Mar 18, 2013; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) battles with Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) under the basket during the second quarter at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics (40-38) At Miami Heat (62-16): Heat Stars Are Playing, Celtics Stars Are Not

These teams do not like each other.  You only need to look as far as LeBron’s not-so-subtle saunter after he annihilated Jason Terry on The Dunk to see that there is no love lost between the Heat and the Celtics

It could be that if there was Hall of Fame for “Players that Teammates Love, But Opposing Teams/Players/Fans Hate” Kevin Garnett would have to be one of your first ten inductees.

Can we universally agree that Kevin Garnett is one of the most universally hated basketball players, at least in the 90s-00s era?

It could be that LeBron has been tormented by the Celtics for the vast majority of his career (first Cleveland, then Miami).

It could be the fact that Ray Allen, one time member of the Boston Big Three turned down Boston’s offer and joined the Miami Heat — and has played fairly well.

This speaks for itself

But whatever it is, you know Heats-Celtics will be a rock ‘em-sock ‘em type of game with four quarters packed full of punches, jabs, and intense, playoff-caliber basketball any time the Heat and Celtics play.

Jeff Green looked like a world-beater last time the Heat and the Celtics faced each other

Unfortunately, it is looking like tonight is not going to be one of those nights.  Both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are sitting out, andThe Big Three are going to play (finally).  These are teams going in different directions: the Celtics are 4-6 in their past ten games — the Heat are 8-2 and that’s with Wade, LeBron, Bosh, and Chalmers all sitting out for multiple games.  The Heat’s bench essentially beat the Washington Wizards on Wednesday — the Celtics shot 45% en lieu to a loss against the Brooklyn Nets.

Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics defense is missing its defensive anchor — and without that anchor, LeBron and Wade are going to be able to penetrate with ease, either scoring themselves, or dishing to the Heat’s plethora of three point shooters.  Expect to hear a lot of “Kabooms” and the words “Ray Allen” and “for three”.  While The Big Three might be rusty, the Heat bench has proved strong enough to carry this team at crucial junctures in times.  And even if the Heat do struggle to score, you look at this Celtics team and you have to wonder where they will get their scoring from?  Jeff Green (maybe)?  Jason Terry (43% FG)?  Brandon Bass?  The Celtics literally do not have one  go-to scoring option, especially since I doubt that Jeff Green is going to have a 40 point game again (right?  it can’t happen again right?).

Heat win easily — and we have to ask ourselves: could this really be the beginning of the end of the Celtics era?

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