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Celtics-Magic preview

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff  February 1, 2013 05:02 PM

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Greetings and salutations, faithful Internet traveler, from TD Garden, where the Celtics and Orlando Magic are scheduled to throw down, basketball style, on Friday night.

But first, some bad news, Celtics fans: Rookie forward Jared Sullinger is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his injured back. The news leaked out earlier Friday afternoon, and the team confirmed his injury a couple hours before tipoff, adding that the surgery was successful and that Sullinger is expected to be back in time for 2013-14 training camp.

The Celtics have now lost two players in six days. First it was Rajon Rondo (torn ligaments in his right knee) on Sunday, now Sullinger, who was averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game. He played in 45 games for the Celtics and was a blossoming big man, but he didn't play Wednesday because of back spasms.

But this isn't the first time Sullinger's back has been an issue. In fact, the red flags about his back is largely why he fell to the Celtics at the 21st pick in the first round of the 2012 draft.

However, this does give an opportunity to Fab Melo, who is active for the first time during the regular season tonight. He has yet to play for the Celtics this season. That could change against the Magic.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS.
BOSTON CELTICS (22-23)

PG Avery Bradley
SG Courtney Lee
SF Paul Pierce
PF Chris Wilcox
C Kevin Garnett

ORLANDO MAGIC (14-31)
PG Jameer Nelson
SG J.J. Redick
SG E'Twaun Moore
PF Gustavo Ayon
C Nikola Vucevic

TV/Radio: CSN, WEEI (93.7)

Pregame notes:


  • The Celtics have won two consecutive games without Rondo.

  • The Magic have lost 18 of 20 games since Dec. 19 and are trying to avoid their eighth straight loss.

  • Orlando starting forward and former Celtic Glen "Big Baby" Davis is out with a broken left foot, an injury he suffered Wednesday in a loss to New York.

  • The Magic could also be without their leading scorer, Aaron Afflalo, who has missed two straight games with a strained left calf.


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