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Five Questions About Heat-Celtics


For the past month, ESPN.com has been running a terrific feature, pulling together a panel of five writers to pick up apart the finer points of the NBA Playoff picture. Today, Celtics-Heat is the topic of the hour and our own Hayes Davenport represented CelticsHub in the Q and A, along with Chris Forsberg and three members of the Heat Index. Here’s a sample of Hayes’ responses. You can check out the full piece by clicking here.

1. What do you take from the four Celtics-Heat regular-season games?

Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: My homerism glands are forcing me to chalk up the fourth game to the Celtics’ late-season apathy, but the takeaway from the first three is probably that the Heat are not looking forward to this matchup. The Celtics have an unnatural ability to force below-average performances out of the Heat stars, and that’s obviously the key to beating Miami.

2. Which player will you be watching most closely in the series?

Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Rondo is the puppeteer of the Celtics’ offense, but this series will be decided on the other end, so I’ll be watching Kevin Garnett on defense. He’s going to try to be everywhere at once, and he actually can do that. But the motivated Heat are probably his greatest defensive challenge yet.

3. What’s the potential fatal flaw for each team?

Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Miami’s fatal flaw is the belief among its star players that they’re really awesome at shooting from distance. Boston wants them to think this and plans to make them prove it.

Boston’s flaw, meanwhile, is its bench. With either James or Wade on the court at any time, the Heat have a chance to make runs against the Boston reserves.

4. What’s the potential fatal strength for each team?

Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Boston’s strength against everyone they face, but especially Miami, is team defense. The Heat have several players who require multiple defenders to stop them, but sending a second defender to help is central to the Celtics’ defensive scheme.

Miami’s strength, of course, is that the best player in the league is on its side, and his best teammate isn’t Mo Williams anymore.

5. Celtics-Heat: Who wins?

Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Boston in seven.

I think Miami is a better team than Boston. If the Heat get through this round, they have a better shot at beating the Chicago Bulls and the Western Conference champ than Boston does. But I also think the Celtics are the one team that can stop the Heat.

Stay glued to CelticsHub later today and tomorrow for a full series breakdown and predictions from the entire CelticsHub crew.

  • Mark_07

    Obviously, I think Rondo will be the difference in this series, mainly because the C's big three will have their hands full to the heat's other big three. And I think they will have advantage at sg position if they use ray allen wisely (like setting picks).

    If kg best bosh, and paul pierce does his job well defending lebron and providing some offense AND the BENCH steps up, then the series is ours.

    GO C's !!!

  • talesofJP

    Can't agree with you where you say that A) Miami is a better team and B) C's are the only ones who can stop Miami. Chicago can beat Miami, not if they play like they did against the Pacers, but I think we'll see better from the Bulls.

    Touching on the first point, The Celtics are the better team, they have an All-Star point guard, a better bench (although they haven't played well in the playoffs yet), and better team chemistry. Miami's top two are more talented than our top two, but we have probably 5 or 6 of the next most talented in this series if you go down the list. LBJ and Wade don't like to play us, that could change, but I think we win it.

  • Zee

    Agreed with everything pretty much, but emphatically disagree with this:

    I think Miami is a better team than Boston. If the Heat get through this round, they have a better shot at beating the Chicago Bulls and the Western Conference champ than Boston does. But I also think the Celtics are the one team that can stop the Heat.

    But hey, it's just his opinion, so I take it with a grain of salt.

  • Dave

    As a bulls fan, I can't agree with you guys more. Thank god the celtics are playing the Heat because the Bulls want no part of that team. I hope you guys win because Chicago feels that you guys are a better matchup for us. GO Celtics and see you win the Eastern finals!

    • Brad

      lol fruedian slip?

      Did you mean "see you IN the eastern finals?"

      Maybe you had it right the first time =p

  • Altair

    I highly doubt the bulls can beat either team. They're like the one man team that does well in reg season but will ultimately lose to a more balanced team, much like the cavs vs celts last year and orlando vs lakers in 2009.

    • Zee

      The Bulls are the Cavs of 2009-2010.

  • tod

    did it hurt when you fell out of bed this morning? two of the best players in the league do not equal a team. everyone says we were a better team last year yet we have a better record and we got a sweep first round, keep doubting like everone else. celts in 6! on to the bulls if drose can make it past dwight

    • cml

      Umm … the Hawks eliminated the Magic last night.

      • Robert

        I'm Ok with letting the Hawks borrow Dwight for the series.

        • kricky

          Only if we get to borrow him against LA :)

  • jasont

    The Celtics will make this look easy, they will win 3, get board, lose 1, then finish it off in 5. Chicago is the real challenge.

  • dave

    Can't judge very much off regular season match-ups. Doc Rivers' strength as a coach comes through in the playoffs with the coaching adjustments he makes from game to game, mostly with how the Celtics defend opponents.

    There is a very good chance the Celtics will have to surrender home court advantage in all 3 remaining series they play in assuming they advance that far. It's very rare for any team to overcome that. It's successive series gets tougher and sooner or later the Celtics will most likley have to win a seventh game on an opponent's court, mabe even more than once.

    I think this series will be extremely close. The Celtics have to slow down 2 of the best 5 players in the game today and Chris B isn't exactly a slouch either. Rondo will need to control tempo and stay out of an up and down game with these guys.

    It won't be anything shorter than a 6 – game series. If it's 7 than Miami probably takes the series.

  • http://twitter.com/M_DeVelaine @M_DeVelaine

    C's in 6. Why? LeBron and Wade each are each capable of winning a playoff game on their own, while Bosh is worth nothing but more things to laugh at. Stop them – which the C's can and will – and this series is easy.

  • Jon

    I think Boston wins in 5. Miami has Bron, Wade and Bosh averaging double figures but nobody else on the team averages over 8 points. Bosh is negated because KG will be checking him so 2 players cant beat a great defensive team like the Celtics. Miami would need major output from their bench to win. The celtics have what like 4 or 6 players scoring in double figures.

  • kricky

    That guy is a stats moron. What a loser. When was the last time he made a correct prediction?

    He probably is so busy running regressions and figuring out probabilities that he doesn't even watch the games. I mean what the fuck is the point? Basketball is supposed to be about FUN. I have to deal with enough of the stats crap at work.

    • Rundy

      Where do you work?

  • lakershater13

    Can someone tell me whats going on? Is the NBA set up is set brackets now? I thought the top team played the team that advanced with the lowest seed. So tonight if Memphis wins then they play OKC? That makes no sense. A 4 seed playing an 8 while the 2 and 3 seeds battle it out? The NBA already is selling tickets for LA and Dallas. So either the nba is now a bracket style playoff or the league is going to give the Spurs 2 more wins? SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME!

    • someguyinsac

      Best way to understand it and the changes over the years is here:

    • ozcelts

      The NBA has set brackets so as Grizzlies beat 1st seed Spurs they meet winner of OKC/ Denver ( 4 vs 5). Likewise winner 2 vs 7 meets winner 3 vs 6. It's been like this for a while

    • lakershater13

      I dont like it. I think the team with the best record in the second round should play the team with the worst record. Maybe it is just me. Personally I think LA had dodged a bullet here. I think Memphis would have given them more head aches in the second round. With Battier and TA you have to think Memphis has the two best Kobe defenders now that Bowen is retired and Artest is his team mate. Marc Gasol and Randolph would be able to challenge the Laker front line and Memphis has enough role players to really compete with anyone (conley, young, powe, and arthur).

      Oh and Lakers fans talk so much trash about how we only won once in the past 25 years and they are only one championship away from tying us. My question is why is it that you have been in the finals 31 times and only have 16 championships? Celtics only needed to get there 20 times to win 17 and over all we are 17 out of 21 in the finals. Yep thats an .809 win percentage in the finals.

      • Guest

        Not to mention, the 2002 championship shouldn't even count. They were handed that finals trip.

        • someguyinsac

          Sound like a Kings fan. =)

          • lakershater13

            Does sound like a kings fan but I agree. Kobe levels Bibby and no call. Kings should have been in finals.

          • Batman

            Kings missed 13 free throws on their own home court in Game 7
            Officiating was terrible but the Kings had a good chance of winning
            It wasn't handed to them

          • lakershater13

            Game 7???? What game 7? That game should have never existed. Game 6 was handled to LA. It has been written by many sports writers that game 6 in that 2002 playoffs was the worst officiated game in the history of sports. Donaghy admits the league fixed a series in 2002 to force one of the teams to lose. I truly believe we should put an * next to the lakers championship that season.

  • Paul

    Celtics can beat the Bulls and the Heat…I think they have a better team and Shaq will produce when needed. Celtics will also beat the Thunder in the Finals…it will be great to see Big Perk come back home though…

    Go C's!

  • Stephen

    Hollinger is a total moron. Did you follow his team rankings during the season? He never gives the Celtics credit and he had both the Heat and the Magic ranked ahead of the C's even when they were 3 to 4 games behind them. I mean just look at the guy, he even looks like a total retard !!!!

  • ozcelts

    Hollinger is one of the few guys I never read. He seems to have made a career out of publishing predictions which are big on the stats jargon but small on accuracy, The models he uses all have assumptions built on assumptions each with inherent error %. Net result is his end prediction has a significant error factor.
    John is the "Emperor has new clothes" of the NBA media- no one wants to call him out as a dud because the current accepted wisdom is the guy has something to offer. So I'm calling him out now- John Hollinger is a DUD

    • Batman

      Are you guys REALLY ripping on Hollinger just because he has an opinion?

      • ozcelts

        If anyone voices an opinion esp someone who is promoted as an expert of sorts then yes that opinion is open to scrutiny. This blog is about that isn't it?

        • James Patrick

          And I'm saying 9 out of 10 times, if he's got an opinion about the C's, it's not in their favor. I think the 1time out of 10 is being generous too. lol

          • Batman

            I'm not saying he's right but some of the Hollinger hate here is unnecessary

          • Batman

            I mean that is true but come on who didn't vote against us last year?

  • Morpheus

    "I think Miami is a better team than Boston."

    I see what you did there HD.

  • Celtics Freak

    We can beat anyone in this league if our "BENCH" stepped up and by "BENCH" I mean West, Green, and BBD….Our whole bench doesn't even have to step up. 1 thing we have that they dont is a good bench. Our bench isn't the best, but it's good for us and better than some teams. The players we have on our bench have SOMEWHAT of a chance of being Starters in this league

  • Zee

    "I just think the Celtics as a team is better than the Miami Heat as a team." Some guy on NBA TV. Yet, CH disses our team. :)

    • someguyinsac

      Maybe it's reverse psychology?

  • Joe

    The Heat are good, but they’re not better than the Celtics or the Bulls. Give the C’s and Bulls more credit.

  • kricky

    Just watched the Grizz close out the Spurs. Damn! I forgot how good TA was on the defensive end. Man we could use TA against the Heat.

    Time for Green to step up so that the Cap can get a breather here and there and not get too tired to hit those big shots down the stretch.

    I don't care if Green's offense sucks as long as he Ds up.

    • MikeD

      Yes. In my opinion, TA is the best defensive wing in the league hands down. No one comes close.

  • Alex

    I don't think he's biased, his stats just suck. He's no go at modeling quality team ball, so he always picks against the Celtics.

  • oddbird

    I know! Its like TA? A starter on a team that gets out of the first round? That's like a green squirrel man like whats going on

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