Back in September Steve Clifford talked to kids at Ellsworth High School about hard work and determination, among other topics. Two weeks later, the Orlando Magic NBA head coach started practicing what he was preaching.

Clifford brings his team into Boston Garden tonight to play the Celtics with a chance to lock up a playoff spot. His Magic are 40-40 and sitting in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with two games to play. The top eight teams make postseason.

Simply put, Clifford and his team need one win or one Miami Heat loss and their in.

If that happens, the longest streak of missing the playoffs by an Eastern Conference team is over.

Not bad for coach who was fired by the Charlotte Hornets and hired by Orlando 11 months ago.

Clifford played his college ball at UMaine Farmington and took his first coaching job at Woodland High School.

After coaching in the college ranks, Clifford began his NBA journey as a scout with the Knicks in 1990. He's been in 'the association' ever since.

But he's never forgotten his Maine roots. Check out his talk about the state of Maine and ties to basketball coaches such as Bob Brown...

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