The Magic were much more aggressive getting Dwight Howard open. The Celtics matched that, being more aggressive attacking the rim.
The result was an offensive half from two defensive teams that ended with the Celtics up two, 53-51 at the break.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 22 as he could not seem to miss, but Rajon Rondo was on as well scoring 13 on 4 of 7 shooting. The Celtics offense really flowed in a way it did not in game one.
Orlando used gall movement to free up Howard – who had 17 first half points – and to just get more looks by attacking. The Magic were 4 of 8 from three, much better than their 0-9 first half in Game 1.
If one team can step up on the defensive end, they will win. Will be a fun second half to watch.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?
Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.
Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.
But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.
It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.