The Celts are taking their talents to South Beach tonight as they prepare to take on Lebron and the Heat. Pretty much everyone has already counted the C’s out. I mean the spread is -10.5 in favor of Miami. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to talk like the Celtics should win, but I don’t think it’s going to be as much of a massacre as everyone is making out to be. Christmas Day we saw what the Celtics are capable of. They can play. Granted, we also saw the Heat man handle the defending champion Mavs right after. But then again, the Nuggets just smoked them last night too so I feel a little better about it. If Rondo comes out firing, takes control of the offense and Brandon Bass steps up again, I could see this being a close game. Only thing that’s rough for the C’s is they’ll be once again without Pierce, and Pietrus isn’t going to start until Friday, leaving a questionable defense to cover Lebron and Wade. I guess it could go either way. Regardless, the Celtics can’t sit back early on because the Heat are not the Knicks. If we don’t show up right away, they won’t let us in.
The questionable defense is the most crucial part to our strategy as a defensive team. Not only have the Heat had an entire year to distinctively learn how to use their “big three”, Bosch, Wade, and Lebron have now had the time to learn how to work together in synch, something that was suspected all along and probably even back since June 18 ’10 when it was decided that Lebron would join Miami in the first place. The fact of the matter is that Miami has the tools to win the Championship this year. (adding to the mix is also the recently signed Shane Battier) And yes it is without a doubt quite early to make that statement, but numbers are numbers and the Miami Heat have put up good numbers. Perhaps the Celtics best shot is to not fall back early as you had said. But also not to fall back in the fourth quarter, something we have seen time and time again from the Celtics. With a strong defensive player like Pierce out, the Celtics need to push for more open jump shots offensively and minimize “in the paint” shots to avoid turn overs. One of Pierce’s strongest attributes as a player is his ability to create situations in the clutch where a foul is called against the opposing team; this is something that we have seen time and time again to lead to a third quarter come back with a fourth quarter maintenance strategy. Of course I want to sit here and say that I agree it is going to be a close game, but it’s hard to do that. And although Boston only suffered a nearly one minute loss to the Knick’s on Christmas Day, it still is a loss much like the same 2 point loss just one Christmas ago.
No way the C’s even stand a chance. Miami is too fast and athletic. They will run on you early, then once they have a lead slow it down and let LeBron/D-Wade go to work in Iso and Pick and Roll.