Bumps in the road
May, 16, 2010
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaWill the Celtics provide the first bit of turbulence for a Magic squad that has coasted during the postseason?ORLANDO -- When the Celtics finished the 2007-08 regular season with an NBA-best record of 66-16, coach Doc Rivers couldn't shake an uneasy feeling about how his team would respond to adversity. Everything had come just a bit too easy in the first year of the new Big Three.
It didn't take long to encounter the first bump in the road as a upstart Atlanta squad pushed Boston to seven games in the opening round and Boston barely escaped. Rivers could finally breath easy, his team proved it could respond when the opposing team punched back.
Fast-forward to 2010 and the Magic, Boston's opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals, hasn't been particularly challenged in more than a month Orlando has won 14 straight games, including eight straight in the postseason, and hasn't tasted defeated since an April 2 loss in San Antonio. The Magic haven't lost at Amway Arena, site of Sunday's Game 1, since March 14 against Charlotte.
Having not played in nearly a week and unchallenged since about April 24 (a 90-86 triumph in Game 3 of a first-round sweep over Charlotte), should Stan Van Gundy be concerned?
"I hope so," said Rivers. "I can tell you that. But I don't know. They've already gone through stuff. They struggled in patches this year -- not many, but they did have to get their act together because of all the changes [to their roster]. That was adversity on its own. But I don't know. But I hope [they do struggle with it]."