The Boston Celtics have been one of the NBA's best teams since the start of the 2022-23 season. But there's one team they just can't seem to solve: the Orlando Magic.
Despite winning over 65 percent of their games since October 2022, the Celtics are a surprising 1-4 against the Magic and have lost four consecutive games by an average of 10.8 points to the one-time Eastern Conference bottom-feeders. So, why does Orlando play so well whenever it faces Boston?
Magic guard Cole Anthony claims former Celtics guard and NBC Sports Boston analyst Eddie House gave Orlando some rich bulletin board material.
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“Eddie House. Eddie House. Eddie House," Anthony told ESPN's Zach Lowe on The Lowe Post podcast Friday when asked to explain the Magic's success against Boston. (Anthony's comments come about one hour, 24 minutes into the podcast.)
"He was talking about us early last season when we played them twice in Boston and he called us a trash team, pretty much. And we all -- to this day, we take that personal. We all watched the clip as a team. We always gonna remember what he said about us, so it is personal every single time we play Boston.
"Boston's a great team, but it will continue to be personal. It's still (personal). I can't say what I really want to say, but yes."
Anthony appears to be referencing House's comments after the Magic beat the Celtics in back-to-back games last December. After several Orlando players trolled House by posting GIFs of Magic guard Rafer Alston slapping House in the head during the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, House went off on the franchise on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Postgame Live.
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"They're in the Goofy Club, because they're so hype over two wins," House said at the time. "... Guess what, guys: You're the fifth-worst team in the NBA. With those two wins, you're still the fifth-worst team in the NBA, and we're still at the top of the league."
House also called the Magic "garbage" after Orlando beat Boston in their previous matchup, and at the time, he wasn't wrong: The Magic sat at 11-20 after back-to-back wins over the Celtics and finished the season 34-48, missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons.
The same can't be said about this season's Magic squad, however: Orlando has surged to a 14-6 record, second-best in the East behind only the 15-4 Celtics.
The Celtics host the Magic on Dec. 15, and they should expect to see a very motivated Orlando team -- while House will have the opportunity to offer his rebuttal to the Magic.