The Orlando Magic showed they are a complete team, winning the clinching game of their first-round series without Dwight Howard.
Howard threw an elbow against 76ers center Samuel Dalembert during Game 5 and was suspended for Game 6. But several players for the Magic really stepped up, such as J.J. Redick (15 points in Game 6) and Marcin Gortat (11 points, 15 rebounds). They’ll now play the Celtics in Round 2 of the playoffs, starting tonight in Boston.
Kevin Garnett will be on the bench for the Celtics, which is good news for Orlando. Howard will more than likely average a double-double in the series.
We will also be able to see the highly anticipated matchup between Magic point guard Rafer Alston and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, and how an amazing Boston offense will do against Howard, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Howard will be the biggest challenge for Boston. He averaged 4.0 blocks per game against the Celtics during the regular season. He has also been great on offensive end during the post-season, averaging 24.0 points and 15.8 rebounds. He grabbed 10 offensive rebounds against the Sixers in Orlando’s Game 5 win.
With Howard playing his first game since his suspension, he will be out for a win against Paul Pierce and Boston.