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How Do the Boston Celtics Match Up with the Miami Heat?

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 05:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics reacts with teammates Keyon Dooling #51 and Rajon Rondo #9 against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in the second half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 5, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 11, 2012

This past season, the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat engaged in an epic Eastern Conference Finals. 

At times, it seemed like the C's would complete their magical run to the NBA Finals, especially when Boston somehow led Miami 3-2 after Game 5.

It took a virtuoso performance from LeBron James (45 points and 15 rebounds) for the Heat to force a Game 7 in Miami where the Heat finished off the Celtics after Boston ran out of gas.

With Avery Bradley and Jeff Green playing in this series Boston will likely close the gap on the Eastern Conference champions.

However, Miami added former Boston shooting guard and future Hall of Famer Ray Allen and three-point specialist Rashard Lewis.

With a bench of Battier, Allen and Lewis the Heat might have the vaunted three-point attack that every team dreams of.

Now it's time to see which team is better right now.

Each component of each team is rated like a boxing match, to see whether the Heat or the Celtics have the advantage next season.

Rajon Rondo over Mario Chalmers: 10-8

Dwyane Wade over Avery Bradley: 10-8

LeBron James over Paul Pierce: 10-8

Brandon Bass and Udonis Haslem: EVEN

Chris Bosh over Kevin Garnett: 10-9

Celtics Bench over Heat Bench: 10-9

Doc Rivers over Erik Spoelstra: 10-9

In this case, the Heat have a slight edge, with the Celtics behind by exactly one point.

Miami's "Big Three" posts a five-point advantage over Bradley, Pierce and Garnett, and will likely always hold this advantage.

Rondo and Rivers will both hold advantages over Chalmers and Spoelstra because both are two of the best at their roles, at point guard and head coach respectively.

With that in mind, a possible series between these two teams comes down to two components: the Bass/Haslem matchup and the production of each bench.

Without a doubt, Boston's bench is deeper than Miami's. However, with the signings of Allen and Lewis and Shane Battier still on board, Miami counters with a formidable veteran group that has the ability to outplay the younger Boston second unit.

For the Celtics to have a chance at beating the Heat their bench needs to outscore Miami's. If Allen, Battier and Lewis are able to knock down shots at will this potential series could likely be over much faster than one might think.

While Boston has a solid roster, they need to play their hearts out if they want to beat Miami. That is, if both teams are healthy.

If Bradley is able to take Wade out of the game, or if "Flash" isn't healthy, Boston has a shot to upset Miami.

However, as of now look for Miami to be the favorite to repeat as Eastern Conference and NBA Champions.

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