#2 Miami Heat vs. #5 Boston Celtics
Overview: This is a match plenty of die hard NBA fans crave for. Boston's "Big 3" is in the middle of its last playoff run, as they face a widely despised Heat team. Health is a concern for both teams, because key players including Chris Bosh and Celtics combo guard Avery Bradley are injured. They are both coming off tough, physical series, but I believe the veteran presence of the Celtics will be able to compete with the younger, flashier Heat.
|Can All Star point guard Rajon Rondo lead the Celtics to the |
Finals once again? He is arguably their key to victory.
Miami's advantage: Transition game. This is one of the Heat's strongest areas, and they will look to exploit the older, ailing Celtics in transition offense. LeBron James is such a great threat in transition because he can finish but also pass the ball exceptionally well. If he and Dwyane Wade can push the ball, create havoc, and find teammates open behind the three-point line, the Heat will be on a trip to the NBA Finals for a second straight year.
|Chalmers has to be able to facilitate, shoot, and cover |
Rajon Rondo well if the Heat want to return to the Finals
after last year's fall to the Dallas Mavericks.
X-Factor: Mario Chalmers. He is an important part of the Heat who is criticized, yet appreciated. The former Kansas Jayhawk fell out of some favor when rookie Norris Cole shined for the Heat early in the season. Chalmers has regained his confidence however, and is playing solid for Miami. He's averaging 11 points per game during the playoffs, to go along with 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and nearly one steal. His main task will be to guard Rajon Rondo. He has to play physical and scrappy to shut him down. Chalmers also has to be a knockdown shooter. James and Wade will create, but Chalmers is one of several shooters on the Heat that has to take advantage of open shots.
Prediction: Heat over Celtics, 4-2.
To the readers, I'm sorry this article is slightly delayed. I have been busy with a lot of work because school is finishing up, but I hope you've enjoyed this entry!