Eastern Conference Round 2 Matchup: Heat vs Celtics

Posted by By at 30 April, at 18 : 03 PM Print

Second Round Playoff Matchup – Eastern Conference
(2) Miami Heat vs (3) Boston Celtics
Season Series: 3-1 for The Celtics

Is it Lebron’s team, or is it still Wade’s?  Whichever way you choose to answer this still to be determined question, what is certain is that The Celtics know who they are.  As The Heat still battle through team identity (even as they advance through the Playoffs), The Celtics are primed for an exhilarating series versus The Heat.

Player Stat Leaders:

PPG
Celtics: Pierce – 18.9ppg
Heat: James – 26.76ppg

RPG
Celtics: Garnett – 8.9rpg
Heat: Bosh – 8.3rpg

APG
Celtics: Rondo – 11.2apg
Heat: James – 7apg

With the 1stround behind them, these two teams are set to battle in what will sure to end up being an epic matchup that will be remembered for years.  The Heat “Big 3” are expected to be in the 2nd round, whereas the Celtics have shown that they still have plenty of gas left in their “tank” as they are beginning to look like The Celtics of old.

In disposing of The Knicks in 4 games, The Celtics will be a well rested team who is hungry to prove their naysayers wrong.  They had little to no competition in the 1stround from New York and have spent the past week waiting, studying and healing as they prepared to for their next opponent.  The Celtics “Big 4” looked like a well oiled machine.  Garnett, Allen, Pierce and Rondo were clicking in the 1st round and will look to push The Heat and will lean on team chemistry to push The Heat throughout this series. 

The Celtics, who at times during the Regular Season showed signs of mediocrity as they battled with injuries all year.  With a healthy Jermaine O’Neal, and a hopeful return of Shaq to the lineup, the Celtics size will help set the tone of this series as Miami’s inside presence is none-existent. 

Versus The Knicks, Rajon Rondo was playing like the MVP candidate he was when the season opened as he posted some monster numbers against the Knicks and helped re-vitalise hope in Beantown.  The Celtics came in as a very quiet 3rd seed and are led by 3 very cagey veterans.  They enter this series versus The Heat as underdogs since they are the lower seed, yet are in discussion about a possible return to The Finals.  The Celtics know what it takes to grind it out through the Playoffs, and will now face one of their toughest tests of recent memories in a 7 game series versus a team that was constructed with one sole purpose…Win Multiple Championships.

In Miami, The Heat came very close to being pushed to 6 games versus The Sixers.  They were able to finish Philly off in 5 games, and The “Heatles” will now focus their potent offense and attention to the American Northeast and on Boston.  During the Regular Season matchup versus The Celts, The Heat went only manged to win 1 game and will look to reverse their fortunes against Boston.  It took a little longer then desired for Miami to mesh, but their roster has been able to work out the early season kinks and now will look to prove all their doubters wrong.  After starting 9-8 early on in the season, Miami now in the Playoffs has the fire power that is a MUST to make it through the Finals.

No team in NBA history has received so much attention as this version of The Heat.  With Lebron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh all on the court Boston is going to have a difficult time slowing down this offensive juggernaut.  The Heat are creative, young, and very fast and will look to dictate the speed of the game against this older Celtics Roster.

Season Series
10/26/10 – Boston 88 vs. Miami 80
11/11/10 – Boston 112 vs. Miami 107
02/13/11 – Boston 85 vs. Miami 82
04/10/11 – Boston 77 vs. Miami 100

This is one of those series that you can only wish will end up being as good as it looks on paper.  This is a series that boasts 2 rosters filled with current and former All-Stars and will no doubt be one highlight reel play after another. 

 QUESTIONS?Miami
1) Who will handle the ball at the end of the game?  Lebron or D-Wade?
2) Will the lack of a dominating big man hurt Miami’s chances against the larger “O’Neal’s” on Boston?
3) Is the lack of bench depth finally going to hurt Miami?
Boston
1) Will Shaq be healthy enough to return in time to help versus The Heat?
2) Will the trade of Perkins for Jeff Green pay dividends for Boston?
3) Can this older roster of players keep up the pace with the much younger Heat team?

X-FACTORS
Boston: Jeff Green
– Can he provide the bench support Boston desperately needs from him after his acquisition from OKC for Kendrick Perkins?
Miami: Mike Miller – Signed as a free-agent to help take pressure of the Big 3, Miller will need to find his stroke in order to help open up the court for the slashing Wade and James.

TELEVISION SCHEDULE:

GAME 1 at Miami, Sun May 1, 3:30 p.m.
GAME 2 at Miami, Tue., May 3, 7:00 p.m.
GAME 3 at Boston, Sat, May 7, 8:00 p.m.
GAME 4 at Boston, Mon, May 9, 7:00p.m.
GAME 5 at Miami, Wed, May 11, If Necessary
GAME 6 at Boston, Fri, May 13, If Necessary
GAME 7 at Miami, Mon, may 16, If Necessary

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