As the final five minutes of last night’s Celtics / 76er’s game played out I knew there was no way Miami was going to welcome Philly tomorrow night. No chance at all. Right about the time that Rajon Rondo hit his second straight deep three (astounding given his range is 5 feet) there was little doubt that Miami will again have to go through the aging Celtics. Can Boston’s big three pull out some sort of miraculous victory? A few things tip the balance in favor of the Heat:
– Rondo has been “inconsistent” at times (this is a nice way of saying no one truly knows if he is going to show up on any given night).
– Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are playing on one leg apiece.
– KG is playing at a completely unsustainable pace.
The seven game series with Philly was a hard fought one for the Celtics which took an enormous physical toll on nearly every player on the team. They certainly did not escape unscathed, not by a long shot.
There are a few concerns for the Heat however, namely that a three and half man team is now down to two and half men. Miami did not escape their series with the Pacers without sustaining a major injury of their own, as Chris Bosh was felled by a tomahawk dunk leading to a “day to day” status that does little to cover the severity of his injury (most likely a torn abdominal muscle). The loss of Bosh makes a “good” team into an “okay” one – except for the fact that the two remaining guys are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Shouldering an extra burden, the two absolutely destroyed the Pacers by themselves and now have to do the same to the Celtics.
Otherwise Miami loses, plain and simple. Miami might struggle to stop KG, but there is absolutely no one on Boston who can possibly stop LeBron and Wade.
On the other side of the bracket an epic series is set to kick off between OKC and San Antonio pitting youth versus experience. Both teams have been playing out of their minds andf this clash could take everything out of them (fingers crossed!). Just how good are the Spurs? We will find out. How has Tim Duncan rejuvinated his play? Can the Thunder make “the leap”? We will find out. The Spurs have not played anyone as good as the Thunder in these playoffs, but neither have the Thunder.
As a Heat fan, I would rather play the Spurs, simply because I do not think they can stop LeBron. The Thunder terrify me because they are an absolute matchup nightmare. The real key to the OKC – SA series is going to be the coaching. I see the Wily old Spurs continuing their terrific play…
But not beating OKC. Young legs will trump experience here.
Miami – OKC final.