2010-11 NBA Predictions: 10 Reasons Why Boston Is Tougher For Orlando Than Miami

Brett David Roberts@33TriggerCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2010

2010-11 NBA Predictions: 10 Reasons Why Boston Is Tougher For Orlando Than Miami

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    Boston
    BostonChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    This article will look at the reasons why Boston represents a tougher challenge to the Orlando Magic than the Miami Heat do.  Despite the fact that the 'Big Three' of Miami have never played together and established any team chemistry, most are still picking them to win the east. 

    But are they really the best team to challenge Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic?  I doubt it, personally, and believe that the Celtics -- who bounced Orlando from the 2010 Playoffs -- are going to be the main obstacle in Orlando's quest for a championship.

1. Rajon Rondo Is Too Much For Jameer Nelson

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    LAS VEGAS - JULY 24:  Rajon Rondo #7 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team looks to pass during a USA Basketball showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center July 24, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Let's face it, Magic fans, there is no way Jameer Nelson can keep Rondo in check.  He's too quick and too adept at making the best decision when under defensive pressure.  14 ppg, 2 spg, 8 apg, 3 rpg were his averages against the Magic.  While that may not be the best ball Rondo has played, it certainly isn't bad.  And the stats don't tell the whole story.  Rondo is great at getting into the lane and breaking down defenses, and when he does, he ignites Boston's 'Big three.'

2. Kevin Garnett Is a The Perfect Power Forward To Give Rashard Lewis Problems

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    KG
    KGChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Kevin Garnett is one of the few big men in the NBA who is quick enough to guard Rashard on the perimeter and challenge his three point shots and his drives.  While KG certainly doesn't have the offensive game he had during his prime, his defense is still pretty top notch, and his speed allows him to get out to challenge Rashard's threes while still being quick enough to prevent him from penetrating.

3. Kendrick Perkins Is The Best in The NBA at Covering Dwight Howard

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  Kendrick Perkins #43 of the Boston Celtics looks on while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Kendrick Perkins has repeatedly shown the ability to frustrate Dwight Howard, and he does it in single coverage.  His large frame and strength allow him to push Dwight out further from the basket, and out of his comfort zone, than any other center can.  Moreover, Perkins is good at boxing out and keeping Howard off the offensive glass. 

    While Perkins may be out until February, Boston did sign two more seven footers to combat Howard in the paint:  Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal.  While both are way past their respective primes, they do represent big bodies and more fouls to throw at Dwight.

4. There Is No One To Keep Pierce in Check

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics moves the ball while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    With the subtraction of Matt Barnes, Orlando lacks the lock down defender necessary to cover Pierce.  Pietrus is supposedly a good defender, but I have yet to see why, and incumbent starter Quentin Richardson is decent on 'D' but nowhere near good enough to keep Pierce in check.  Expect Pierce to have good to great games vs. the Magic this year.

5. Vince Carter Is Poor at Chasing Ray Allen Around Screens

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals gainst the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While Vince's one on one defense may be decent, he is poor at chasing players around screens, and you simply can't leave Ray Allen open.  His shot is near perfect and he doesn't need much room to get it off.

6. The Boston Defense Is Too Tough

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    BOSTON - JUNE 10:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics hits the floor as he readies himself on defense against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 10, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User exp
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Going beyond all the individual defensive nightmares that the Celts present, their team defense is too tough for the Magic.  Their help side defense and good rotations enable them to stop Orlando from getting easy looks down low, or open threes.  When  you can cut off both of those facets of Orlando's offense, they are dead in the water.

7. Boston Has The Depth to Challenge Orlandos Second Unit

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics talks with Glen Davis #11 while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: Use
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Bringing Nate Robinson, Shaq, Jermaine O'Neal, Von Wafer (possibly), Delonte West, Big Baby Davis, Luke Harangody, and Marquis Daniels off the bench will be enough to give Orlando's second unit problems.  Big Baby has already proven himself as a Magic killer, while Nate Robinson certainly had his moments against Orlando in last year's playoffs.  Delonte West has always had success against Orlando.  And finally, the three headed monster at center for the Celtics offers the depth necessary to counter Marcin Gortat.

8. Boston Is Tough on The Road

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics reacts while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last year, Boston won more road games than home games, a rare "accomplishment" in the NBA.  Since Boston is not as tough in the regular season, they will likely have "Road Court Advantage," in the playoffs. Since Orlando is notoriously tough at home, this will prove to be a boon for the Celts, who tend to keep their cool, even in loud and crazy NBA arenas.

9. Orlando Cannot Get As Many Open Threes

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    ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 10:  J.J. Redick #7 of the Orlando Magic attempts a shot during the game against the New Orleans Hornets at Amway Arena on October 10, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadin
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    As previously mentioned, the Celtics are a great team at rotating to cover perimeter defenders.  The Magic led the NBA in threes made last season, and when that option is being cut off, their offense stagnates.  Boston's ability to control Orlando at the three point line ultimately proves to be a huge advantage and their defense continually frustrated Orlando in the first three games of the series last year.

10. Boston Has The Drive To Repeat As Eastern Conference Champs

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics talks with referee Joe Crawford while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: Us
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While it is difficult to question any team's desire, Boston certainly showed the heart and competitiveness all through last year's playoffs to prove they are not done yet as contenders.  Playing with a big of a chip on their shoulders, the Celtics often played with ferocity and vigor, something that NBA teams don't show up with every night, or so it seems.  Boston's intensity could drive them for a championship this year, which would be their second in four years. 


    Moreover, Boston players and fans realize this could be their last chance at a title.  With age being a factor, Boston will likely blow up their roster after this season. 

In Conclusion

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    You can see all the problems the Celtics present to Orlando, and while Miami's big three may be a potent offensive combination, it is Boston's defense that will enable them to give Orlando more problems.  Miami is ridiculously weak at two of the Magic's best positions: point guard and center.  It is often said that defense wins championships, and the Celts certainly have defense.  I believe their defense is enough of a reason to give Orlando more problems than Miami could in a seven game series.

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