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Heat-Celtics - what's your prediction?
Heat in 6. But I don't think they'll beat either team from the West.
I really really want the Heat to lose. But it's ok, because the Spurs and the Thunder are not going to lose in the Finals.
Heat in 4 against the Celts, Heat in 6 against the Thunder.
You shut your whore mouth.
Todd, who's your team?
A few things to watch:
- Boston really struggles at times rebounding the ball. For the Celtics to have a chance, they can't let guys like Joel Anthony, Turiaf and Haslem extend possessions with offensive rebounds.
- The Celtics also have problems at times taking care of the ball. Miami is the most dangerous team in the league in transition. Boston simply can't turn the ball over.
- If Bosh doesn't return, Miami won't have anyone that can guard Garnett. He needs to have an enormous series - something like 25+ and 12+ a game.
- If Bosh does return, Miami is clearly better on paper. But will that necessarily translate to on-court success? Could Miami, at this point, be more dangerous without Bosh, because it forces LeBron and Wade to be even more aggressive?
- Avery Bradley's injury really hurts the Celtics, as he does an outstanding job of defending Wade. Ray Allen struggles defending Wade when healthy, and Allen is nowhere close to healthy. What does Boston do here - keep Allen on Wade? Put Rondo on Wade and Allen on Chalmers?
- What does Boston have left in the tank? With several guys playing injured, it would have been beneficial for the Celtics to beat Philly in five games in order to get a little rest before the Heat series. Since that didn't happen, and there are no extra days off in the ECF (games are every other day), can the Celtics go all out every game for six or seven games?
- Like Garnett, Rondo also has to have a monster of a series. Miami doesn't have any dangerous shot blockers, and no one on the Heat can shut Rondo down. He's capable of playing like one of the best players in the league on any given night.
I'm actually a Celtics fan. Could see this going either way. In some ways, Miami is an easier matchup for Boston than Philly was, as Philly is much more balanced and athletic from 1-12. Rondo and Garnett both have to have a monster of a series for the Celtics to have a chance. Ray Allen has hit a few big shots here and there, but he's basically just a shell of his former self at this point due to his bone spurs. If he can get his rhythm back and shoot like he's accustomed to doing, that'd be huge.
Celtics, I hope the Heat never win a single title with Lebron.
Go Blue and Go Titans!
Are you a Boston fan in all sports? Patriots, Red Sox, and Bruins?
Nope, just for the NBA. I'm a Browns and Reds fan.
So you're a Celtics, Browns, Reds and Michigan fan? Interesting mix right there.
I really don't root for any particular team at the college level. IMO, you really can't when you work in this industry. I mainly just root for people I know (recruits and coaches) to do well.
It's ok Todd, we know you're a Michigan fan
But really, it must be awesome making a great relationship with the recruits and then seeing them do well in the Big Ten and sometimes even NFL. Easy to root for kids like Darboh and Chesson who have been through so much
It really is neat to get to know them and then follow them throughout the process. Looking forward to seeing which 2012 recruits crack the rotation in the B1G this fall. I'm hoping there will be a bunch. And I completely agree with you about Amara and Jehu.
Good post! I'm a Celtics fan too and feeling strangely confident about this series...I really think Miami is being grossly overvalued.
-Rondo has always feasted on the Heat and I have no doubt that he's going to do it again. I can't really imagine what Miami would do to keep him out of the lane, and once he's there, the only questions are whether (1) he can finish at the rim or (2) can his teammates knock down the open jumpers he's going to create. I expect Rondo to average something like 18/13 in this series, and think he has a good chance to really go off the way he did in 2009 against the Bulls.
-I think Wade is going to have a big series no matter what the Celtics do...Ray Allen can't guard him with those bone spurs, and putting Rondo on him would be a serious mistake...Rondo's just too small and too prone to gamble for steals. The key question is whether the Celtics can get enough help on him to force him into mostly jumpers (in which case, he'll average like 28-30 a game, but the C's will get semi-transition opportunities off the rebounds from his misses and won't be getting into bad foul trouble) or whether he's just too much and gets to the rim at will (in which case he might average 40 and the C's will definitely lose). The impact of Avery Bradley's injury can't really be overstated here...if he were available, I think the Celtics might actually be favorites.
-If Wade is being "held" in to the high 20s or low 30s in scoring, the Heat are going to need one of their role players to step up in a major way if they want to win the series. Chalmers was that guy in games 5 and 6 against the Pacers, but I don't see him performing on that level with Rondo guarding him. I think it's going to have to be Udonis Haslem...he's going to get opportunities when the defense collapses on Wade and James, and he has to be prepared to field passes cleanly and finish strong at the rim. Can he do that consistently? That's going to be key.
-The most underrated weakness of the Celtics is that they really, really struggle to score when Rondo is not on the floor. If the Heat can get him into foul trouble and hold his minutes down to the 35-40 range, they'll have a real chance to run up leads or close gaps vs. the second unit.
Might I just say its beautiful to see a couple Michigan/Celtics fans around here (I'm counting you too Todd). A couple more keys here.
-KG has been knocking down the 17-20 footers like they're lay-ups and while he can get those whenever he wants because no center chases him out there, he needs to get back to the post. Haslem, Anthony, Turiaf will be guarding him and none of those guys have the length to bother his fadeaways and hooks. In the Atlanta series which was another team very weak inside he stayed down there and completely dominated. Philly pushed him off of his spots and he stopped going down low but IMO they need to feed him down there.
-I know Pierce has the MCL sprain, but if they want any chance of winning this series he's gotta get back to 20 ppg. It won't get any easier with LBJ guarding him but when he's on it doesn't really matter whose guarding him. His array of stepback jumpers and elbow pull ups are just about unguardable when he's feeling it.
-Someone on the bench has to step up. With Allen back in the starting lineup there's gotta be someone who gives a little scoring punch when the second unit comes in. I'm thinking Pietrus he gets probably 3 to 4 open looks at 3's every game and it's just a matter of if hes hitting them or not. I wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like Pavlovic get some more burn this series in regard to what he can do on D guarding Lebron and he's a guy capable of knocking down shots as well.
-Realize none of the key points given have been about defense? That's because it's a constant with this team no matter whose on the court. Dont get me wrong it can't be understated how big it'd be to have AB out there guarding Wade but the celtics have always been about team defense. I think because of that there's no way this isn't a close series as far as the individual games but the Heat will win in 5 or 6. But I hope like hell I'm wrong cuz I'd love to see this unit go out with a win against these clowns.
This post was edited by mac1992 23 months ago
Heat. I hope the celtcis win,but James and Wade will be too much. I like the Spurs over the Heat in the finals.
Great analysis guys! Matchup wise, this series reminds me a bit of the 2010 series against the Cavs, when KG and Rondo were virtually unstoppable. Those two have to do the same thing again, and stay out of foul trouble at all costs. Pierce has to bring his A game and at least hang with LeBron. He's shown that he can do that in the past. A year older and with an injured knee, can he do it again? That'll be key.
Another potential matchup in Boston's favor is Brandon Bass. Battier will most likely be guarding him. Bass, when he's on, is automatic from 15-18 feet. With Battier on him, I'd like to see him play in the post a little more. Get the Heat in foul trouble, slow the game down and make Miami's bench play more minutes.
That Wade matchup could be brutal for the Celtics. I'm thinking Keyon Dooling may be the best option off the bench to cover him. In short spurts, he's really played well defensively this postseason. And when he's in rhythm, he can hit some big 3's as well on the other end of the floor.
Great point by GoBigBlue about Pavlovic possibly playing a much bigger role in this series. Either he or Pietrus (or both) has to be able to eat up some minutes guarding LeBron. Pierce can't effectively play as many minutes as LeBron on a nightly basis, and giving LeBron another look will help too.
One major worry I have is that if the Celtics are really struggling with Wade and resort to a zone defense, Miami could kill them on the glass. No one talks about Joel Anthony, but he's a pest on the boards, getting huge tip-ins, keeping possessions alive, etc. Miami is too good to give them 2-3 shots per possession.
Who does Stern want to win?
With Bosh out, Celtics still got out-rebounded by 15. That's brutal.
I was worried about that - the Heat can kill you with role players that have a ton of energy and keep possessions alive. Seemed like Miami scored on just about every second or third chance opportunity they got.
Lets be honest guys...the Heat will smash the Celtics. Boston is made up of Dinosaurs plus Rondo. Spurs got lucky in game 1 and it might be over in 5 if OKC plays like they should. Honestly...nobody can stay with the Heat or OKC up and down the floor. Both those teams just need to wear out the other team
"Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"
The spurs have a way better team 1-12 than anyone in the league right now and it's not even close. Down the stretch OKC's offense was down right ugly. It was hand the ball to KD and let him try to dribble through 3 defender while the spurs got layups. The Thunder rely way too much on one-on-one play and offensively they have no depth. There are 3 guys on that team that can get there own points and they're all jump shooters. The spurs have the depth you need to win a championship there was no luck involved. People think the spurs are old because there main 3 players have been there forever but they go 11 deep every game and those guys are mostly young players.
They're all jump shooters? Durant, Westbrook, Harden?
Disagree. All three shoot jumpers, but to characterize them as Steve Kerr/John Paxson types ALONE is simply not accurate. Harden and Westbrook both attack the rim and Durant posts up.
Perhaps "they often settle for jumpers" is a better description.
I don't buy the "better team 1-12" either **if** you mean that they're more talented 1-12. They are an incredibly sound TEAM, period; credit Pop and the Spurs GM for that (I have always loved Tim Duncan and have tremendous respect for their organization). But I sincerely doubt that they're more talented 1-12.
As to the OP, Heat in 6 imo. I hated the Celtics when I was younger but grew to like them since I cannot stand Kobe (heh). I don't see them getting past the Heat though UNLESS, as Todd said, KG and Rondo have an incredible series. Give Rondo a jump shot and he's top 2 PG in the league...but as Reggie pointed out, he shoots the ball with is palm/entire hand as opposed to using his fingertips. Miami is just too fast, too athletic, too good in transition. They can get easy buckets; Celtics struggle to do so.
This post was edited by Kenetic 23 months ago
I think the OKC-Spurs series goes at least 6 games.
We'll see what happens tomorrow night. I have a feeling Rondo and Pierce will both have a huge game, and the Celtics will either win, or the Heat will make a spectacular play to win it late. Not that you should need extra motivation at this stage of the season, especially for a veteran team, but LeBron holding the ball out in front of KG and laughing toward the end of the game wasn't exactly the smartest thing he's ever done.
And I think San Antonio is deeper top to bottom than OKC is. When OKC is on, they're almost unstoppable, but they go through extended droughts on a pretty regular basis because they're so dependent on iso's. Still not sure who wins the series, but I think it goes at least 6, if not 7.
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