|Posted by shawn cassidy on February 28, 2013 at 5:30 AM|
Even with Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa in the lineup, the Celtics knew they were going to need to catch a few breaks along the way to make a serious postseason run. With those players lost to season-ending injuries, said breaks must involve opposing stars and limbs.
The Miami Heat have become the sum of their opponents’ fears, playing stifling defense and regularly getting otherworldly turns from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. If the Heat lose a series during the Eastern Conference playoffs, their foes will have bucked odds taller than Manute Bol standing atop the Rocky Mountains.
The Celtics know where they stand. And you know where they stand simply because they no longer want to talk about where they stand.
Your Shamrocks were more than happy to discuss their belief that they were better on paper coming into this season than they were during their championship run in 2007-08, but that notion was buried at sea long ago.
Even when they stumbled through the first months of the campaign, people like Paul Pierce would boldly say, “I still like our chances. I have confidence in this team. We still think we can beat anybody.”
That kind of talk now is far beyond their focus.
The Celtics entered the 2012-13 season with a deep team,and it was said that this was the deepest team since 2007-08. I think this team was deeper, but it was a different time,and era in the NBA. The Big Three were in their primes,and the East was very weak,and even the West was in 2008. The battle of leadership roles was a conflict this season. Things didn't go right for the Celtics, no other way to put it. This team was built to beat the Heat. And Steve had this team written off before Rondo went down.I believe if you had them written off then. You more than likely feel the same now.
I was split about the Celtics before Rondo went down. I felt if Rondo played better defense,and if he defined his leadership role,and if he became more assertive about his role. I think the Celtics would have beaten the Heat. Of course if the Celtics stumbled into the playoffs this season without focus,and without a true leader. They would have been smoked out in the second round, and maybe the first round. I currently think the Celtics will upset a team or two. But when it comes to the Heat. The Celtics can beat the Heat. But so much needs to go right. I mean so much.
I'm not giving up my hopes. I think this season may just be a learning experience for the young guys in the playoffs. I think the Celtics could have a few advantages when it comes to playing the Heat. KG can handle Bosh,and the Celtics can throw Bradley,and Lee at Wade,and even Williams,and Crawford. Who can slow down James? Nobody,but Green was solid a month ago going up against James,and Pierce does his best. When you still look at depth. The Celtics still have more. But the Heat are rolling winners of 12 games in a row. I hate to say it. But who can really beat them. But we play the games, because who knows what can happen. Injuries are a bitch.