Here’s what we learned after the game last night: Stan Van Gundy hates Rasheed Wallace in a good way, the Magic get how hard Game 6 will be, and Big Baby is always a little bit loopy.
Coming into the playoffs, the big question about the Boston Celtics was health. Would Ray Allen have his legs? Would Paul Pierce’s shoulder and knee respond? Would KG’s knee hold up after giving out last year? The Big Three were the question. And when the Celtics ripped off eleven wins in 14 games, they looked as healthy as can be. Yes, everything was coming up roses for the boys in Green.
Until the injuries arrived.
Yet it wasn’t the big 3 that have suffered. Instead it’s been the younger players and bench that have sustained odd injuries that now put Game 6 which should be a typical Celtics lock in question.
Rajon Rondo went to the locker room in Game 4 with “spasms” or “cramps” depending on who you talk to. Rondo’s condition isn’t considered serious, but he was noticeably limping in Game 5, and his defense nor his offense was its usual brilliant self.
Then after Kendrick Perkins whole situation I won’t even get into here, Glen Davis caught a vicious accidental elbow in the face. Right in the face. Like getting an anchor dropped on him. Or an anvil in a cartoon. Davis went down, tried to get up, slipped, tried again, slipped, then tried to stumble into the frontcourt, nearly collapsing before an official caught him and held him up. He left the floor and was diagnosed with a concussion. His status for Game 6 is up in the air.
Meanwhile, Marquis Daniels, pressed into duty because of injury, ejection, and tired legs, also got whacked and caught a concussion. Then Rasheed Wallace came up limping, before fouling out. After fouling out, he immediately went to the locker room with an undisclosed injury.
So you’re looking at two significant frontcourt players with injuries, alongside arguably the best player for the Celtics. Marquis Daniels isn’t vital, he hasn’t played much. But the others are huge, and have significant impacts on the C’s if they can’t go in Game 6.
All of a sudden that banged up, worn out identity the Celtics have carried is coming back to bite them. They just didn’t think it would be these players that would have the issues.
Rashard Lewis has not been right in the Eastern Conference Finals, he has averaged 7 points a game on 29 percent shooting. He is key — the Magic need him to stretch out the Celtics defense. And he has not been right.
Maybe because he has not been feeling right.
Lewis has been fighting a viral infection all tournament, he told the AP.
“Overall it affects you,” he said after Orlando’s shoot around Wednesday. “I’ve been throwing up. I haven’t been at full strength. I’ve been feeling weak, my legs been feeling weak. I find myself getting tired very fast in the first quarter. You know, when you can’t hold food down you have no energy in your body to go out there and perform.”
Lewis is playing and starting tonight. He will take intravenous fluids then go out and play.
How well may determine how long the Magic get to play.