Sunday, 1 May 2011

Rondo is the difference

As of right now, the Boston Celtics are getting ready to play the Miami Heat to see who will advance in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. When it comes down to it, the competition looks very close, and I have no doubt that the games will be interesting to watch. You have LeBron James of the Miami Heat, who is very hungry for his first championship win. On the other side, you have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen - all veterans of the Celtics championship 2008 campaign - coming back to try and win another one. Overall, the comparison of the Big 3s of each team, you would have to tip Miami having the speed and strength, but Boston having the experience and the skills. So which side will win it?

For that, you'll need to make a deeper analysis into the teams. Comparing the starting Big 3s of each side, you get:
All those roles effectively cancel each other out. Each player can guard the other corresponding role, and vice versa. Looking at the center role:
Neither starting center is absolutely fantastic, but they too will cancel each other out. It comes down to the last position - the point guard:
This is a huge mismatch. Bibby has a some scoring potential, but does not have the explosive drive or the on-court awareness that Rondo has. Bibby will also have problems containing Rondo defensively. This will most likely lead to mismatches of either Wade or James having to try to contain Rondo. Better yet is if Rondo is double-teamed by the Heat, leading to usually an open Pierce or Allen on the 3pt line, or Garnett cutting to the hoop.

Many announcers and analysts have mentioned it, and I will echo it - "If Rondo has a good night, then the Celtics will usually win!"

The additional unknown variables in the Celtics is how Delonte West and Glen Davis will perform in their roles. If they have explosive episodes off the bench, then the Celtics will surely cruise their way past the Heat. The rest of the Celtics line up are pretty much standard NBA players, with the exception of the injured Shaq O'Neal. When Shaq made the announcement the he was going to the Celtics at the end of last year, I just thought it was hype. I did not see what he could offer the team. He has had bursts of brilliance while playing for the Celtics, but it should also be noted that he has spent a large part of the 2010-2011 season sitting out of the game due to injury. I am happy to be pleasantly surprised if he comes out from injury and aids the Celtics to winning their 18th championship.

I, for one, am hoping that Celtics will sweep Miami. I may be too hopeful since Miami does have the home court advantage for this part of the playoffs, but I have optimism none the less.


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