The Celtics Prepare for an Epic Playoff Battle Against the Heat

As the Celtics prepare to enter the NBA playoffs for a third straight season, they will end up as a 4 seed, facing off against the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. This could likely be trouble for the Celtics, considering they have not been as strong defensively as they have in years past. This could be trouble because the Miami Heat feature one of the league’s best players, Dwayne Wade. Wade has been consistently one of the NBA’s best players since he entered the league in 2003. This year, it has not been much different, as he has averaged 26.6 points per game, which is nothing short of spectacular. So, Wade’s strong scoring presence could pose a big problem for the Celtics. On the other side of the court, the Celtics have not been as intimidating of a defensive team as they have been in years past. Kevin Garnett, who was defensive player of the year just two years ago, when the Celtics won the NBA championship, has gotten old, fast. Ever since his knee injury last year, which sidelined him for last year’s playoffs, Garnett has just not been the same. He used to be an intimidating defensive presence, but now that he is older and more injury prone than he was in the past, he has just not been playing like the big-name player NBA fans have come to know. Ever since the Celtics won the NBA championship two years ago, their points allowed have gone up, and this year they have allowed other teams to score an average of 95.4 points per game, which does definitely not reflect a team that is top-of-the-line defensively. It is expected that Celtics guard Rajon Rando will be one of the many Celtics players that will have to defend Dwayne Wade. When describing the Celtics’ defensive plans for the series, Rando said, “The bulk of it is stopping Dwyane Wade. I think if we don’t stop him we can stop the others.” Whether Wade plays dominantly or not in the series, there are still big expectations for the Celtics to play well, at least in this first series against the Miami Heat. What most Celtics fan are hoping is that they finally play up to the big expectations that were placed on them before the regular season started. The Celtics’ 50-32 record is considered a disappointment, considering everybody was healthy entering the season. But, injuries here and there to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett made it difficult for the Boston Celtics to play consistently all season. While discussing his opinions of the Celtics’ “disappointing” regular season, Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, said, “I thought we took some games off this year. But I like how hard our team is playing lately.” Ainge also said, “When I say take games off, our guys come to the gym and expect to (sic) win. But I think when you have the success that our guys have had, they feel like they can just show up and not have to work as hard to win. There is a big difference between showing up to play a game, and showing up to win.” With all of these factors going into the Boston Celtics’ first-round series against the Miami Heat, this will definitely be a tough test for the Celtics. If they finally play up to the standard that critics and fans alike have expected them to play like all season, then the Celtics will have no problem with the Heat. But if they play as inconsistently as they have all season, then this series with the Miami Heat might be their only series they play in the playoffs. Information from this article is courtesy of: