But he is wary they may not react so well. "What happens is people want to escape, and then people start worrying about where the blame is going to be placed," Van Gundy said. "It's not just players, it's coaches and everybody. Instead of having a mental toughness in a situation like this to get yourself ready to play Game 4, you start sometimes making comments to sort of separate and let everybody know it's not my fault."
The Magic weren't leaning in that negative direction at practice here Sunday. Point guard and team leader
In his own way,
But how do they fix the numerous problems that have all but ruined their title hopes? The matchup problems that helped the Magic upset Cleveland in this round one year ago are now destroying them against Boston. The balanced Celtics are spreading the floor for
The Magic can't create easy baskets because they're not forcing turnovers or coming up with stops when needed. They can't spread the floor to create open threes because Perkins or
The Magic must hope for a premature celebration by the Celtics, a letdown that will create space for Lewis (5.0 points on 25-percent shooting this series) to emerge. But Rivers has been emphasizing the need to play as hard as ever. The Celtics lost more games at home than on the road during the regular season, but they are 5-1 here this postseason.
"We hopefully have solved that problem during the playoffs," said Rivers. "We've lost one game at home [a Game 3 blowout against the Cavaliers]. It was an awful one. And, again, it was due to a lack of focus and taking our eye off what we should be doing. Let's hope we've learned."