Coach Jacque Vaughn played a video as tipoff approached Friday night.
Not of the Orlando Magic's opponent, the Boston Celtics.
But of Bruce Lee, the martial arts master.
"Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup," Lee once said in a famous interview. "You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes a teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
Vaughn wanted to convey the importance of adaptation — that the Magic could adapt to the absences of injured starters Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo. Yet Vaughn and his players didn't expect that Jameer Nelson would suffer a badly bruised left forearm late in the second quarter and wouldn't return to the game.
The Magic already were struggling on offense with Nelson on the court. When he left, their limited chance to win evaporated, just like water, and they lost to the Celtics 97-84 at TD Garden.
"I think we competed pretty hard," guard J.J. Redick said, "and offensively we couldn't really get anything going. At times we were relying on just getting stops and eventually we just really, really cooled off. Having Jameer out there would've obviously helped us offensively."
The Magic lost their eighth consecutive game and for the 19th time over their last 21 games.
Nelson suffered his injury with about 1:40 remaining in the first half. He put up a floater, and Boston's Paul Pierce went up to grab the rebound. Nelson went for the strip as Pierce descended, and Pierce's elbow collided into Nelson's left arm.
Nelson doubled over in pain, sat on the bench for the rest of the half and ultimately received X-rays. The images showed no fractures.
Nelson hurt as Magic fall to Celtics 97-84 and lose 8th in a row
Orlando Sentinel | Feb 2