They hit their shots, defended well, and held their own against the colossal Dwight Howard.
But you can never get too comfortable against an Orlando team that has the inside-out dynamic and the deadly shooters to strike back in a hurry.
The Celtics have to keep the intensity up for Game 2 at Amway Arena.
Celtics at Magic
Tuesday, May 18, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Amway Arena, Orlando, Fla.
Against the Magic with regular season and playoffs combined, the Celtics are still just 2-3. But the Celtics are one of the NBA's best road teams and they have won two of their three meetings in Orlando, including Sunday's Game 1. Perhaps home court isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Kendrick Perkins vs. Dwight Howard
Perkins did a great job against Howard in Game 1 — he kept a body on him at all times, forcing him to work hard for every single point. But he has to keep it up. He can't let up now, because if he does, one of two things will happen. Either Howard will go crazy down low and pile up an easy 25-plus points with dunks and free throws, or he'll demand a double-team and free up his teammates on the perimeter for 3-pointers. Either way, the Celtics would be in trouble. It's up to Perk to keep the big man honest.
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins
Point guard: Jameer Nelson
Shooting guard: Vince Carter
Small forward: Matt Barnes
Power forward: Rashard Lewis
Center: Dwight Howard
The objective for the Celtics in Game 2 is simple: Keep up the good work. The C's did a lot of things right in Game 1 against Orlando, including pushing Howard, as they forced him to work for everything. The C's also need to keep a close eye on Nelson, who could go off at any moment. It's a lot of work, but if the Celtics can keep Orlando's many weapons under control, they could be on their way to a 2-0 series lead and a happy trip back to Boston.