The Boston Celtics took seven games to close out the pesky Philadelphia 76′ers to make the Eastern Conference finals. For their efforts, they get to face the Miami Heat, which is the team that made short work of them in last year’s playoffs.
The Celtics, maligned for several years for their age and the drop off in the games of the big three, probably did not do themselves a service by taking the full seven games to dispatch the pesky 76′ers, while the Heat sat in what probably are very comfortable South Beach homes and rested. But let’s take a closer look at the series.
One thing that is unclear is the status of Miami power forward Chris Bosh, who was sidelined for the Pacer series with a strained abdominal muscle. If he plays and is close to 100 percent, then it will be a much shorter series, and it will not go the Celtics way.
But as of Sunday, Bosh is still not practicing and he may be out for at least the start of the series.
This opens things up for Boston. In the last series against the 76′ers Rajon Rondo showed his usual flashes of brilliance. The matchup with Mario Chalmers is very favorable to the Celts.
Much has been made of Kevin Garnett‘s rejuvenation, as several big games in both playoff series have shown Garnett does have gas left in his tank. The problem is that there is no way to look at it, when the Heat play LeBron James at the power forward slot, and he is head to head with Garnett, Garnett will be at a major disadvantage.
The Celtics are going to have to come thru in game 1. They really don’t have a choice, they have to hope the Heat come in a little lackadaisical for the opener after a few days off, and they have to steal one.
IF they go back to Boston down 2-0 in the series, Boston cannot hope to extend the series beyond 5 or maximum 6 games.
And I have a feeling that the Western Conference finals will be a 7 game series, and the last thing we need in the finals is a fresh Heat team with Bosh back. So go Celts, establish yourselves early and make a series of this. A final of Spurs-Celtics, though unlikely would be good for the AARP!