Well, we lost a tough one on Sunday against the Celtics. Sure, we wanted to go 16-0 in the playoffs, but nobody is perfect. You’re not going to go through the playoffs these days without losing a game; These teams are tough! Losing a game happened, but now it’s all about how we bounce back from it.
Our main goal was to win every quarter and play harder than the other team. The Celtics played harder than us on Sunday and that’s how they won the game.
I know we’ll respond and am not worried one bit. We always find a way to bounce back; I’m confident that we’ll do it again. We understand what we have to do and have already talked about what we need to do to win Game 2. We have to put this game behind us, learn from it, but put it behind us.
Trust me, we knew from experience that this was going to be a really tough series. Boston played great against Cleveland and the Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the league. They are full of vets who know all the little tricks. We had a tough time with them in the playoffs last season and they were tough every time we played them this season, so we knew this series was going to be a dogfight.
To me, this series is a lot like the Charlotte series in the first round. They have a lot of bigs and a lot of bodies to send at me with Perkins, ‘Sheed, Baby and KG. What they are going to try and do is frustrate me and get in my head. I have to stay focused and not get so frustrated.
I’ve been going up against ‘Sheed for years when he was in Detroit and now in Boston, I know what he’s trying to do out there. Perkins is really strong, but I need to avoid getting in those wrestling matches down low and just use my quickness. When I use my quickness and my moves and we swing the ball, we can get easier shots.
Last night, I was out of rhythm. I have to do a better job of getting it back. Boston plays very physical defense so I have to find ways to get the ball and not get into a wrestling match with those guys.
Magic fans, we’ll be fine. We showed great heart in the fourth quarter coming back the way we did. We might lose a game from time to time, but this Magic team will never quit. We’re going to fight to the final horn.
I think we learned some things in the fourth quarter that will enable us to be a lot better on Tuesday night. We talked as a team in the locker room and nobody was down at all. We’re an upbeat group and one loss doesn’t rattle this team.
We’ll bounce back because we always do. I have faith in my team; we’ll be ready to go. We know what kind of nasty, physical series this is going to be, and we’ll be ready for it.
Peace out and Go Magic!!!