Can Miami and the man formerly known as King James pull an upset over Boston? Would it really be an upset? Yes, and yes.
So are the Boston Celtics. Both of these teams have their eyes on the bigger prize—not just winning the NBA Eastern Conference title. I don't know about the Miami Heat, but I'm sure the Boston Celtics don't hang conference championship banners.
This matchup is similar to the one going down in the NBA Western Conference. The Lakers' and Mavericks' series is viewed by me as a winner goes to the NBA Finals one. I'm not so sure if the winner of the Celtics-Heat matchup will go to the NBA Finals.
It's a matchup between superstars, totaling more All-Star appearances than I can count. Both teams have excellent playoff experience and championship pedigrees. The same can't be said about either of the other semifinal matchups other than the Lakers and the Mavericks.
Boston owned Miami in the regular season, but Chris Bosh spent most of the season finding his way. James and Wade did their things, but the rest of the team was slow in catching up—until late in the season.
The Heat started to gel, and Boston started to swoon. They come in against Miami without Shaq playing in the last series and without Kendrick Perkins, who won't be playing for Boston in this series—or in any other this season.
Perkins wasn't a factor, though, in the regular season for Boston. When he played, Andrew Bynum was busy blocking his shots into the second row.
After he got traded, Boston fell off. Some of it may have been due to emotions raging through the Celtics' locker room—emotional slaughter.
A team—especially these Boston Celtics—can swoon after a family member-type teammate gets the axe and goes to another team. The chemistry in Bean Town could be exposed against a budding team like Miami.
Their chemistry level compared to Boston's is off the Richter magnitude scale right now—in favor of Miami. Now all that's left is the measurement of the earthquake after news of Miami upsetting Boston in this series hits the world.
I say upset because Boston owned Miami in the regular season. That was when the Heat were regular, now they're righteous and rolling on the floor laughing probably at the meltdown Boston's Paul Pierce showed in Game 1.
The more experienced Celtics were the ones losing composure, while the Heat thought smarter and played harder against them. Boston's hopes can't be rising like the sun.
If the Leprechauns continue to fall for the okie-doke—like Phoenix did against San Antonio in 2007 after the Robert Horry almost clotheslining of Steve Nash—then they need to be taken out and dislodged from their Kelly green for good.
It was obvious, to me, that the Heat were trying to goad the suddenly volatile Celtics into a team fight, so that the less level-headed Bostonians could exit the bench and get suspended like Amar'e Stoudamire did after Horry virtually numchucked Nash in game four.
The Celtics lost their heads in Game 1 and proceeded to lose Game 2 to the Heat last Tuesday night in South Beach. Down 0-2 and with sand in their eyes, Boston will wake up in Massachusetts with a grainy feeling.
The wood grain steering wheel on the luxury SUV the Celtics were trying to spin in executing their game plan is far from polished. Heat coach Eric Spoelstra is to be commended. Miami is rolling on big rims and over Boston.
Hold on, though, beautiful Miami, before the accolades start rolling in and the Eastern Conference Finals champion T-shirts are handed out around town, or in the Heat's locker room. All Miami did was hold home court.
Boston has been through a lot in the last three seasons and have seen almost everything in the playoffs. Game 3 is a must bring home the victory game for them. Their season is on the line, along with general manager Danny Ainge's reputation as a genius.
It doesn't take a genius to realize the winner of this series could be the favorite over the young Chicago Bulls, or the suddenly relevant Atlanta Hawks in the conference finals. I seriously don't believe, though, the winner of this series is a lock to win the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy—handed to the NBA's top dogs every year.
The Eastern conference has been dogged, but the Bulls could give the Western Conference winners a very hard time. Chicago is the No. 1 seed in the NBA, but have yet to get past Boston in the Derrick Rose era—MVP Derrick Rose, that is.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and I don't see the Celtics coming out of their hole to upset Miami. So the Bulls—if they can beat the Hawks—should be goring opposing guards in the conference finals. I don't see the Heat winning the NBA title this season, either.
There you have it. I'm no genius, but I've spoken my peace and answered my own headline's question. You gotta love it. Show me some love and catch me next time. I'm out.
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