Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
Magic -5 over Celtics – Last season Celtics GM Danny Ainge made two moves that absolutely rocked the Eastern Conference and all of the NBA. When Boston added both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen the NBA franchise that has the most NBA championship banners in the rafters was reborn with one of the most intimidating starting lineups in the NBA.
After winning their 17th NBA championship against the Los Angeles Lakers the Eastern Conference regained its dominance from the 80s with the Celtics riding high and looking to be contenders for the foreseeable future.
Although the Celtics are still relatively intact with only James Posey jumping ship to join Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets this season, Boston has inspired a once weak Eastern Conference full of mediocre teams to believe that anything is possible.
With the Celtics transforming from arguably the worst team in the NBA to NBA champions in just one season, the rest of the league has been making moves to try and duplicate what Boston did last season.
There are two teams from the East in particular that have made significant improvements in their lineups and turned their teams into legit title contenders in the Eastern conference, LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwight Howards Orlando Magic.
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We all knew that King James was going to make the Cavs one of the best teams in the league one day, but nobody could have predicted that he would do it so quickly. As for the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard has gone from a fairly good center to the most dominant force in the paint in the NBA today. This kid has gotten so good in both the rebounding and scoring category that he is already getting comparisons to a young Shaq back when he was playing with the Magic.
The last few years the only teams that got any kind of recognition in the East were the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers (just because of LeBron) and just recently the Boston Celtics, but after consistently beating some NBA best teams this season like the Los Angeles Lakers (twice), San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets the Orlando Magic are back on the map and one of the best teams in the NBA.
Dwight Howard and company will face perhaps there biggest challenge of the season yet when they go head to head for the second time against the Boston Celtics in Orlando. The Celtics got the best of the Magic in their first meeting by beating them by 21 points in Boston on December 1st, but the Magic isnt the same team they were a month ago as they go into this Game with a 7 Game winning streak.
The Magic are definitely much improved since their last meeting, but the Celtics have gone in the complete opposite direction after losing to the Lakers on Christmas day and suffering their first slump of the season. Boston has gotten back to their winning ways as of late by winning a few Games including a huge lopsided victory over Shaq and the Phoenix Suns, but as of right now the Magic is the better team in my opinion.
The Magic are favored by 5 points tonight, but with the Magic and Dwight Howard playing the way they are and this Game being in Orlando the Magic should be able to take down the defending NBA champions to extend their win streak to 8 Games. Call it revenge – Magic -5 over Celtics
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