Dating back to last year's postseason, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics had a rivalry brewing.
Although the Heat were eliminated by the Celtics in five games, it was a very physical first round series that was highlighted by Dwyane Wade's 46-point Game 4 effort. The Celtics went off to win the Eastern Conference and take the Lakers to seven games in the NBA Finals.
Then, the Heat acquired LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the offseason, shifting the balance of power in the Eastern Conference and retooling their roster to have enough firepower to compete with Boston.
This season has turned into a back-and-forth slug fest for the top spot in the East as Miami is only a half game behind Boston for first place.
The Celtics and Heat are clearly the class of the Eastern Conference and after three games against each other this season, tempers are igniting as both teams are battling for the throne.
Boston has won all three contests against Miami this season, but only by an average of 5.3 points. However, last Sunday's game was a much more hostile contest that saw Wade getting called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Kevin Garnett to answer KG's hard screen on Mike Miller.
Wade and Garnett are their respective squads emotional leaders and that was showcased in Boston's 85-82 victory last Sunday.
The bad blood is clearly growing between these two title contenders, and it will only carry over into the playoffs.
Here is a faceoff between Boston's emotional leader, KG, and Miami's emotional leader, D-Wade in a tale of the tape slideshow that contains both real and imaginary elements (pretend as if they were boxing each other).
Here is how the two would compare.
Position: Shooting Guard
Wade is Miami's starting shooting guard and helps run the backcourt with LeBron James and Mario Chalmers.
Position: Power Forward
KG is the Celtics starting power forward and is one of the primary players in Boston's powerful and deep frontcourt.
Weight: 220 pounds
Weight: 253 pounds
Being a top five player in the NBA, Wade has a variety of strengths.
He has outstanding offensive skills that include an amazing ability to drive to the basket, superior dunking, superb dribbling and a solid mid-range jumper. He showcases blazing speed that enables him to get up and down the floor very quickly.
He is also very good on the defensive side.
At 6'4", he is one of the best shot blocking guards in the league and also can rack up the steals. He is a very solid one-on-one defender.
Overall, he can score at will and has very high basketball IQ, which makes him an elite player.
KG is obviously a lot different than in his Minnesota days, where he was a double-double machine on a consistent basis. Now he is a lot older and his knees aren't what they used to be after multiple injuries.
Therefore, he has become the defensive enforcer of the Celtics. Garnett takes pride in his defense and makes sure that his team focuses on defense as well. He can haggle his opponent and cause forced shots, low percentage shots and, ultimately, turnovers.
Garnett possesses great range for a big man and has a lethal mid-range jump shot and can hurt you with his turn around jumper as well. He is not the offensive presence he used to be, but still has the ability to score 20+ points on any given night.
With nine rebounds per game, Garnett can obviously still hit the glass and be an effective rebounder.
If Dwyane Wade was in a boxing match, his advantages would be his agility and athleticism.
In a hypothetical matchup with KG, Wade's advantages would be his right jab and his uppercut. By utilizing his quickness, Wade would be able to throw fast punches while still being able to evade some of Garnett's punches because of his agility and athleticism. Also, Wade's competitive spirit would be very beneficial in a fight.
He would be good at capitalizing on missed punches from KG and be able to return with quick jabs.
After all, they don't call him "Flash" for nothing.
If KG were to enter the ring and put on the gloves against Wade, he would have an obvious size advantage. He would also have a big advantage in reach and wingspan, which would benefit his defense against Wade.
Garnett's primary strength would be his power hook that would have the ability to knock Wade out in one punch. He would have a forceful haymaker that could do some serious damage.
KG's defense and vision would be key in a match against Wade, as he would have to avoid his swift punches.
Wade's disadvantages would be his lack of size and reach compared to Garnett.
Additionally, he wouldn't have as much as power as KG.
At 34, KG would have an obvious disadvantage in speed.
But, what really might hurt him in the ring is his emotions. Garnett is known for being a passionate player, however, boxing is different than basketball. His emotions could potentially get the best of him, causing him to take too many risks.
This throw down by Wade occurred when Garnett was still with Minnesota, but it will be remembered as one of MV3's better dunks.
This dunk happened last season and was much more dominant than the first one, as Wade clearly posterizes Garnett with a one-handed jam.
In Miami and Boston's most recent game, emotions surfaced after KG delivered a hard screen on Mike Miller. Wade, defending his teammate, ran down the floor and elbowed Garnett in response.
Is this just a mere preview of this season's potential playoff showdown between the heated rivals?
Although it's unrealistic, who would in this hypothetical battle between The Big Ticket and Flash?