If you take a look at the Celtics roster, it’s easy to see why fans from Boston are a bit excited about the coming season. After all, this is a team that took the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers to a seventh game, and if it wasn’t for a great deal of help from the officials, as well as the shocking heroics of Ron Artest, would likely be showing off title rings for the second time in three years.
Alas, that didn’t happen, and the vaunted Lakers overcame the atrocious play of Kobe Bryant in that game seven to be crowned kings of the basketball world.
Yet, those Celtics, even with their stars aging, were pretty damn good, wouldn’t you say?
However, there are three reasons the Miami Heat will still dominate the Boston Celtics in their upcoming season-opener on October 26; Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.
While those self-same players from Beantown are now a year older even, they’re still a formidable team, and due to some crafty offseason acquisitions, seem to have gotten a little better even (at least on paper).
They have the seemingly ageless shooter, Ray Allen, whose stroke from downtown is as pretty as the girl next door, the electrifying Paul Pierce, whose overall play is still near the top of the NBA, and the incredibly fierce Kevin Garnett, who is still one of the top five power forwards in the game if you ask me.
Add to that the budding superstar, Rajon Rondo, who I’m of the opinion of is the best player on the team, and you have four starters that should send shivers into any opponent just thinking about having to deal with Boston’s versatility.
While Kendrick Perkins is out for much of the beginning of the season, Boston seemingly replaced his play to a great degree with the signings of both Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal.
It’ll be interesting to see which O’Neal actually gets the nod as the starter, and even more interesting to see how both fare throughout the season. As a Miami fan who watched with absolute horror as Jermaine hoisted up brick after brick in last year’s postseason series against the Celtics, I’m someone who says Boston can gladly have him.
As for Shaq, that’s another story. While he may have lost a huge step, I think he could have definitely contributed to the Heat had Riley seen fit to keep Boston from getting him. That’s all in the past, though, as he’s now a member of the boys wearing the shamrocks on their jerseys.
Beyond those six players, Boston seems a little thin to me, with Delonte West and Glen “Big Baby” Davis being their next two best players until they get Perkins back. Von Wafer and Marquis Daniels have both contributed to teams in the past, and Nate Robinson can light it up one game out of twenty, but none of them are anything I think Erik Spoelstra and the Heat staff will be seriously game-planning for.
They’ll focus their attention mainly on the starters, as they should.
And that brings me to the point of my piece. While Miami doesn’t boast the overall number of starters you could say have incredible name-recognition and are potential All-Stars, I believe the quality of the “Three Kings”, far outweighs any of those concerns.
Miami, in my view, has the two best players in the NBA today in Wade and James, and teams those two up with arguably one of the top five power forwards in the game in Bosh.
They’ve also got some great shooters, and a great mix of veterans and youngsters to round out their roster.
Mario Chalmers isn’t going to run circles around Rajon Rondo (in fact, it’s far more likely Rondo could to it him rather than the other way around). However, Mario isn’t going to be asked to do something like that.
Instead, he’s going to be asked to simply get the ball over the timeline and into the hands of either LeBron or Dwyane. Once one of those two have the ball in their hands, because of the fact either one will demand a double-team, as will Bosh as well at times, you’re going to be seeing opponents running all over the floor trying to catch up with Miami’s offensive ball-movement.
The Celtics aren’t going to be immune from that strategy, either.
You think Spoelstra isn’t salivating at having his young players run the aging Celtics into the ground? He’s fantasizing about it the way I drool over a juicy steak.
Rondo is probably the only starter on Boston who’ll be able to seriously keep up with his opposite on Miami. Anyone who believes Ray Allen can hang with Dwyane Wade all game is seriously on some sort of medication, or needs to be.
Anyone who believes Paul Pierce can even compete with LeBron James is insane. The only way he’s been able to avoid being thoroughly embarrassed in the past by LeBron is by getting help from his teammates. He won’t be able to count on such help against the Heat, as his teammates will be having all they can handle trying to cover their own man.
I was supposed to write about the “five reasons” Miami is better than the Boston Celtics and will beat them on October 26. I’ve shortened it to just three, and they need no elaborate explanation. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh; the “Three Kings”.
Miami is going to send a loud and clear message to the NBA that night, no matter how hard Boston attempts to drown it out, and that is that the Heat are going to show the world they’re the greatest team the NBA has ever seen; and they’re going to show it to them by destroying every opponent, every minute of every game, every night of the year.
Tags: Boston Celtics Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade Glen Davis Jermaine O'Neal Kendrick Perkins Kevin Garnett Lebron James Mario Chalmers Miami Heat Mike Miller Nate Robinson NBA Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo Ray Allen Shaquille O'neal