Good thing this was a pre-season game. The Boston Celtics gave the Orlando Magic a wake up call as they beat them 100-75 in front to 17,384 fans at Amway Center.
The Celtics came in and showed that they meant business by holding the Magic to 31% shooting for the game, including holding them to 20% in the first quarter.
The Celtics lived ip to coach Brad Steven’s reputation by shitting down the Magic offsets by taking away passing lanes, creating space problems, and making ball movement a problem.
Orlando had 21 turnovers that lead to 31 Celtics points and they managed 13 steals.
“So obviously they were terrific and we were not good at all. And you know what; that’s what preseason is for,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “Their length, their ball pressure, their passing-lane pressure had everything to do with it. This will be a good game tape to learn from.”
Terrence Ross was able to score 21 for the Magic, but the only other player in double digits for Orlando was Melvin Frazier Jr with 10. Nikola Vucevic was out, nursing a mild ankle sprain, and Mo Bamba started in his place.
With the Magic starting both Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, joined by Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, and DJ Augustine, Orlando hoped to have an effective line up. New star Markelle Fultz was also held to 3 points and 4 assists in his Orlando Magic home debut.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 15 points, followed by Marcus Smart with 14. New free-agent guard Kemba Walker did not play due to knee soreness.
A big event later in the game, long after it was clear that the Celtic had it well in had, was Tacko Fall. The new Celtics signee and former UCF basketball hero had yet to hit the floor, and the fans in the Amway were not having it. Chants of “We want Tacko! We want Taco!” grew louder and louder until Fall was put in the game in the fourth quarter, to a rousing ovation.
The scoring struggles will be something the Magic will have to work on. Aaron Gordon didn’t score until the 3:37 in third quarter, after missing his first 13 shots. The Magic didn’t score until 8 min in the first quarter with a DJ Agustin jumper. The hole that they dug for them selves was too deep to come out of. The Celtic eventually took the lead to 21-2
The Magic have to wipe this game off of the board as it doesn’t count, but keep the lesson from the drubbing in mind. The lesson: There’s much more work to do.