Who Wins In A 7 Game Series : Celtics or Heat ?
A lot of people are underrating the Boston Celtics, despite them having a pretty solid offseason by adding Shaq, JO, Wafer, and West. They have a very solid bench once Delonte serves his suspension. They obviously have the experience factor of winning an NBA Championship in 2008 and making the Finals last season and taking the 2x defending champion Lakers to seven games.
Then there is the Rajon Rondo factor. Rondo has quickly become the Celtics best and most dynamic player due to the decline of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. While those three are all still all star caliber players they aren't superstars anymore. Rondo has played great in the playoffs with the exception of the 2010 Finals. He absolutely demolished Mo Williams in the playoffs and I think he would do the same to the inexperienced Mario Chalmers. If I was Miami I would do what the Lakers did and put Wade on Rondo to try to disrupt him. I would put Chalmers on Ray Allen and have Mario try to bother Ray on those screens Boston runs for him.
The Celtics have also shown the ability to contain LeBron James and other stars as well. In the 2008 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals LeBron James shot below 40 % from the field. He had one monster game which was game 7 and it was somewhat offset by Pierce's explosive game 7. In 2010 LeBron shot much better. He shot 44 % but in the last three games of the series he again shot below 40 %. He didn't have near the energy or impact he usually does.
KG and the Celtics have gave Chris Bosh all he can handle in the past, who is often considered soft a hard time with his physicality and length. You add in Shaq, JO, and a healthy Perkins and I think Bosh can be contained. One of the reasons Bosh is considered soft is that he often resorts to jumpshots and fadeaways instead of posting up, getting to the free throw line, and driving hard to the rim. Against a team like Boston Chris will be more of a jumpshooter. He'll still get his numbers but Boston will make him work.
Wade and LeBron definitely have advantages over Pierce and Allen, but Ray and Pierce will definitely compete on both ends and give Wade and James all they can handle. Allen should tire out Wade or whoever guards him with all those screens he comes off of. Pierce much like Artest has the size to go up against LeBron, however he lacks the quickness to defend him. Boston's team defense is great and will have to continue to be great against Wade and LeBron.
Now look at the bench. Boston has Delonte West, Nate Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Glen Davis, and Von Wafer all solid offensive players. Miami has Eddie House, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, and Zydrunas Illgauskas. Imo I'll take Boston's bench all day, more firepower offensively and their bench frontline is decent defensively as well.
Coaching wise you have to take Rivers over the inexperienced Sploestra. More experience obviously, defensively he's argurably as good as it gets and runs very solid offensive sets.
I would take Boston in seven games. Due to their age I don't think they will aim for homecourt advantage. They can and have won on the road in the playoffs in previous postseasons. They aren't antimidated by anyone. I see their physical play, depth and experience winning out. Miami will have to wait another year before they rule the East imo.
Who would you take ?