The Boston Celtics cannot figure the Orlando Magic out.
Joe Mazzulla’s team hasn’t been able to crack the code, dropping three games in a row to the team after taking ten straight games from them before that.
That happened again during Monday night’s trip to Florida in a game the Celtics were favored by as many as seven points in most sportsbooks.
They couldn’t spoil Jonathan Isaac‘s return, as the Magic hit the ground running and dominated from start to finish, winning three out of four quarters en route to a 113-98 win.
Orlando shot 51.2% from the floor and 40.7% from deep, all while having the edge on the glass, more steals, and fewer turnovers.
Their defense was again the key behind their triumph, as they forced 18 giveaways and scored 19 points off turnovers, all while committing just 12 fouls.
This is why Celtics star Jaylen Brown had no choice but to tip his hat off to the Magic, praising their length and versatility and the way they’re able to alter shots and deflect passes:
“They’re an unorthodox team to play against,” Brown said, per Alex Kennedy. “They’ve got that Toronto kind of feel but longer. Kinda like how Cleveland was last year. A lot of bigs, a lot of length, guys who can cover ground and get a lot of deflections. Tough team to play against.”
Jaylen Brown on the Magic: “They’re an unorthodox team to play against. They’ve got that Toronto kind of feel but longer. Kinda like how Cleveland was last year. A lot of bigs, a lot of length, guys who can cover ground and get a lot of deflections. Tough team to play against.”
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 24, 2023
The Magic’s size advantage was quite evident in the restricted area last night.
They scored a whopping 54 points in the paint, outscoring the Celtics by 22 in that regard.
They currently have eleven players who are 6-foot-6 or taller, so they’re a bit of a matchup nightmare when it comes to switching.
So, even though they haven’t been good this season, this team has the potential to be special once their young guns keep developing.