Re: GET THE BROOM OUT...AGAIN!
posted at 4/30/2011 8:36 PM EDT
In Response to Re: GET THE BROOM OUT...AGAIN!
[QUOTE]In Response to GET THE BROOM OUT...AGAIN! : Wade missed the preseason and the Cs beat the Heat with Shaq in the first game the Heat ever played together
, a couple of weeks later the Cs won by 5 with Shaq, then the Cs won a 3 point game.... then when the Cs had a chance to make a statement and sweep the season series they were handed their worst loss of the season....
but of course why analyze what actually happened? Just look at as 3 to 1 for the season and ignore the details. The Cs average 90 ppg against the Heat and the Heat averaged 92 ppg game against the Cs. So the HEat defense was slightly better than the Cs defense and the Cs offense included Shaq in the first 2 games. If the Cs sweep the Heat it is because some combination of 2 of the Heat big 3 are hurt (kind of like against the Knicks who were not even a good team to begin with). Less than 6 means the Heat lost one of their big 3. I think as you say the Heat are really confused, they won about 18 of their last 20 to take over the 2nd seed while the Cs limped into the playoffs and then the Heat beat what some would call a better team than the Knicks (especially without Billups and Amare) in the 6ers, a team that the Cs lost to the last time they played. Yeah the Heat seem really confused based on.... um.... your post and nothing else. Based on the conversations I have heard, they are about the most focussed that I have heard from any of them than I have ever heard from any of them in their entire career.... What is confusing? Your post. I certainly don't want facts to get in the way of a good story but if the Cs sweep it would have to be considered the greatest performance in history given that many of the experts are picking the Heat.
Posted by TheDUDDER[/QUOTE]
I realize you weren't responding to me, but I'd like to add a few more FACTS to this conversation... That 3 point game the Celtics won in February, they pulled it out with half their team injured. They had their starters but basically had 2 players coming off the bench the whole game: Baby and Wafer. They made do without the services of Shaq, JO, Erden (that's 3 big men right there) and Delonte West, their best back-up guard. Oh, and I believe Nate Robinson also sat out that game, you know, the best healthy
back-up guard they'd had up to that point. The fact that they could pull the win off with a skeleton bench speaks volumes about many things, particularly the comparative depth on those teams.
As for their opportunity to make the "statement win" the pressure was much more on the Heat because they were facing the prospect of getting swept in the season series. Did the Celtics need that win? YES. Was it devastating to see them lose? OF COURSE. But the fact is the Heat needed it more and were openly up for the game, with Chris Bosh talking about sending the "message" and so forth.
The other argument you make at the very beginning - that the Heat hadn't had a chance to gel by the season opener - can be made almost verbatim for the Celtics bench, particularly the 4 guys in rotation with the starters during the playoffs: Baby, Green, Krstic and West. Only 1 of the 4 was actively playing with the starters and 2nd unit on a regular basis before February. It's not an excuse, but that had to have been a factor in many of those March losses.
Now the 9 man rotation is starting to show signs of gelling and continuity. Yes, it's still a work in progress, but I'd argue that they got tighter during the Knicks series.
As for the "experts" picking the Heat... most of them also picked the Lakers 3 years ago. Just as a previous generation of them - back in '84 - picked the Lakers over us too. I think a lot of them get swayed by hype and underestimate the quiet little things that TEAM-first teams do, not to mention the players' will to win, or lack thereof.
As I see it, that will to win will either be equal or the edge will go to the Celtics. The starters will be in a tight fight, but I expect Rondo to make the difference as the Heat don't have any one solid point guard. And this time around, I expect the Celtics bench to be the biggest factor of all.
My prediction: Celtics in 6.