celtics ended the first quarter on a 20-6 run to take a 27-12 lead after the first quarter. They extended their lead to 17, 51-34, at the half. They once again extended their lead in the third quarter to 28, 75-47, after outscoring the Magic, 24-13, in the quarter. And the Celtics ended up with a 23-point victory, 94-71.

The contributions from the Celtics came from all over. Ray Allen had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, Rajon Rondo had 11 points, 12 assists and four steals, Paul Pierce had 15 points and nine rebounds, Kevin Garnett had 10 points and six rebounds, Kendrick Perkins had six points and six rebounds, Glen Davis was superb with 17 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Rasheed Wallace chipped in with 10 points off the bench. The Celtics were firing on all cylinders. It didn’t matter who had the ball. They were making plays and hitting shots.

Dwight Howard had a nightmare of a game. He couldn’t buy a basket going one-on-one in the post. He shot 3-of-10 from the field for seven points and grabbed seven rebounds. Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson each scored 15 points to lead the Magic. Mickael Pietrus scored 12 points off the bench.

The Celtics shot 47 percent from the field and 6-for-11 on 3-pointers, while the Magic shot 37 percent from the field and 8-for-30 on 3-pointers. The Celtics got to the free throw line 10 more times than the Magic, outrebounded them by seven, and had nine fewer turnovers.

Rashard Lewis was once again virtually invisible for the Magic. He shot 2-for-8 from the field and 0-for-4 on 3-pointers for four points. He has scored a grand total of 15 points in three games and is shooting 25 percent from the field in the series and 1-for-13 on 3-pointers.

Howard has had one productive game in the series and that was Game 2 when the Magic actually competed with the Celtics for the entire game. In Games 1 and 3, Howard has a total of 20 points on 30 percent shooting, while he scored 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting in Game 2. He really has to work on his post game because the Magic have no shot of winning without Howard making shots one-on-one in the post.

The Celtics’ success starts with their defense. They have been forcing the Magic into bad shots and not allowing them to run their normal offense. The Magic have shot under 40 percent in each of the last two games and under 40 percent for the series. They are shooting less than 30 percent from 3-point range (20-for-70) in the three games.

The under is 5-0 in the last five games between these teams in Boston and 19-7 in the last 26 meetings between the two teams overall. The Magic are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 games in Boston and 1-5 ATS in their last six meetings with the Magic overall. The underdog and the road team are both 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between these teams.

Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Spread: I like the UNDER 188 here.