…and POOF, just like that, the winter sports season here in Boston is over.
The Celtics made history last night, just not the good kind. For the first time in franchise history, they lost a series at home after leading the series 3-2. Last night, the Magic got off to a quick start, and never looked back. The Celtics made a few runs, but each time Orlando had an answer.
It’s certainly a disappointing end of the road for the 2008 NBA champions, and the future is uncertain, with age and free agency likely to further degrade the team in the offseason, which should prompt Danny Ainge to make a fairly big move or two this summer.
Frank Dell’Apa says that the Celtics simply could not get their game 7 mojo working last night. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics may have finally had their spirit broken last night. Robert Lee has the season coming to dead end for the Celtics last night. Paul Doyle says that the Celtics were never a factor in this one. Scott Souza has the Celtics watching their repeat bid come to an end last night. Bill Doyle observes that it was fun while it lasted, but the end was certainly shocking. Jeff Howe has the hot-shooting Magic polishing off the Celtics. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics will just have to wonder what might’ve been.
Bob Ryan claims that the most deserving team won last night. Steve Bulpett states that since the Celtics weren’t going to win the championship anyway, it didn’t matter when they lost. Jeff Jacobs says that the Magic did everyone in Boston a favor by knocking out the Celtics before they got totally embarrassed by the Cavaliers. Lenny Megliola says that sheer will was only able to take the Celtics so far. Paul Flannery looks over what we’ve learned from this series, and heading into next season.
Marc J. Spears says that Kevin Garnett would’ve made the difference for the Celtics. Bill Burt agrees. Mike Fine says that the Celtics never had a chance without KG. Lynn Worthy cites the inability to defend the pick-and-roll as the area where the Celtics missed KG the most. Jessica Camerato writes that there were “no unexpected moments of salvation” for the Celtics last night. Ryan ponders the post-Big Three future, and suggests that it actually might not be all that bad. Spears has the Celtics saying that the long season and short offseason didn’t catch up with them.
Julian Benbow has Paul Pierce unable to will the Celtics to victory. Ron Borges notes that the Captain went down with the ship. Robert Lee has Pierce still insisting that when healthy, the Celtics are still the best team in the NBA. David Willis has Pierce saying that the Celtics can win it all next year. Jim Fenton has Pierce hounded by the Orlando defense all night and unable to deliver a victory for the Celtics.
Dan Duggan has Rajon Rondo reacting to the loss. Buckley has Ray Allen finding his shooting touch last night, but it still wasn’t enough. Buckley also has Mikki Moore saying that he wants to return to the Celtics, though they haven’t talked to him about it yet.
Michael Vega has Hedo Turkoglu carrying the Magic last night with 25 points and 12 assists. Dan Ventura has the Magic making good on Patrick Ewing’s prediction Jennifer Toland has Ewing and Howard making their words stand up in the end. Duggan says that even though the Celtics came into the series with a perceived advantage in the backcourt, the Magic more than held their own. Ventura has Dwight Howard setting the tone early for the Magic.
Dell’Apa’s notebook says that two of the big three wasn’t enough for the Celtics, who missed Garnett most one defense. Murphy’s notebook says that KG wasn’t going to be ready to play against the Cavaliers, either. Lee’s notebook has the postseason forcing Big Baby to mature quickly. Souza’s notebook has more on Big Baby growing up in the playoffs. Doyle’s notebook has the Magic set to take on LeBron and the Cavs.
It wasn’t a good day for the Red Sox, either. They finished their road trip at 2-4 after a 3-2 loss in Seattle yesterday.
John Tomase notes that the Red Sox clearly missed Kevin Youkilis on this trip. Daniel Barbarisi has an errant throw from Nick Green setting up a walk-off loss for the Sox. Amalie Benjamin says that giving away outs put this one out of reach for the Red Sox.
Sean McAdam has David Ortiz feeling good about his weekend off. Barbarisi has Terry Francona unsure whether Ortiz will return to the third spot in the batting order when he comes back. Adam Kilgore has the Red Sox depleted lineup coming up short in the middle. Rob Bradford says that we’ll learn a lot about the Red Sox this week.
The Herald notebook has shortstop defense continuing to be a show of horrors for the Sox. Barbarisi has Julio Lugo sitting out yesterday with a sore groin. Benjamin’s notebook has Justin Masteron OK with returning to the bullpen if asked.