Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  88 responses

Boston Celtics on the Verge of Historic Collapse?

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

It started out innocuously enough, with a bunch of threes from the Orlando Magic’s hands raining down on top of the Celtics. Pretty soon, the whistles started chirping, bodies began falling, and before you knew it, what was once a cakewalk into the NBA Finals for Boston had become very much in doubt.

The C’s were spanked in Game 5 last night, and they may have left more than just their pride in Orlando. Their health will certainly not be an advantage with Game 6 back in Beantown looming, as Marquis Daniels (concussion), Rasheed Wallace (back pain), and Big Baby (concussion) became the walking wounded.

Boston may also be without Kendrick Perkins — whose second (and highly controversial) technical foul last night has him suspended for Game 6 — unless the League reverses the decision, a call they’re expected to make this morning.

The Magic now have all the momentum, and in the celebratory locker room last night, they sounded like a team ready to take control of the series.

From FanHouse:

A 3-2 deficit never felt so good. “We’ve got our foot on their neck right now,” Barnes said in a confident Magic locker room. “Now we have to keep it there.” No NBA team ever has fallen behind 3-0 and rebounded to win a playoff series. And it has been tried 93 times before. Game 6 is in Boston Friday night, but the Magic already are making plans for Game 7 in Orlando. The team that is down has suddenly become the favorite again.

“The momentum has shifted,” said forward Rashard Lewis. “We want to make history now. We can win this series. We have the guys who can do it” … “I think after the first two series, we had developed a false sense of ourselves,” Barnes said. “And it took us three games to realize it. But we’ve made this a series. And we plan to win this series now” … “We believe we can win this series,” Nelson said. “They have the pressure on them right now, going back to Boston. They’re going to be prepared, but we’re going to be prepared as well.”

Orlando still has a very steep hill to climb before they can force a decisive Game 7 back on their home floor, let alone win the series.

But they’re undoubtedly off to a good start towards history.

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  • mike

    no they aren’t…end of story

  • Riggs

    lol are you kidding me? im now more sure than before that boston is going to win this after yesterday. That was some of the worst officiating i’ve seen so far in these playoffs and boston was playing against EVERYBODY and yet they didnt lose by much. Such a blatant BS game that joint really got me pissed.

  • Rikson

    Got to respect a finals-run Cs!

  • BostonBaller

    I don’t even have to read anything above this. The answer is NO. Plain and simply no. I won’t complain about the officiating b/c that’s been bad all year and I will wait to comment on D Howard.

  • Rikson

    Would be priceless…

  • Fred

    The technical foul on Perking was silly, stupid, weak. I expect the league to reverses the decision, if so that sound like a conspiracy. Stern need to do somethings with this stupid referee, he should be fined for his incompetence. I never saw such a ugly call.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    That’s what happens when the median age on your roster is 83…

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    yea fred, both the foul and the ensuing technical were such bs. how much longer do we all have to suffer until we get competent refs?

  • John

    Dude I was at that game n the officiating was horrible but Boston fans can’t say it was in favor of the magic.. Ur team was only in the game because of how many free throws they took.. N i’m sick of the acting Paul pierce does the truth is he’s good but a b**ch.. Orlando is comin to boston to take the heart out of u Celtic fans… Gettttt readddddy!

  • vtrobot

    I think God appreciates the mentions in Howard’s post-game interviews and He’s now intervening a little. I mean that was a lot of 3′s. God is 2nd most powerful only to the brother(and sister – What up, Violet!)hood of NBA referees. All bow down in respect to their power. Don’t bother to rescind both of Perk’s T’s, NBA, because that would be admitting too much fault. Congratulations to ORL for finally giving a f*ck. Over in 6 tho. BOS ain’t DAL.

  • Rikson

    Love the Cs (especially pp since he came to the l – dudes always been the truth) but I’m starting to get fed up by the stupid rondo/Perkins/Davis hype. Yeah they are ok to good players but that’s it. People tend to forget that dudes have the chance to play with 3 of the best players of all time!!! Gotta look got in that situation… Man it’s like playing with 2 lebrons! Plus they seem to have developed a team mentality that makes them look like aholes to say the least… Just my two cents – back to topic…

  • Riggs


  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’ll expect a similar headline tomorrow after the Lakers lose tonight…you know, fair and balanced journalism and all.

  • mike

    How many times are they gonna call fouls on bigs guarding Howard? They merely touch the guy and it’s a foul. They need to stop bailing him out to make this a series.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    “On the verge”? really slam? let’s say they’re “on the verge of historic collapse” if the magic win game 6 convincingly, and even then i don’t know. it’s a series now yes, but it’s not like the celtics aren’t in control any more. i mean, they’re up 3-2 going back to boston. i’m impressed by the magic, they’ve showed great spirit and played very well the last two games, but you also have to realize that a lot of things did not go the c’s way yesterday. i know someone’s about to say “no excuses,” but that’s not an excuse, it’s just a reason why the game was extremely tough to win. specifically, i’m talking about officiating and injury. i mean, one guy gets ejected and TWO leave with concussions? and two of those guys are important defenders on dwight howard. also, i have to say something about howard. i don’t think it’s malicious, cause he seems like a really nice guy, but howard’s gotta watch those elbows. they’ve managed to find someone’s head/face more than once or twice in this series.

  • shifty

    this game was fing bullsht…….howard is dirty

  • Rob

    and where was VC yesterday? Hiding, avoiding responsibilities, as usual. Dude is just too scared to play. Props to Redick who stepped up and helped his team.

  • Rikson

    How can this be online before the game recap?!

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL

    What did Perkins actually said? or yelled?

  • Riggs

    @leoneL: he gave a look to the ref, but when he was walking AWAY from him, he said that’s BS and started cursing. yet in a crowded and loud game with his back turned to him i have no idea how the ref couldve seen any of that.

  • slawson

    My guess is Perk, Baby and Sheed will all be back, but we will also see Sheldon “The Body” Williams go up against Dwight Howard a little in Game 6, with Boston winning big back at home. Sheldon ain’t done much this season, but when he has been in there, the guy always manages to put up some decent PT stats. Plus, he can put a body and 6 fouls on Superman, and slow him down a bit. I also predict the game will be evenly officiating, and Howard will get more than ONE FOUL. Ridiculous!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Man, some of you need to take some grammar classes! Some of this was painful to read I tell ya. But, yeah it looks like this is a series now.

  • d’bri

    Orlando played great and won that game as much as the Cs lost. I’m surprised though that other than fans comments, i’m seeing nothing out there today on just what a horrendous job the officials did last night, both ways. the Ts were obviously ridiculous, yet everyone focuses on how Perk may be suspended. Why not simply call it like it is? Rush and Crawford disgraced themselves and the sport once again. If there are suspensions, it should be for them. DeRosa gets a game for tossing a ball at a fan, what about to guys whose negligence and poor job performance negatively impact a series?

    It’s like 2006 all over again, which was like 2002 all over again. at what point can we just watch basketball without having the game perverted by guys like this? its disheartening

  • AL29

    Looks like the league is trying to extend this series via bad calls, as we KNOW they have done in the past. The Celtics are the better team, and both of their losses have been forgivable. They should have closed out game 4, but losing in overtime is not such huge collapse. And Game 5 was over as soon as Perkins got unfairly booted. I hope the C’s beat the Orlando Panic by 50 while the crowd chants “Beat L.A.”, and while SVG grimaces, Howard looks upset, and VC pouts on the bench. And btw, SLAM, the 1996 Bulls were up 3-0 against the Sonics, and ended up winning 4-2, but I don’t remember there being much speculation about a “historic collapse”.

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    Celtics Blow. I hope they choke. Go Yankees.

  • Tommy Patron

    With officiating performances like the one in this game, it is patently ridiculous for Sternbot to come out and say there is no problem with refs. Actors and whistles control the NBA these days.

  • jorge

    The only difference here is that Karma is a b***tch and It came back to bite Perkins in the a***ss.
    When you elbow half of the league on a regular basis…..it’s called reputation and you don’t even know what he said. I can walk away and tell the ref something degrading??
    Howard played like Celtics play so now it’s on!
    What Celtics are the only ones allowed to play nasty, wow…since when?
    Waht.. Baby davis is not allowed to look like a drunk elefant searching for a steak in the middle of the court!!

  • Hedo Turkeyglu

    KG is so funny. In game 3 he slaps back at Dwight Howard and immediately back-peddles looking for a little old lady to hide behind. Big Baby makes the mistake of sticking his face under Howard’s arm, boom! Wallace just wants to hug Dwight tight. And, Perkins is all bluster. Folks, you are witnessing the pillage of Superman! Pierce on the ground! Pierce on the ground! looking like a foo with your Pierce on the ground.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    “like a drunk elefant searching for a steak.” that couldn’t be more senseless if you wanted it to. and i think you’d look a little woozy too if dwight howard elbowed you in the head.

  • Hedo Turkeyglu

    Steak?!!! “like a cop search for a donut”

  • The D Train

    In a vacuum can we at least remember that Orlando came back and won after being down 3-2 last year versus Boston? So from today forward there is some semblance of precedence. Of course KG is back, and Turk has been replaced by VC who is being outplayed by JJ Reddick. So I understand that circumstances are different. But since Orlando pulled out of a 3-2 deficit to win last year, they have all the momentum right now, and nothing is absolute, we have to at least admit that it’s a possibility. For all you saying there’s “no chance,” seriously, get real. Boston is still the favorite because they only have to win one of the next two, but if Orlando stays hot from deep, it’ll be an uphill climb for Boston, especially if Rondo doesn’t come up with another (near) triple-double.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Elephants are herbivores!

  • BostonBaller

    No excuses, we got our butts handed to us and yes we can take the hard fouls….BUT I’m sure if KG or Perks elbows and arms kept finding their way to players skulls there would be ppl lined up with torches and pitch forks but since it’s smiling Howard they are always accidental (especially when he looks around w/ that did I do that erkel look on his face) lol. This is playoff basketball where stuff happens, let the games continue.

  • Hedo Turkeyglu

    Biggest whiners in the L: Perkins, KG, Pierce, and ‘Sheed

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    History remains on Boston’s side of the fence.

    OH, and they have a 3-2 lead as well, headed back to Boston.

  • The D Train

    SLAM must be out to get the Celtics with the “historic collapse” line. Just because Orlando has won two in a row, Boston’s starting center might be suspended for game 6, Orlando had the 2nd best record in the entire league, Orlando has all the momentum right now, and half of Boston’s team is either concussed or having some sort of muscle spasms. Notice the question mark at the end of the headline? Pretty sure they are just broaching the possibility. People need to pull their panties out of a wad and calm down. But at least if Boston pulls it out you can all jump on the board with your “told you so” posts. If Orlando somehow pulls off the craziness, though, are you guys going to be on here apologizing for jumping on people’s sh!t for bringing up a possibility?

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    any game with joey crawford as a referee is bound to be messed up with stupid technicals called.

  • vtrobot

    @ Hedo: KG went towards Howard after Dwight elbowed him in the face. Watch it again. He goes towards him as Dwight is clapping and doing his braying *ss impression. Maybe KG backed away when he thought about the fact that he could very well get suspended for a game or two for pretty much doing nothing. Remember that “vicious” and deliberate elbow? WTF has happened to the league? Holy f*ck, please let them play.

  • bdub

    Look at the tape. The elbow was incidental. Harden the fuck up. I don’t give a sh*t who wins this series, but the whining up in here. Sheesh. The refs made some shit calls in happens in every sport. Fact is Boston were outplayed. The end.
    Big thing for me was Jameer’s domination of Rondo. Their matchup is huge.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    A Game 7 would be “On the verge”, not down 2-3.

  • Brian

    As Tom Heinsohn once said about Ed F. Rush, “Hey Ed, what’s the F stand for, fool?”

  • ed h

    first the bruins and now the celtics.
    what are the odds that one city in the same year could have 2 pro sports teams each blow a 3-0 lead
    in the playoffs?
    this will be one for the ages.
    and, yes, the celtics will lose the next two.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    10 or so make-up calls in Boston are deserved and will help send Magic home for good. That said, if Sheldon Williams is our back-up to a seemingly injured and starting Rasheed Wallace, and with no Baby to come off the bench, that’s only 12 fouls for Howard and the way the refs are calling things now, both will be fouled out by half-time. So yeah, I guess Orlando has a chance now…

  • R2J

    It’s amazing how far the C’s came from and it seems like they ran out of gas. All the pressure is on them now and they are tough as nails but we’re gonna see how this team will respond in game 6 at their place. That’s if anyone else can avoid Dwight Howard’s Elbows. LOL!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    Dwight Howard: “First and foremost, I have to thank God. I know we believed in him and because we believed in him, Kendrick Perkins got ejected before halftime and both he and Big Baby will miss the last game of this series in Boston.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    Funniest part of last night was when Rasheed gets called for a foul and DWIGHT seeks out the ref to complain about the call. Then when he hears it’s against the Celtics he quickly calms down and walks away from the referee he was approaching.

  • The Philosopher

    The Celtics are picking the wrong time to age, but they SHOULD be fine. If they blow it, well…

  • BostonBaller

    @Hedo, who is your fav player in the L? It doesn’t matter b/c I’m sure that player whines just as much. These players are just adults playing a kids game for money so they all whine. LBJ, Kobe, bench players, all of them so to point out the guys you dislike on the team you dislike is kind of whinny too don’t you think? BTW, if Nelson had said “We’ve got our foot on their neck right now,” “Now we have to keep it there.” it would have had a bit more validity since is has become the lil engine that could but Barnes?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I would be willing to bet that Rondo has his biggest game of the series in the closeout tomorrow.

  • http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a78/nursetpd/TSB/Danny_Ainge_Shamwow.gif ENDS

    Im not Saying Nothing

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    agreed with Eboy. the main problem last night (besides concussions) was their defense. if their defense gets back (which it will–i’m sure they’ll watch film like crazy today and tomorrow) to where it was, they’ll be able to force TO’s and misses and run the fast break, where rondo’s probably at his best.

  • BostonBaller

    @th3 R3al: I saw that and fell out..did you see that play Hedo? i bet you missed that one b/c Howard was going to go whine…there are a couple of guys in the L that don’t all out whine but not many.

  • Logues

    its funny that in this months issue in the Dome Shot with kobe and bron they didnt even mention the c’s being a contender. like they didnt even have a chance.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com TADOne


  • mike

    @ ed h – no, they won’t.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com TADOne

    Also, they already rescinded one of Perkins techs from last night. He won’t be suspended.

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL

    @Riggs, thanks.. Guess that’d be fine then. He’d be back for game 6 since the league will review this.

    @Cheryl, you mean, “were painful to read” right? Just kidding, you’re one of my favorite NBA bloggers/writers. :D

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL

    And TADOne confirmeth…

  • http://SLAMOnline Adam Sweeney

    It amazes me how some people think God favors one team or the other. If there is an all knowing entity, he isn’t getting involved by playing favorites. He’s not Tim Donaghy.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Are the yellow & purple glasses available to the general public? I wish to read basketball news through the eyes of a Laker douchebag.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    When asked if his shooting ability was God-given, Ray Allen responded by saying something like, “God doesn’t care whether I can shoot a jump shot.” I prefer his theology to Dwight Howard’s.

  • kousinkar

    My heart says yes, the Magic pull off the impossible. My head says Celtic blowout win in Game 6; I think Game 5 ended too easily for the Magic.

  • baller23

    Howard is not a great rep for us Christians so please don’t go down a road that will lead you no where.

  • vtrobot

    That’s not true. God def cares about His Son, Jesus’ shot.

  • BostonBaller

    The above comment wasn’t Baller23 whomever that is it was I BostonBaller

  • BostonBaller

    What’s going on?

  • BostonBaller

    The above comment was not Baller23, it was I, BostonBaller.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Comments can get freaky sometimes. I guess you can consider it another of SLAMonline’s unique traits.

  • BostonBaller

    This is true Mr. Nelson..I don’t like your last name right now. hahaha jk

  • JD

    bet u guys whoever wins Game 6 wins the series

  • Jahi

    I think the Magic pull off the historic upset. From here on out, the Celts are going to be too tight and over thinking the Magic’s strategy. At this point, the Magic have nothing to lose, everyone in the media from Magic Johnson to Reggie Miller, and all the nation thought they were done Monday.

    The Magic versus Suns would be a good game.

  • fireplace

    It is funny how people saying that he getting soft fouls buy when Kobe gets pushed like when Dwight get pushed itsa hard foul and kg just an aging punk that can’t hold up in the paint no more. All the people with negative thoughts about Dwight must not realize that if he was lebron or Kobe then half the Celtic team would be ejected already for the fouls they be giving him. To all the Celtic lovers watch as they make history and lose this series and I’m gonna be lmao!

  • vtrobot

    bet whoever wins game 7 wins the series

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @vtrbot I bet you they don’t

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    “Anton Posted: May.27 at 1:26 pm
    Are the yellow & purple glasses available to the general public? I wish to read basketball news through the eyes of a Laker douchebag. ” … Anton, just use your own glasses and you will see the same thing …

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    If this happens it will end the Big 3 era and Danny Ainge will probably blow the team up out of frustration. It would be a huge choke.

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Yea bostonballjuggler, christians would never do anything wrong, theyre such good people. Crusades, inquistion(what a show!), witch trials, sending missionaries to f with native peoples, etc. Talk about a road that will lead you no where, holy siht!

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    @Eboy – You will not see that headline if the Lakers lose tonight. But I hate to break it to you…LA isn’t heading back to PHX down 3-2.

  • mrnoluv

    Lakers will win no matter what, even bet that they will in the series today! Lakers have this in the bag. NBA sucks for us old guys that lived thru the Magic/Bird and then Jordan years, now you know for sure who will win (Lakers). So boring the NBA is these days, no wonder ratings are way down from the 80-90′s

  • http://www.kwapt.blogspot.com KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    If I here “looks like this is a series now..” one more time, I’m gonna vomit. And it’s coming from “professional” journalists no doubt. lmao. Celtics in 6.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Anton’s Laker comment: masterpiece.

  • Jose

    PHX/LA Looks like it’ll go 7 w/ how game 5 was. BOS/ORL i wanna say goes 7 also but beantown is most likely goin to end it at home

  • http://www.motherjones.com AndTheJellosJigglin

    Anton’s comment: misogynistic.

  • Bdub

    Organised religion has had its time. Lets move on people.

  • Coney Islander

    If the 27 time world champion Yankees can choke there’s no reason why the Celtics can’t. History or not!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    3-3 makes them ‘on the verge’. Jeezus.

  • malakhi

    Go magics. I hate dem Celtics.

  • warren

    Good prediction. Better keep your day job. Magic folded like a cheap accordion. the only thing they’re on the verge of is becoming irrelevant.