Trash Talk Sets Stage for Eastern Conference Grudge Match Between Celtics, Magic


Trash Talk Sets Stage for Eastern Conference Grudge Match Between Celtics, Magic To fully understand the stakes of the Celtics' showdown Sunday afternoon with the Orlando Magic, you have to understand all the trash talk that led up to it.

Because there's been plenty.

On one hand, Celtics forward Glen Davis had plenty of condescension for Magic star Dwight Howard last month, shortly after the C's had held on in the fourth quarter for a 109-106 win at the TD Garden on Jan. 17.

"I think it's easy to guard him," Big Baby said of Howard. "He's a finesse guy. It would be different if you didn?t know which way he was going, but if he's just going one way or making one move, it's hard for him to power over big dudes who are just as strong as him."

Strong words, right? Except Howard's play was much stronger. The Orlando big man went off for 33 points on 10-of-19 shooting, with Davis "easily" guarding him for most of the night.

The Magic got in plenty of smack talk, too. Shortly after the loss, Magic general manager Otis Smith ripped into the Celtics for their "toughness," saying the C's act was all bravado.

"They act tough," Smith said of the C's. "They're not really tough. They act tough."

Apparently all the hard fouls, aggressive scoring drives and intense physical play on both ends didn't send Smith the message. The Celtics aren't tough? What first-place Eastern Conference team is he watching?

Both teams have said their piece, but come Sunday, it's time to shut up and play basketball. The time for talking is over, and it's time to see who walks the walk. The Celtics and Magic tip off at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the TD Garden.

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