Celtics Hope to Break Out Brooms in Game 4 Against Orlando

Celtics Hope to Break Out Brooms in Game 4 Against Orlando Anybody got a broom?

Six days ago, someone broke into Paul Pierce's Twitter account and typed those four words that rocked the 140-character world. At the time, it was seen as a childish prank. Now it looks more like reality.

The Celtics are one win away from the unthinkable — sweeping the Orlando Magic and advancing to the NBA Finals, their second in three years. They'll look to finish the job in Game 4, Monday night at the TD Garden.

When and Where

Celtics vs. Magic
Monday, May 24, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
TD Garden, Boston

Head to Head

What changed for the Magic all of a sudden? In the regular season, they were a solid 3-1 against the Celtics, and they were unbeaten at the TD Garden in Boston. In the playoffs, they've lost three straight, and their one meeting at the Garden was a laugher, decided in the first quarter. Believe it or not, there was a time when this Orlando team could visit the Garden and score more than six points in the game's first 10 minutes. That time came to an end on Friday night. The Magic are in trouble.

Key Matchup

Kendrick Perkins vs. Dwight Howard
All series long, the key for the Celtics has been playing Howard straight up. As long as you keep a body on Howard and keep him from dunking at every opportunity, you should have enough bodies free to contain the Magic on the perimeter. And contain them, the Celtics have. Thanks to Perkins' hard work to neutralize Howard down low, everything has clicked defensively for Boston. All Perk has to do is keep it up for one more game, and the Celtics could be well on their way to the NBA Finals.

Starting Lineups

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Magic
Point guard: Jameer Nelson
Shooting guard: Vince Carter
Small forward: Matt Barnes
Power forward: Rashard Lewis
Center: Dwight Howard

Stat Sheet

Celtics

  • Glen Davis had 17 points off the bench in the Celtics' Game 3 win on Saturday night. He shot 5-of-9 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line.
  • Rajon Rondo leads the NBA in both assists (150) and steals (30) in this postseason.
  • Kendrick Perkins leads the league in fouls, with 54.

Magic

  • The Magic shot 8-of-30 from 3-point range in their Game 3 loss. Vince Carter was 1-for-5 and Rashard Lewis was 0-for-4.
  • Dwight Howard has 39 blocks in this postseason, tops in the league.
  • Jason Williams has career playoff averages of 8.5 points and 3.3 assists per game.

Black and Blue

Celtics

  • With only a couple minor blips, the Celtics have been healthy for the whole postseason.

Magic

  • The Magic are healthy as well.

Outlook

After Game 3, the Magic sounded defeated on Saturday night. They sounded dead. But they've had a night to sleep that off, a day to review the film, and a day to prepare for Game 4. They're bound to come out with renewed focus and renewed effort to keep their season alive. The Celtics would love to finish the job at home at the Garden, but they can't get ahead of themselves. Before they get carried away thinking about a sweep and a trip to the Finals, they've got to think about the process. They've got to focus on team-oriented basketball for one more night.