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Welcome to the Garden

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  May 22, 2010 05:21 PM

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rayallengm3.jpgWelcome to TD Garden, where the Boston Celtics will take on the Orlando Magic at 8:30 p.m. The Celtics lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0.

What if the unimaginable happens? What if the Orlando comes in here, dominates the next two games, and takes homecourt advantage back to Amway Arena? What if -- and yes it's still possible -- the Celtics and Lakers don't play for the championship after all?

Not at all trying to be a downer or an anti-homer, but you just know Doc Rivers has to have some of those thoughts somewhere in the back of his mind. The Celtics are a confident bunch, but after almost four days of hearing how great they are, the C's now actually have to go out and prove it. There's zero reason to think they can't continue their stellar play. After all, this has been a playoff run predicated on defense and not, for example, the streaky shooting of one player. The Celtics have proven they can win with key guys having off nights (see Allen and Garnett in Game 2).

But nothing's been assured. It's why they play the games. And despite all the devils advocate second-guessing above, it's safe to assume that Rivers likes the guys who are going to be playing the games for his side.

Like clockwork, Ray Allen is on the floor putting up shots for the Celtics. An out-of-town reporter commented that Allen was really early today. He's always early.

On the other end of the court, Paul Pierce just stepped onto the court for some warm-ups of his own. The contrast in the two players is striking: the silky smooth Allen effortlessly stroking jumpers at one basket, the herky-jerky Pierce dancing his way to open spaces on the floor at the other hoop. Make no mistake, though: Pierce's shooting can be just as effective. The captain has hit 50 percent of his threes in the first two games against the Magic.

Orlando's team bus just arrived, with Matt Barnes walking past Pierce and Allen on his way to the locker room. This will be Pierce's first game since Tweetgate. If anyone can make Pierce pay for his alleged trash talk it's Barnes, who needs to clamp down on Pierce better than he did in Orlando.

Back with much more shortly.

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