Welcome to the Garden

Welcome to the Garden, where the Boston Celtics (21-49) will take on the Orlando Magic (33-38) at 7:30 p.m.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way for the Magic. Orlando started the season by winning 12 of its first 16 games. They had one of the league’s best big men in Dwight Howard and a promising young point guard in Jameer Nelson. They looked to be among the East’s best.

But the Magic are just 21-34 since November. While the playoffs looked like a lock back then, Orlando currently occupies the seventh spot in the East and is a mere half game ahead of New Jersey for the final playoff spot. Indiana is a game behind the Nets in the ninth spot.

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The good news for Magic fans is Orlando is going for its third straight win tonight.

  • Paul Pierce was out on the parquet warming up around 5 p.m. Before leaving the court, Celtics conditioning coach Walter Norton Jr. challenged Pierce to shoot a fadeway three from the corner turning to both his left and his right. Pierce nailed both, falling out of bounds on the last before running off into the locker room.

    Rajon Rondo was out with Pierce working on his drives to the hole. This is in contrast to Monday night when Rondo focused on his mid-range jump shot. A Celtics assistant coach held up a broom close to the rim to simulate a defender and make Rondo adjust his finishes around the basket.

    Gerald Green is currently working on his jump shot on the home end of the floor. The Celtics dancers, who are warming up, aren’t leaving him much room. It could be 18-footers and in for Green for a while.

    We’ll be back in a bit with quotes from the Celtics locker room.

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